The Census Bureau is asking Congress for $10 million to figure out how best to promote the fiction that sex is assigned at birth, rather than the scientific fact that it is present at conception. It is part of a new set of questions on sexual orientation and gender identity that the bureau wants to ask residents even as young as 15.
This expansion beyond race and ethnicity represents a new foray into sexual identity—one more step in the bureau’s decadeslong degeneration into an agency completely captured by the identity-mongering industry, and which produces the supposedly “victim” categories that the industry requires.
The self-feeding loop works like this: the bureau creates categories out of whole cloth, hiving off segments of our population that had been until now not collectivized, such as Hispanics or Asian Americans, which it did in 1980, and then produces “data” on this new segment, both officializing them and creating the apparent need for government action to protect them.
Indeed, the bureau informed Congress that the question or questions would be contained in the American Community Survey, which “generates data that help determine how more than $675 billion in Federal and state funds are distributed each year.”
The survey goes out to around 300,000 residents every year and is the “premier source of social, demographic, economic, and housing information for the nation, states, counties, cities, and towns,” according to the agency.
The testing that the bureau asks that Congress appropriate $10 million to pay for would be all about creating buy-in among the public about the existence of the birth-assignment myth—“this initiative supports cognitive testing to better construct question wording on SOGI topics,” says the Census Bureau—but also about their marginalized status.
There is an “emerging need of our Nation to improve the measurement of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) population,” the bureau claims. “Improving how we collect data about sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations is a critical step in producing accurate data.”
This is hogwash. There is an emerging need to validate sexual orientation and gender identities only for those interested in fanning this particular social contagion.
But the Census Bureau doesn’t want to stop there. It apparently wants to additionally transform the questions on race. Its request said there would be a “potential for new questions relating to sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersexuality and/or potential modifications to the race and ethnicity questions.”
The bureau is clearly going back for a second bite at the apple. It tried in 2017 to create a quasi-racial category for Hispanics—who are now only an ethnicity, as Hispanics, indeed, come in many races—and add one for Americans with ancestries in the Middle East and North Africa. A handful of us alerted the Trump administration back then, and these “innovations” never came about.
This year’s idea comes wrapped in the fiscal 2023 budget request to Congress and has already been slammed by two senators. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) sent Census Bureau Director Robert Santos a letter that did not mince words.
“Biology determines gender, not subjective belief, and the bureau should not jeopardize the legitimacy of crucial statistical information by endorsing unscientific and untrue concepts like gender identity,” the two senators wrote.
“It’s important to recognize that the notion of ‘gender identity’ is unscientific, subjective, and political. Those who promote the concept themselves admit that gender identity is fluid and may be changed by an individual on a whim. … How an individual chooses to express themselves is a matter of personality, not ‘gender identity.’"
“Questioning minors about their ‘gender identity,’” they added, “risks misleading them that the concept is valid and backed by the U.S. government—which it emphatically is not.”
The senators sensibly note that we could gather data on the aforementioned social contagion of gender theory. There might be a need to get data “about the dramatic and troubling rise in gender dysphoria,” they write. But there are ways to get information on the epidemic without validating the concepts.
The Left is constantly wrapping itself on the mantle of being the party of science, but nothing gives the lie to such a claim more than gender theory.
Even the National Institutes of Health, never one to look askance at wokeness, prizes science over wokeness on this matter, and the Cleveland Clinic agrees: sex is determined soon after the sperm fertilizes the egg. “Out of the 46 chromosomes that make up a baby's genetic material, only 2—1 from the sperm and 1 from the egg—determine the baby's sex,” says the NIH.
Bonus point: notice that the NIH calls the zygote, the fertilized egg, a “baby.”
It is unclear if the bureau uses “gender” as a synonym for biological sex or as the natural expectations that normal men and women without an agenda attach to biological sex, since the Left uses both meanings interchangeably. But even if it were only the latter, how individuals choose to meet those expectations is simply a matter of personality, as the senators say, not an identity out of which to carve out an official identity with rights, set-asides, etc.
The only quibble with the senators’ letter is where it says that, if it were to proceed, the Census Bureau would “damage its credibility as an authoritative statistical body. … For generations, the American people have looked to the U.S. Census as an unbiased, authoritative source describing the objective reality of life in America.”
For those who follow these issues, that hasn’t been the case for several decades. A new administration will have to clean house in the bureau at least as much as in other agencies. A good starting point is to rid the surveys of faux racial and ethnic categories and not add new ones, especially those that include sex. Instead, let’s ask things with a direct impact on success and failure, such as family formation.
This piece originally appeared in Restoring America by the Washington Examiner