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Transgender Issues regarding change of sex in the eyes of the law

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 583 times Debate No: 78140
Debate Rounds (2)
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I would like to debate the popular topic of transgender sex change in the eyes of the law. Mainly regarding the ability to change one's sex in a birth certificate or license. I believe this should not be allowed because:
1) It is elitist, as only a few people can afford the incredibly expensive surgery that is sex reassignment.
- As a requirement, people who wish to have their gender changed in the eyes of the law have to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Even if the procedure of changing the sex on your birth certificate would be proper ( which it isn't), having this prerequisite is extremely elitist as it only entitles this privilege to transgender people who A) have enough money to change their genitals or B) want to change their genitals. This would be like if people only had the right to vote if they owned land. Transgender people can keep the genitals they were assigned at birth and still feel like they were born in the wrong body. Which brings me to my next point.
2)If this change is allowed, it would perpetuate sexual roles of men and women which in my opinion only furthers the agenda of an already sexist society we live in.
Of course in ancient times men and women had defined roles in society. Men would work, women would stay home and bear children. However, in this new age of equality men and women should be treated equally. Women can be doctors, CEO's, pilots, politicians, and even presidents. Similarly men can be housekeepers, flight attendants, models, and even stay at home dads. Would we call men who like to wear dresses women? Or Women who like to wear pant suits men? Would we call a little girl who wants to play football a boy? Or would we call a boy who wants to dance ballet a girl? No, I hope our society is more advanced than that. If a man wants to have a vagina or dress up in feminine clothing, can't he just be a man with a vagina? If a woman wants to get a penis or cut her hair short, can't she just be a woman with a penis? I don't see any problem with changing your genitals, however if we can allow someone to say that they were born as a man and want to be a woman or vice versa, we are perpetuating the difference and inequality between men and women and saying that in fact they should be treated differently. The male or female prerogative should have died when sexism did. If we are all just humans why can we not act with the same civility towards one another regardless of our sex? If we allow this to happen we are saying that this is how a woman should look, with long hair and a feminine demeanor or this is how a man should look with big muscles and masculine facial hair. I believe the only difference between men and women should be what sex they were born with and not what genitals they have or what their sexual orientation is. Which brings me to my last point.
3)If this continues, it may harm scientific research. Society should have no differentiation between men and women (albeit obvious things like the right to an abortion); I believe sex chromosomes should be the only difference between men and women, and only for scientific purposes. I understand that there are cases when humans who are born with penises are not XY and humans who are born with vaginas are not XX, but talking about these specific cases (which in my opinion should be classified in a third gender since there should be no societal discrimination and only a scientific segregation, but I digress) is not the discussion, the transgender population is. This sizable population is in average about two to five percent of the population of the world, which is why this argument matters. Even if our birth certificates change, our cells won't. If this was done fifty years ago, we might have never found out that women in average live longer than men, that some diseases are more prominent in women than in men, or that baldness is a genetic trait passed down by women. These facts may seem trivial, but they have advanced the field of genetics tremendously.

I understand that the transgender community suffers from much stigma from society and that there is a great deal of oppression, however I do not believe allowing someone to change their sex in the eyes of the law is the way to change that. I believe we have to try to fix society by making it more understanding of how we should treat people and also create more laws against hate crimes or discrimination, but trying to fix a problem by creating more problems is not right.


I believe that one should have the right to change one's sex in official documents. There isn't a reason why people who have are transgendered shouldn't be able to have official documents that show who they really are, not who they were at birth.

I only have one point for my argument, gender identity. When it comes down to it, this debate is ultimately determined by gender identity. Identity to use is important to all of us. With a sense of self, we wouldn't be able to determine who we are. Gender plays a big role in that. This is determined not just by how we feel, but how we are viewed by others. If a person feels a certain way and is constantly told they are not, then they basically assume that there is something wrong with them mentally when that simply is not the case. If a person identifies as a certain gender, then their official documents should reflect that. Now to address your arguments.

To address your first argument about elitism, there are other ways to be a woman or a man other than just sex reassignment surgery. There is cross dressing and hormone replacement therapy are two examples. The only argument that you make is that people who want the right are elitist because they have to fork over huge amounts of cash, making it so that other people are left out. That doesn"t make sense because the only reason people want the right to do so is to be recognized the gender the feel that they are, not because they want to have a right that others don't. Simply put, your first point has no merit.

