The Judicial and Generational Dispute over Transgender Rights

32 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2017

See all articles by Mark Stern

Mark Stern

Slate Magazine

Karen Oehme

Florida State University College of Social Work, Institute for Family Violence Studies

Nat Stern

Florida State University - College of Law

Ember Urbach

Center for Public Partnership & Research

Elena Simonsen

Florida State University

Alysia Garcia

Florida State University

Date Written: October 12, 2017

Abstract

In recent years, courts have split sharply over issues of transgender rights, especially with regard to children and teenagers in public schools. Both federal law and the United States Constitution prohibit these schools from engaging in unjustified sex discrimination, and judges have struggled to determine whether disparate treatment of transgender students comports with this command of gender equality. Some judges have asserted that school policies that single out transgender students constitute unlawful discrimination because of sex; others have argued that these rules are justifiable as measures to respect the privacy of other students.

While the judicial debate continues, the authors used the re-search technique of content analysis to examine the attitudes of high school students toward LGBTQ people using the largest online dataset of high school newspapers. A total of 1,124 school newspapers with over 8,000 references to LGBTQ terms over a three-year period were analyzed. Results highlight students’ growing tolerance of gender minorities, reveal that students have been having conversations about LGBTQ rights for years, and suggest that many students have already decided that their non-gender-binary peers are deserving of equal treatment. The views and values of today’s youth may presage a broader transformation in social and legal attitudes to transgender individuals.

Suggested Citation

Stern, Mark and Oehme, Karen and Stern, Nat S. and Urbach, Ember and Simonsen, Elena and Garcia, Alysia, The Judicial and Generational Dispute over Transgender Rights (October 12, 2017). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 29, No. 1, Forthcoming; FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 859. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051970

Mark Stern

Slate Magazine ( email )

Karen Oehme

Florida State University College of Social Work, Institute for Family Violence Studies ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

Nat S. Stern (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States
850.644.1801 (Phone)

Ember Urbach

Center for Public Partnership & Research ( email )

1415
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Elena Simonsen

Florida State University

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

Alysia Garcia

Florida State University

Tallahasse, FL 32306
United States

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