The Bathroom Debate: A Legal Argument that Is Causing a Public Health Crisis

Published on in CHOP News

Several state policy proposals that would require public school students to use bathrooms based on their “anatomy and chromosome” at birth, rather than their gender identity, are raising major concerns for the rights and well-being of transgender students. These policies, which have been introduced in 19 states, can result in negative emotional and physical outcomes for transgender youth. States that enforce such bathroom policies are also discriminating based on sex and thus are out of compliance with federal law.

Have you ever found yourself limiting the amount of food you eat or the fluids you drink because you are concerned about using the bathroom at school?

This is a question that is part of every assessment conducted with transgender, gender variant and gender expansive children and youth in our Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic at CHOP. Over half of the youth will indicate that navigating which bathroom to use can be stressful, frustrating, and in several cases, traumatic.

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