As for you second argument, while sexual roles are a big issue due to societal pressures that try to conform people to a certain standard, that shouldn't matter in the argument. What you are implying is that men and women can have different roles in society, but because they want to be considered a different gender, you disagree because you state that it would perpetuate societal gender stereotypes. That would be true, if you ignore their gender identity. Would a girl who wants to play football be called a boy? If that girl identifies as a boy, then yes you would. That is what you ignore in this argument. And by allow transgender people to have the right to state their gender on a document won't change or impact how people view what men and women should look like. People have an idea of what the perfect man or the perfect woman looks like. It is determined by the eye of the beholder.

Your final point baffles me. There isn't a good explanation to why scientific research would be harmed in your final argument. Both sexes have blood, organs, the same cells. If it were a scientific study on gender specific topics or genetics related to specific genders, it may pose a problem, but their blood would determine what sex they were orignally and they would be excluded from the study. As for other studies like on the health of the body, weight gain, strength, mental health, blood cells, etc. wouldn't be affected.
Debate Round No. 1


Let me start by discussing gender identity. I think we can both agree that gender identity is defined by society and is basically in layman"s terms the way society categorizes us, being men or women. Now that we have that definition in place, I will prove your rebuttals are inadequate.

My first argument about elitism was in regards to the ability to change your sex on a birth certificate. According to the transgender roadmap website, you require a vaginoplasty or orchiectomy, which are both expensive surgeries. I said that it would be unfair to require these procedures to have the right to change your sex on your birth certificate. This would make the procedure elitist not the people. The analogy I said was that it would be like owning land as a prerequisite to vote. The voters that owned land would not be elitist but the law would be. Therefore you have miss understood my argument and your rebuttal is inadequate. Moreover, in my first point, I was talking about the law specifically not how a person can become a man or a woman which brings me to my second point.

A man who cross-dresses is not a woman; in fact many men who like to cross dress do not consider themselves transgender. Similarly many transgender people who do not change their genitals consider themselves to be the opposite gender they were assigned at birth. My argument was that it would be sexist to allow people to change their sex, because while gender identity and sex are not the same thing, I can not think of a way they are separated that is not biological or sexist. Sex and gender should be synonymous, because of my previous point. If a girl wants to play football she should be called a boy if she identifies as one? What is a boy? I thought women had the ability to play football as well. If a woman wants to do things that are considered masculine she should be seen as a man? If we allow these changes to happen we are basically agreeing with that statement. We are allowing people to change because of how they act or look, which perpetuates gender roles. If you can satisfyingly answer the question of what is a woman versus a man in a way that is not biological or sexist I will cede the argument. Otherwise your point that gender roles would not be perpetuated and the sexist agenda would not be advanced, making this claim not pertinent to the argument, is invalid. A man could cross dress, act femininely, get breast implants, and a vagina and he should still be seen as a man or male, because men and women should be treated equally, so the only difference I could notice would be through a scientific test that could identify their biological difference to a woman; a female. This brings me to my last point, scientific research.

Sometimes people are afraid to be politically incorrect, and with all the idiotic fear mongering that is currently taking place against the transgender population, this fear has only grown greater. This fear causes people to dismiss important points and call them "baffling" without a second thought. I believe this is what has happened in this case. My final argument is about scientific research. While all healthy humans have blood, organs, and cells, they are not the same. Apart from the exceptions I mentioned in my original argument men have XY sex chromosomes and women have XX sex chromosomes. This is part of your DNA which literally makes your cells different; since you carry the same DNA in almost every cell. Also men are born with penises and women are born with vaginas which are considered to be different organs. In turn, their hormone levels are therefore different as well. These specific differences in our bodies create biological trends in research that have helped geneticist and other scientists create trends like the ones spoken in my initial argument. Your last rebuttal is this, "If it were a scientific study on gender specific topics or genetics related to specific genders, it may pose a problem, but their blood would determine what sex they were originally and they would be excluded from the study." This claim is invalid, because you have proved my point. I was not talking about all scientific research, but only that pertaining to a difference between men and women, which as you have said would pose a problem. Furthermore, while a blood test COULD in fact determine the sex, it would not be a simple blood test and it would be at an incredulous cost. The sex of most scientific subjects are taken from legal documents not blood tests; because doing it by blood tests would practically leave no time or money for the experiment. Therefore, you are in correct in saying that it would not affect the pertinent scientific research.

