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    News Center - Thread: Transgender policy inthe military

    1. #1
      jsimms435's Avatar
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      Transgender policy inthe military

      WASHINGTON — "Transgender troops who are currently in the United States military may remain in the ranks, the White House said late Friday, but the Pentagon could require them to serve according to their gender at birth.
      The policy recommendation that President Trump approved flatly states that “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.” But it also largely gives the Pentagon the ability to make exceptions where it sees fit."

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/u...T.nav=top-news

      Agree or disagree with this change?

    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      WASHINGTON — "Transgender troops who are currently in the United States military may remain in the ranks, the White House said late Friday, but the Pentagon could require them to serve according to their gender at birth.
      The policy recommendation that President Trump approved flatly states that “transgender persons who require or have undergone gender transition are disqualified from military service.” But it also largely gives the Pentagon the ability to make exceptions where it sees fit."

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/24/u...T.nav=top-news

      Agree or disagree with this change?
      It's all but guaranteed that it's going to get presented as somehow being something-phobic or discriminatory or some such.

      I remember having a discussion on this very issue a while back, and how if diabetics are excluded from military service because of the logistic issues in ensuring sustained access to insulin during combat it's accepted as good military practise, but anything less than an outright guarantee of ensuring sustained access to hormonal treatments in a war zone is somehow transphobic.

      Given people diagnosed with gender dysphoria have a massively elevated risk of committing suicide it doesn't seem like a particularly clever move to deploy them into active combat. If there's a provision to make specific exceptions (perhaps if someone has completed their transition and no longer requires regular medical intervention) then military chiefs can make the final call for any given individual.

      I think the key thing is that decisions like this need to be based on combat effectiveness rather than political correctness or the latest right-on inclusivity idealism.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    3. #3
      hedrick is offline Apprentice Member
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      Until we have more experience as a culture, I'd like to stay away from policies like this, just like I'd like to leave school bathrooms to the principals for the moment. But courts have been treating this as sex discrimination. I think he's asking for a Supreme Court decision that will settle the issue.

      The court is the same one that validated gay marriage. One conservative has been replaced by another. I think decisions on transgender will go the same way. Maybe it's good to just settle the issue.

      I have mixed feelings on the effect people's opinion should have. On the one hand, I think it's best in a democracy if we only make changes that people are ready for. On the other hand, there are things that are fundamentally right, and guaranteed by the constitution. Non-discrimination based on gender, orientation, etc., is one. At any rate, the following suggests that the public is ready on military service: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1AD2BL. However not all outcomes are as positive. Though they didn't ask this specific question, this poll suggests the opposite conclusion: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank...and-democrats/. Here's an interesting one: a majority of voters in military households that transgenders should be allowed to serve: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/34...lowed-to-serve. On the other hand, this poll of active service people was opposed to accepting transgenders, though oddly a plurality felt it wouldn't cause a problem in their unit: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/p...nder-policies/. According to a RAND study commissioned by the military, "The RAND study focused on the service history of transgender personnel in Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom, concluding that "in no case was there any evidence of an effect on the operational effectiveness, operational readiness, or cohesion of the force."" [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transg...ates_military] Probably the best conclusion is that the US public is split on the topic of treatment of transgenders. This is developing after the debate over gays. I assume that over time acceptance will grow.
      Last edited by hedrick; 03-25-2018 at 02:54 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      It's all but guaranteed that it's going to get presented as somehow being something-phobic or discriminatory or some such.

      I remember having a discussion on this very issue a while back, and how if diabetics are excluded from military service because of the logistic issues in ensuring sustained access to insulin during combat it's accepted as good military practise, but anything less than an outright guarantee of ensuring sustained access to hormonal treatments in a war zone is somehow transphobic.

      Given people diagnosed with gender dysphoria have a massively elevated risk of committing suicide it doesn't seem like a particularly clever move to deploy them into active combat. If there's a provision to make specific exceptions (perhaps if someone has completed their transition and no longer requires regular medical intervention) then military chiefs can make the final call for any given individual.

