September 19, 2018-
There is no evidence that letting transgender people use public facilities that align with their gender identity increases safety risks, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The study is the first of its kind to rigorously test the relationship between nondiscrimination laws in public accommodations and reports of crime in public restrooms and other gender-segregated facilities.
“Opponents of public accommodations laws that include gender identity protections often claim that the laws leave women and children vulnerable to attack in public restrooms,” said lead author Amira Hasenbush. “But this study provides evidence that these incidents are rare and unrelated to the laws.” To determine whether a relationship exists between nondiscrimination laws and crime, Hasenbush, a law and policy fellow at the Williams Institute, zeroed in on Massachusetts, where at the time of the study some localities had transgender-inclusive public accommodation laws and others did not. She and her team compared cities and towns with similar characteristics that had such laws to those that did not.