In conclusion you have failed to prove my points invalid; however your rebuttals have been proven invalid. Allowing the change of sex on a birth certificate has an elitist process, is sexist because in perpetuates gender roles, and may harm scientific research.
Thank you


First, Gender Identity is defined by the Human Rights Campaign or HRC as "...a person's innate, deeply felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth." It has nothing to do with societal pressures. What you are describing is how society determines what gender roles such as feminine or masculine, a gender like male or female should follow. While society pressures certain genders to fulfill specific gender roles, they do not determine our gender. As for your rebuttals and your arguments, they do not stick to the argument, nor do they answer the question.

While I concede that I was wrong about the procedures necessary to change your certificate, I disagree with this argument. You point out that it's elitist because it's expensive. The reason it's so expensive and only a few can get it is because most have to pay out of pocket due to the fact that their healthcare provider won't cover it. So wouldn't the better solution to this problem be making it so that most insurance companies cover gender reassignment surgeries instead of denying the right for people to be called the gender that they feel comfortable as? Furthermore, the only people who want to undergo sex change surgeries are people who want to change their gender. And the sex on your birth certificate doesn't do anything other than state your gender. It does no harm, nor does it have any advantage for people to do so.

Second, your argument on how it would be sexist for to allow people to change their sex is absurd. Like I stated, gender identity and gender roles are different. It may be sexist for society to say what gender fits what gender role, but it's not sexist when someone wants to be a different gender than they were at birth. Also take my argument and diverting it to seem that I'm sexist isn't evidence that my rebuttal to your argument is wrong. What it is, is a red herring. I never said that women can't play football. Again, if a girl wants to be called a boy should be called a boy because that is how they self identify. And your to address your question, "If a woman wants to do things that are considered masculine she should be seen as a man?" If they want to be identified as a man, then yes. You keep ignoring the fact of gender identity. You talk about equality. If someone can't be giving the right to be identified as who they want to be identified as because of who they were born as, that's not equality, that's discrimination.

You also put forth a question, "What is a woman versus a man in a way that is not biological or sexist?" The question you are using can't be answered. There is no clear definition on what it means to be a man and a woman. Everyone has their own definition, but just because I can't answer this question doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Suppose some random person gave you a box and gave me a box. The person tells me that my box contains a whistle and that your box also contains a whistle. They also tell me that I can look in my box, but I can show you what's in my box nor can I look what in your box and you are told to do the same. Now I can assume that you have a whistle, but since I can't be certain, I only can assume. Everyone has a different feeling and different aspect about a subject. There isn't going to be one definitive answer to your question, so there isn't a point in answering it. It's an Appeal to Ignorance, simply put.

Third, Your point is baffling because it doesn't make sense. If a scientist was conducting a biological study, they would see the true sex of the person and take that into account or remove them from the study. You think scientists would be stupid enough to contaminate their data. And that's only discussing biological testing. Sex does not play a role when discussing behavioral testing, gender may, but not sex. Also, about my last rebuttal and how I proved your point. You simply moved the goal post. While you state that "I was not talking about all scientific research, but only that pertaining to a difference between men and women," When you said in your first argument. "If this continues, it may harm scientific research." You don't specify what you meant by scientific research nor do you give examples why it would affect scientific research. The only argument you give is that because you are taking what I stated out of context and using it as evidence against itself.

