Campus Reform | 'Gender Affirmation Toolkit' says term ‘sexual reassignment surgery’ is ‘demeaning’

'Gender Affirmation Toolkit' says term ‘sexual reassignment surgery’ is ‘demeaning’

Vanderbilt University published a "Gender Affirmation Toolkit" for its employees, giving definitions and explaining the proper way to use the word "transgender" in a sentence.

The toolkit lists "sexual reassignment surgery" on its list of "outdated" and "demeaning" words.

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Vanderbilt University published a “Gender Affirmation Toolkit” for its employees in efforts to provide a safe work environment. The toolkit goes over various definitions such as "gender identity," "gender expression," and "sexual orientation." It also explains the proper way to use the word “transgender” in a sentence and claims the term “sexual reassignment surgery” is "demeaning."

The “Gender Affirmation Toolkit for Vanderbilt Employees” on the university’s website states that this guideline is “for employees who are transitioning or identify as transgender, genderqueer, or nonbinary, as well as the managers who support them.” 

It also states that the guidelines are evolving, with the goal of having a safe work environment.

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The toolkit lists the definitions of the words "gender identity," "gender expression," "sexual orientation," and "transgender." The university defines "transgender" as individuals whose gender is different than what was "assigned" to them at birth.

“Transgender individuals are people whose gender identity, expression, and/or behavior are different from those typically associated with their assigned or presumed sex at birth," the guide states.

It also explains that although there are people who fit the definition of being transgender, they may still call themselves a man or woman: “A person who has a gender identity other than ‘man’ or ‘woman’ might simply self-identify as transgender or use other terminology to define their identity, such as ‘non-binary.’ Moreover, some individuals who would fit this definition of transgender do not identify themselves as such and identify simply as men and women, consistent with their gender identity.”

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The toolkit also includes the proper way to use the word "transgender" in a sentence, and a list of words that are “outdated, disrespectful, inappropriate, and often demeaning.”

“Max is transgender” and “Max is a transgender person” are considered correct, whereas “Max is a transgender” and “Max is transgendered” are considered incorrect. On the list of words considered to be "demeaning" and "outdated" are “transgenders,” “transsexual,” and “sexual reassignment surgery.”

The toolkit also states that people should ask what pronouns transgender individuals use, and to use the person's name if they are unsure. 

"We should all be encouraged to ask people what pronoun they use. If it is not possible to ask for the pronoun someone uses, use the person’s name in place of a pronoun.” 

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The guideline further states that individuals can use the bathroom that “is consistent with their gender identity.”

Campus Reform has previously reported on a Vanderbilt University faculty member stating that racism is enabled by academic freedom. Several months later, a course assignment at the Tennessee university asked if the Constitution is racist, also reported by Campus Reform. The "correct" answer to that question was "true."

Campus Reform reached out to Vanderbilt University but has not received a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mn_turn