On Wednesday, which was “International Transgender Day of Visibility,” the Pentagon announced their latest policies and regulations regarding transgender people in the military.
In a statement, the Department of Defense wrote, “The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or an individual’s identification as transgender, provide a means by which to access into the military in one’s self-identified gender provided all appropriate standards are met, provide a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition, and recognition in one’s self-identified gender, and seeks to protect the privacy of all Service members and to treat all Service members with dignity and respect.”
The policies included regulations regarding health care for Service members — including “gender transition” surgery when deemed “medically necessary” — and subjecting transgender Service members to standards and requirements in line with their gender identity.
These policies are meant to replace previous regulations regarding “Military Service by Transgender Persons and Persons with Gender Dysphoria.”
The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) — also known as DSM-5 — defines gender dysphoria in adolescents and adults as a “marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and their assigned gender, lasting at least 6 months, as manifested by at least two of the following:”
- A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics)
- A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics)
- A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
- A strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
- A strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
- A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
“In order to meet criteria for the diagnosis, the condition must also be associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” according to the American Psychiatric Association.
“Gender dysphoria” replaced “gender identity disorder” in the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013, effectively shifting the emphasis away from transgenderism as a disorder by focusing on the “significant distress” element of the new “gender dysphoria” term.
Given the debate over whether transgender individuals — regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria — should be allowed to serve in the United States military — and which forms of health care should be provided as a result — a broad range of other medical conditions remain which prevent someone from serving in the military.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, if with: (1) A recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday; (2) A history of comorbid mental disorders; (3) Prescribed medication in the previous 24 months; or (4) Documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance.”
Learning disorders (including dyslexia)
“History of learning disorders after the 14th birthday, including but not limited to dyslexia, if any of the following apply: (1) With a recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program, 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday; (2) With a history of comorbid mental disorders; or (3) With documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance.”
Disorders with psychotic features
“History of disorders with psychotic features such as schizophrenic disorders, delusional disorders, or other unspecified psychoses or mood disorders with psychotic features.”
“History of any feeding or eating disorder.”
“ History of obsessive-compulsive disorder.”
“History of anxiety disorders if: (1) Outpatient care including counseling was required for longer than 12 cumulative months. (2) Symptomatic or treatment within the last 36 months. (3) The applicant required any inpatient treatment in a hospital or residential facility. (4) Any recurrence. (5) Any suicidality.”
There is a wide range of eye-related conditions which can disqualify a candidate, including “Pre-surgical refractive error in either eye exceeded a spherical equivalent of +8.00 or -8.00 diopters,” “Pre-surgical astigmatism exceeded 3.00 diopters,” or “Asymmetry of pupil size greater than 2 mm.”
“History of airway hyper responsiveness including asthma, reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, after the 13th birthday,” including “History of prescription or use of medication (including but not limited to inhaled or oral corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or any beta agonists) for airway hyper responsiveness after the 13th birthday.”
“Unexplained ongoing or recurring cardiopulmonary symptoms (to include but not limited to syncope, presyncope, chest pain, palpitations, and dyspnea on exertion).”
“Current chronic constipation, requiring prescription medication or medical interventions (e.g., pelvic floor physical therapy, biofeedback therapy).”
Rectal prolapse or hemorrhoid
“History of rectal prolapse or stricture within the last 2 years,” or “Current hemorrhoid (internal or external), if symptomatic or requiring medical intervention within the last 60 days.”
Absence of testicles
“Absence of both testicles, current undescended testicle, or congenital absence of one testicle not verified by surgical exploration.”
Eczema or dermatitis
“History of atopic dermatitis or eczema after the 12th birthday. History of residual or recurrent lesions in characteristic areas (face, neck, antecubital or popliteal fossae, occasionally wrists and hands),” or “History of recurrent or chronic non-specific dermatitis within the past 2 years to include contact (irritant or allergic) or dyshidrotic dermatitis requiring more than treatment with topical corticosteroid.”
“History of headaches, including but not limited to, migraines and tension headaches that: (1) Are severe enough to disrupt normal activities (e.g., loss of time from school or work) more than twice per year in the past 2 years; (2) Require prescription medications more than twice per year within the last 2 years; or (3) Are associated with neurological deficit other than scotoma.”
“Current diagnosis or treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders, including but not limited to sleep apnea.”
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.