Therefore your points are mute. I did prove your points invalid because your points don't support your argument. It isn't elitist because the only reason people would want to change their sex on their birth certificate is so that they would be identified as the gender they wish to be. It's not sexist because gender roles are not the same thing as the gender we identify as. Finally it does not harm scientific evidence because it can the sex of a test subject only comes into play when it deals with genetics. Have a wonderful day.
Debate Round No. 2
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
You're correct, these are the comment sections for a debate. This is exactly why I said something in the first place, your argument was not formatted in a way that showed you had an understanding of the topic. If you claim that you do then by all means carry on.
Posted by gabe684 1 year ago
Well, these are the comments section to a debate, and your first comment was that you thought I did know the difference between the two terms; therefore I thought it was pertinent. I've said many times that I agree with you that gender by definition is defined by society and sex by biology, but again, in this comment section that is not the use we are discussing. We are discussing transgender rights and the ability to change sex on a birth certificate. Any discussion of sex vs gender should be based on that. And my stance on that matter would be that even though there is a difference between gender and sex, it is purely a sexist difference and moreover,that there should not be one and that allowing this change would only further the sexist agenda because it would perpetuate gender roles. If you want to talk about definitions for their sake and not pertaining to this argument, I do not think this is the place to do it.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
I'm just defining terms I've neither supported nor opposed anything. Stop looking for an argument where there is none me saying "sex and gender are different" is not taking a stance on the issue, I'm merely defining and differentiating terms.
Posted by gabe684 1 year ago

Yes I understand that, but in this situation in to which that argument pertains you would perpetuate and support gender roles. If something is sexist and you support it, wouldn't it make you sexist? Gender was used in our society when lines between men and women were more than biological, now we don't have any reason to have genders mean anything other than our biological sex. If we do, we can say things like that is a 'MAN'S JOB' or oppressingly, 'that's a woman's job' which if it's not referring to producing sperm or giving birth seems pretty sexist to me.
Side note, I am not calling you sexist, that would be an ad hominem and not help my point or the civility of this argument so please don't take it that way.
Posted by gabe684 1 year ago
J price, I think you miss read my argument.

I don't know if miss wrote something, but I thought it it was clearly written and stated again in the comments in the clarification for Greg4586 that I meant the ability to change ones 'sex' not 'name' on a birth certificate, making you male or female in the eyes of the law. A) as I stated above it would be elitist because only people who are transgendered AND have had a change of genitals would be able to do this; the surgery is very expensive.
B) I don't see a difference between men and women that is not sexist or biological. It would make it sexism to say that woman has to look a certain way, or currently has to have these certain genitals to be a woman. I was advocating for making sex and gender synonymous in the eyes of the law. This way our actions would not define us and therefore separate us in the way we are supposed to be treated by others.
C)Lastly scientific research would be affected, because we would be changing the sex, not name of a huge population of earth. While there are other people who could be tested, legal documents would be changed to make people legally something else. You would literally be able to run a population effect study and not know that you have X number males and x number females The only other possible way I could think to check would be a DNA test. Researchers would find threads that aplied to female apply to now males or vice versa and the line would be less distinct. You're right in saying this would not matter if it was a small population, but with 9 BILLION people in the world, 2 to 3 percent is an extrordenate number to ignore. I hope you consider these things.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
I'm just saying there's a difference between sex and gender;I never said I was in favor of gender roles.
Posted by jprice19 1 year ago
A) Elitism
You do no have to have your genitals changed to have a name change. Furthermore, how does this inspire elitism? How do different genitals inspire elitism? People don't just casually have a look.

B) Sexism? You propagate the strange idea that being able to have a, e.g., woman's name and genitals(Impossible) will mean that more sexism will occur. How? How will allowing the change of sex of a person, galvanise others to suddenly be more sexist in general?

C) Scientific research. Honestly, this point is ridiculous. How many people in the world have a sex change? You seem to suggest that everyone does. If only 2.3% of the world had a sex change, there are still plenty of people to conduct research upon. Furthermore you stated that you were mainly arguing against a name change. How does this prevent scientific research?

Just my arguments. Hope you get someone to debate with you.
Posted by gabe684 1 year ago
Yes gender is defined by society , however in todays world, where men and women should be treated equally, those differences are irrelevant and sexist. A man being effeminate does not make a woman or vice versa . That's why my point is that allowing these changes would mean that a man can't do 'effeminate' things like take care of his children or that a woman can't do 'masculine' things like be president. Since we would allow the definition that men and women are not only separated by biology, but that they should also be treated differently.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
Gender identity and sex are not the same.
Posted by Dragonfang 1 year ago
If someone's gender identity contradicts objective physical reality (sex), then the person is either delusional or roleplaying. Neither are grounding for official acknowledgement.
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