Bold solutions

Here’s why cis people should be banned from public restrooms

transgender, bathroom, sexual assault, bathroom bills, transphobia

For the last decade, conservatives have been crowing about how we need to ban all trans people from public restrooms because they’re predators looking to sexually assault innocent cis women and children. Well, a new study has shown it’s quite the opposite: Cisgender people sexually assault trans people in public bathrooms at a high rate. So we guess it’s time to start banning all cis people from public restrooms… in the name of public safety.

Where do we sign the petition to get that on the ballot?

A study recently published by researchers from Harvard’s School of Public Health in the U.S. journal Pediatrics looked at survey responses from the 2017 LGBTQ Teen Study questioning 3,673 American trans and non-binary students between the ages 13 to 17 from all 5o U.S. states about their experiences with discrimination.

Researchers found that over the last year, sexual assaults had occurred among 26.5 percent of trans boys, 27.0 percent of nonbinary youth assigned female at birth, 18.5 percent of trans girls and 17.6 percent of nonbinary youth assigned male at birth.

Guess who’s sexually assaulting these students? Hint: It isn’t other trans and non-binary students — it’s cis people. We know this because only 0.6 percent of the U.S. population is trans, so it’s far more statistically likely that cis students are the ones attacking.

What’s worse, at schools with policies forcing trans and non-binary students to use bathrooms and locker rooms not matching their gender identities, the rates of sexual assault go way up. At schools with these policies, sexual assaults occurred increased 149 percent among trans girls, 42 percent among nonbinary youth assigned female at birth and 26 percent among trans boys.

When schools enact these policies, they’re basically increasingly the likelihood that queer students will be sexually assaulted.

Related: Democratic Party leader responds to allegations of ‘dehumanizing’ sexual assault by multiple men

So, since conservatives are very concerned with stopping sexual assault in public bathrooms, the choice is clear: We must ban all cis people from public bathrooms — they’re preying on queer youth, and even just one assault is far too many. In the name of privacy and public safety, everyone would feel much safer if cis people would just hold their waste until they go home, the same way many trans students currently do.

We’re mostly joking, of course — mostly. But Gabe Murchison, a Harvard PhD candidate who helped research the study, said that pediatricians and school officials need to start looking at the issue and considering the other factors that might contribute to the problem, even though the findings of his particular study shouldn’t be applied too broadly.

“It’s important to note that we can’t be sure whether restroom and locker room restrictions caused sexual assault, although our analysis controlled for several important potential confounders, such as whether teachers were supportive of LGBTQ youth,” Murchison said. “We also can’t be sure whether the experiences of youth in our sample are similar to those of other transgender and non-binary adolescents.”