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Sex, gender and health care

Caricature of SteveHere we go again. The Obama administration says that insurance companies must provide health services to persons regardless of their sex or gender identification.

Confusing the issue

 Let’s get our facts right. We are born either male or female. That is based on our sex organs. We do NOT have gender at birth; we have an anatomical sexual identity.

Gender refers to adopting those characteristics associated with either males or females. So our gender refers to our identity not our sex.

Now that we have that cleared up. Let’s move to the central point of this article.

Elective or necessary

 Yes, all persons should have equal access to health care regardless of sex or gender. But insurance companies should have the right to refuse to pay for vaginal construction for males (sex) who are changing to females (gender decision). The same is true for females (sex) who want a surgically constructed penis.

That’s purely elective surgery; it is not a life or death issue. It’s a personal choice that is not necessary although it may be desirable.

In the case of a woman (sex) who now identifies as a man (gender), treatment for ovarian cancer should be covered because it is a life threatening disease.


 We are born either male or female; that is our sex not our gender. Our gender refers to the characteristics of the sex with which we identify.

Insurance companies should cover life threatening health issues regardless of sex or gender. But these companies should have the right to refuse to pay for elective surgery such as vaginal or penis construction.

The latter two are choices; they are not necessary.

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