      I think the key thing is that decisions like this need to be based on combat effectiveness rather than political correctness or the latest right-on inclusivity idealism.
      that's a good point about hormonal treatments and difficulties of that during combat. I hadn't thought of that.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      that's a good point about hormonal treatments and difficulties of that during combat. I hadn't thought of that.
      I often wonder if the people who bleat endlessly about being inclusive and accepting and all that stuff have any idea that a war zone is a totally different world where the normal rules of society just don't apply.

      Taking people into a war zone who need a steady and reliable supply of medication is asking for trouble. In a war zone combat effectiveness is the first and foremost consideration, and if that means excluding entire groups of people from the military then that's what needs to be done. Sacrificing military readiness and combat effectiveness for the sake of a minority group is lunacy.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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      You might find this interesting: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...litary_Service. It reviews the medical issues, pointing out that the military accepts the same kinds of risks and requirements for other conditions. The issue here is ideological, not medical.

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      Quote Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
      You might find this interesting: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...litary_Service. It reviews the medical issues, pointing out that the military accepts the same kinds of risks and requirements for other conditions. The issue here is ideological, not medical.
      I agree. With many vets getting ptsd even the suicide rate is high.

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
      You might find this interesting: https://www.researchgate.net/publica...litary_Service. It reviews the medical issues, pointing out that the military accepts the same kinds of risks and requirements for other conditions. The issue here is ideological, not medical.
      Many things relating to the transgendered rapidly turn into ideological issues, it would appear.

      The paper does make a number of interesting points, although ultimately I am still minded to conclude that military leadership is best placed to determine whether the needs of any particular individual can be met in a war zone and, crucially, whether meeting such needs would compromise combat effectiveness.

      It's very easy to focus on the individual as if meeting their needs were the only thing that mattered but it is also important to consider whether the presence of any given individual would compromise the effectiveness of their unit. To take a somewhat silly example, there's no medical reason that I know of why I shouldn't deploy into a war zone. But there is the matter that I'm a bit overweight and nowhere near as fit as your average soldier. If you put me into a combat unit I'd impose an added burden on everyone else in the unit because I would struggle to keep up with the rest. So it's one thing to be able to meet any needs I had, but my presence would compromise the effectiveness of the rest of the unit. If the unit was 12 men strong the commander would have to either treat the entire unit as being a slow-moving one, or treat it as an 11-strong unit and figure I'd be a bonus if I got where I needed to be in time and without being shot.

      The abstract also made some interesting points that suggested there's more behind it than immediately meets the eye. From the abstract (emphasis is mine):

      Our conclusion is that there is no compelling medical reason for the ban onservice by transgender personnel, that the ban is an unnecessary barrier to health care access for transgender personnel, and that medical care for transgender individuals should be managed using the same standards that apply to all others. Removal of the military’s ban on transgender service would improve health outcomes, enable commanders to better care for their troops, and reflect the military’s commitment to providing outstanding medical care for all military personnel.


      Why is a ban on military service considered an "unnecessary barrier to health care access", unless the primary goal of joining up was to get medical treatment? If people are signing up to get medical treatment for a condition they are signing up for the wrong reasons, and that alone should be enough to disqualify them whatever the nature of the condition.

      How does removing a ban on the transgendered enable commanders to better care for their troops? A commander can care for his troops regardless of who his troops are and, if anything, adding individuals with very particular (and potentially demanding) needs would make it harder to care for the rest of the troops. As above, this applies whatever the nature of the need.

      How would removing a ban on the transgendered do anything to change the military's commitment to provide medical care for all personnel, unless the primary purpose in signing up was to receive gender realignment treatments? The purpose of the military is to provide military capability, not a convenient way to receive medical treatments that might otherwise be unavailable.

      While the paper does contain a number of interesting points these statements within the abstract leave me struggling to regard it as being impartial.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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