Catholic institution funds study on 'gender-affirming practices' in K-12 education

Boston College is funding a new study that could train high school staff to 'support transgender students' with 'gender-affirming care.'

The college is well-known as a prestigious Catholic institution in Boston.

Boston College’s Affirm Lab is launching a new study that will train high school staff to “support transgender students.”

The program, titled “Improving Methods of Providing Affirming Care to Transgender Students” (IMPACTS), seeks to craft an online lesson for interacting with transgender students “based on ideas collected from students, parents, and school staff experts.”

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IMPACTS receives funding from the School of Social Work’s Center for Social Innovation and the college’s Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society, according to its website. 

On Dec. 8, Affirm Lab Director Maggie Price promoted the program on Twitter, citing her team’s mission to “train high school staff in gender-affirming practices.” 

Underneath this, she shared Affirm Lab’s tweet asking: “Are you a gender-affirming high school staff OR #transgender/#nonbinary student? Join our study, share your experience, & help improve high school for #trans youth.”

Though the Affirm Lab touts “gender-affirming care training methods,” Boston College is a Catholic institution. In 2019, the Vatican published the document “Male and Female: He Created Them,” which affirms Catholic teaching that there are two distinct, unchangeable genders. 

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On July 29, the Diocese of Marquette, located in Michigan, released an instructional document stating that people should be treated with “kindness and respect” but that “[e]very one of us is created as either male or female.” It also clarifies “we are to embrace our bodily sex.” 

In addition to IMPACTS, the Affirm Lab is working on projects such as “Is Structural Transphobia Related to Depression & Suicidality for Transgender Youth,” which studies whether “norms, laws & policies” have any effect on “transgender & gender diverse youths’ risk for depression and suicidality.”

The Lab is also working on a project that seeks ways to make sure therapists “best serve transgender youth” through “gender-affirming psychotherapy study.” 

Price and Boston College have not yet responded to Campus Reform’s request for comment.