Sierra Canyon High School

Bathroom talk: The detriments of gender neutral bathrooms

When considering a major change in public policy, like the switch to gender neutral restrooms, we not only have to ask ourselves if the change feels good, but also if it does good. In the case of gender neutral bathrooms, groups in favor of these bathrooms only address the concept of if it feels good and neglects the question of whether the change will do good. By neglecting to ask this vital question, they are neglecting the unintended consequences that come along with the change.

A gender neutral bathroom is public bathroom that anyone of any gender can use at the same time, as opposed to a unisex bathroom, which locks, that one person can use at a time. According to Science.com, only 700,000 U.S citizens out of 318 million, .02 percent, are transgender. While it might feel good to make 700,000 people more comfortable, we have to think about the majority first, and the fact is, according to the Huffington Post, 59 percent of the general population, more the 188 million people, would feel uncomfortable and unsafe using a gender neutral bathroom. Is obliterating the idea of single-sex bathrooms necessary to protect the exceedingly small minority of people who identify as transgender? The answer is no.

How you would feel if a member from the opposite sex was inside the bathroom with you? If you were a parent, would you feel comfortable watching your young daughter being followed into the bathroom by a man who “feels like a woman”? According to Rasmussen Reports, the answer is no. About 55 percent of school parents feel uncomfortable with using or having their children use gender neutral bathrooms.

Another deterrent for change is the violence and harassment that can, and already has, occurred in these bathrooms. Contrary to common belief, there have been multiple cases of violence and sexual harassment that have occurred in gender neutral bathrooms across the country. For example, in fall 2015, the University of Toronto temporarily suspended its policy, requiring all campus bathrooms to be gender-neutral, after discovering that some men were using it as cover to film women who were showering. Similarly, in 2014, a rapist in Toronto was arrested for pretending to be transgender so he could get into women’s shelters, where he sexually assaulted two women. In addition, according to The Weekly Standard, “a transgender male who identifies as female,” has been arrested in Idaho Falls for holding an iPhone above a dressing-room partition to film an 18-year-old girl trying on swimwear at the local Target. This change is not worth it for the majority of the population to be unsafe and uncomfortable while using the bathroom.

Gender neutral bathrooms have not only open the door for women to be harassed, but for transgender people to be harassed as well. While it might feel good to change these bathrooms, shown in the evidence above, it obviously does the opposite. Do we really want to make a change that will increase the number of sexual harassment cases in the United States?

Similarly, many businesses don’t have the space or money to build three bathrooms— one for men, one for women, and one for gender neutral. But, because the government is forcing these businesses to have a gender neutral bathroom, they have to get rid of their single-sex bathrooms to build one. In order to offset the cost of the new bathroom, businesses might need to raise prices on merchandise.

Unless you have not fully transitioned, you should use the bathroom of the sex you were born with. Personally, I would feel extremely uncomfortable having a woman who “feels like a man” follow me into the bathroom. There is no way to tell whether people are actually transgender or if they are just lying as the men in Toronto and Idaho did.

As society moves further and further to the left, so does the preoccupation with feeling good over actually doing good. This explains why young people are so much more likely to be Liberal. We have not lived long enough to know what does good. But, we know what feels good. This is why it is imperative to do your own research in order to form your own opinions. Before deciding on where you stand think about what does good before what feels good.

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