Rules Unfair to, Endanger, Genitally Reconstructed Transsexuals, Says John Banzhaf of GWU Law School

Transsexuals who were born male, but have had genital reconstruction surgery, are placed at a higher risk of sexual assault, and perhaps even rape, if they are required to use showers and locker rooms corresponding to the gender they were “assigned at birth,” argues public interest law professor John Banzhaf of the GWU Law School which is experimenting with a solution to the transgender-restroom problem.

Washington, DC, April 25, 2016 --( Requiring persons to use only showers, locker rooms, and even restrooms which correspond to their "assigned at birth" gender are unfair to M2F transsexuals who have had genital reconstruction surgery, and also place them at high risk of sexual assault or even rape when they are forced to be naked in the presence of men, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf of GWU Law School.

GWU Law School is experimenting with a solution to the transgender-restroom problem - one which would resolve these concerns.

"While there may be some logic aimed at not requiring women and young girls to shower or change clothing in the presence of a naked person with a penis - even if that person claims to be a transsexual female - there would seem to be no logical reason to apply the same rule to a person whose penis has been surgically removed and replaced with a vagina," argues Banzhaf, whose work in this area has enhanced the reputation of the GWU Law School.

A M2F transsexual who has had genital reconstruction surgery would look exactly like any other woman when undressed, and would likely not seem to be at all out of the place when showering with women and girls who were born female, Banzhaf says.

The same obviously cannot be said for a M2F transsexual who has not had such surgery, even if the person dresses and acts like a woman, since the presence of a penis and testicles amidst girls who were showering or changing could be very disconcerting - and perhaps even threatening - to say the least, suggests Banzhaf.

Moreover, the surgery has made the transsexual woman incapable of committing penal-vaginal rape - a major concern of those supporting the laws - impossible, Banzhaf notes, based upon his public interest work in this area at the GWU Law School.

But, if these requirements are applied as written, any person born male but surgically altered to have a female body would still have to shower, change clothing, etc. in facilities denominated for men, since they were born with a penis and therefore their "assigned at birth" gender would be male, says Banzhaf.

Having undergone surgery, they would look like any other woman - with female genitals, female breasts, etc. - so that many males sharing the shower or locker room with them could be sexually attracted and perhaps even sexual aroused by the sight of their naked bodies, Banzhaf claims.

This could well not only be very disconcerting to some men who might perhaps see it as an invasion of their sexual privacy; more importantly, it could easily lead to unwanted touching and other forms of sexual assault of the woman, and perhaps even rape, maintains Banzhaf, noting the pioneering work he and the GWU Law School have done in this area.
George Washington University Law School
Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
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