The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law has published a new study that debunks the “transgender predator” myth. This myth is the concern put forth by transphobic people that providing an equal access to public accommodations will lead to sexual assault and the loss of an expectation of private. In this study, researchers were unable to find any evidence that sexual predators take advantage of laws supporting transgender equality.
Anti-LGBTQ+ organizations such as the American Family Association were putting forth these claims, none of which could be confirmed. The lead researcher for this new study, Brian Barnett, discovered just how rare these instances are and said:
“We found only one instance, one, of a transgender perpetrator in an alleged sex crime in a changing room. Likewise, we found just one case where a man who, frankly, sounds like provocateur, allegedly entered a woman’s locker room without disguising his gender in any way and stated that a new local law expanding transgender bathroom access allowed him to be there.” -Barnett for a Huffington Post editorial
The conservative groups arguing against these equality laws have cited over 100 possible cases but the majority of these cases involve non-transgender men who are simply violating women’s spaces. Allowing access to these spaces for actual transgender people has no effect on the men who already intended to enter these spaces.
Currently, only 19 states and Washington D.C. that currently allow transgender people access to public accommodations. When covering this topic, CNN reached out to 20 law enforcement agencies in states with anti-discrimination policies and none reported any bathroom assaults after the policies took effect.
h/t: Huffington Post, CNN, The Hill