Position Statement Opposing Ban of Trans in Military

The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is opposed to the current policy of the Trump Administration and the US Department of Defense regarding blocking transgender Americans from serving in the United States military. We join other organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers, as well as former Surgeons General M. Joycelyn Elders and David Satcher in opposing the ban on transgender troops and questioning the Defense Department’s rationale for excluding transgender people from service.

There is a robust body of reputable, peer-reviewed research that has demonstrated that the treatments for gender dysphoria are effective. We concur with the AMA, the APA, and the Surgeons General that the US Department of Defense has mischaracterized the available scientific evidence in order to stigmatize transgender Americans and limit their ability to serve in the military. The science clearly shows that transgender individuals who are adequately treated for gender dysphoria are not mentally unstable, nor is there reason to believe that treatment would detract from their readiness.

Moreover, we agree with the RAND Corporation study of transgender troops in the military that concluded that “the number (of transgender troops) would likely be a small fraction of the total force and have minimal impact on readiness and health care costs.”

There is no medical or practical reason to exclude transgender individuals from military service. Transgender people have served, and continue to serve, our country with honor, and we believe they should continue to do so. We implore the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Mattis, and President Trump to reverse this ill-advised directive.

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