By Stephanie Curry, Esq., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance®
A new and original study, authored by Woman Means Something, has been released showing that reported sexual offenses have risen significantly since Target changed their bathroom policy to be “gender inclusive”.
It’s no surprise that when men have access to women’s and girls’ bathrooms, sexual incidences will increase.
This is one of the reasons Family Policy Alliance fights “Bathroom Bills,” which legally allow men (who identify as transgender) into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. We fight against these policies because we believe the safety and privacy of women and children are at risk. This new study concludes that this is indeed true.
Woman Means Something used Target’s new bathroom policy to analyze the incidences of sexual- predatory behavior reported in Target bathrooms. In April of 2016, Target changed its bathroom policy from having female-only bathrooms and male-only bathrooms to a “gender-inclusive” policy. This meant men, who said they were women, could enter women’s bathrooms (and vice versa). The study authors analyzed media-reported offenses before and after the policy change.
The top sexual offenses the study tracked were upskirt incidences, Peeping Tom incidences (voyeurism), and men exposing their bodies to women. The study tracked over 200 reported incidences between 2003 and 2017 from Target bathrooms. The study showed that “women and children comprised 99.1% of victims in the offenses,” 34% of those being children.
The graph below clearly shows the increase in reported incidences after Target changed and implemented new bathroom policies throughout its stores across the nation.
Source: Women Means Something “A Longitudinal Analysis of Media Reports at Target Stores,”
The most likely reason for this increase, study authors concluded, “is that Target’s policy signaled to sexual offenders that voyeuristic offenses would be easier to perpetrate in [Target] stores than elsewhere”. It is certainly not conclusive that people who identify as transgender are more likely to commit sexual offenses. But what is true, according to the study, is “gender-inclusive bathroom polices” attract sexual predators.
Study authors explained that sexual offenders actually do care about signs on bathroom doors. Offenders will assess the risks and benefits of committing a sexual offense and choose their environments carefully. When deciding whether to peep at women (for example), a sex-offender likely concludes that bathrooms that are gender-inclusive are more “friendly” to accommodate their crime.
“Gender- Inclusive” bathroom signs imply the presence of men is permissible and desirable in women’s spaces. These signs are seen as an “invitation,” by people who are already sexual predators, to offend. Without the sign, the predator may have chosen not to offend in that particular bathroom. Target’s policy also makes it more likely sexual offenders will choose Target stores as opposed to another store that does not have an open bathroom policy.
Perhaps most importantly, the study authors declare bathroom policies like Target’s “bring about increased harm to women and children”. And the harm is even greater when states are passing policies that require all public bathrooms to be gender inclusive.
This is why Family Policy Alliance and our state allies work tirelessly to protect the safety of women and children by fighting for their right to sex-specific vulnerable spaces, like bathrooms and locker rooms. Last year, you probably saw the battle North Carolina Family Policy Council successfully fought in keeping their public bathrooms from being open to both sexes. Other state allies like Center for Arizona Policy, Florida Family Policy Council, and The Family Foundation in Virginia have also successfully fought off their state legislatures from opening bathrooms to anyone.
With your help we can continue to partner with state allies to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of women and children in bathrooms!
To read the full study click here.
Family Policy Alliance’s own Autumn Leva was featured on The Texas Values Report with Jonathan Saenz.
Autumn and Jonathan discussed what’s happening with gender-neutral policy in Texas and across the nation.
Family Policy Alliance partnered with an unlikely ally to protect the privacy and safety of women – a self-described radical feminist group called Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF). Together, Family Policy Alliance and WoLF filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court in the Gloucester case. The main issue in this case is whether the Obama Administration’s Title IX “bathroom mandate” should be enforced. Last year, the Obama Administration issues a letter declaring that public schools were at risk of losing federal funding unless they permit men and boys (who self-identify as female) to access girls’ locker rooms, showers and bathrooms. The Obama Administration ironically claimed the authority to do this through Title IX, the statute that ensures equal access to educational opportunity for women.
Family Policy Alliance and WoLF worked to persuade the Court that this bathroom mandate is dangerous – threatening the privacy and safety of women and girls. Even more shocking, the mandate could erase women from the law. After all, if the term “woman” means anyone who claims to be or feels like a woman, then the term no longer means anything.
We hope that the Court will see that when a Christian, family-centered group teams up with a radical feminist group, there must be something terribly wrong in need of the Court’s fixing! In fact, our unlikely partnership already has people talking – Tucker Carlson Tonight hosted WoLF on the show to talk about their work with Family Policy Alliance and the Gloucester case!
President Trump has rolled back the Obama Administration’s dangerous interpretation of Title IX, so the Supreme Court sent the Gloucester case back to the lower federal court for further consideration. This case will be ongoing for at least the next year.
The North Carolina Legislature voted to approve a “compromise” that seriously harms HB 2, a law that was passed to protect the privacy and safety of women and children in private spaces such as restrooms, locker rooms and changing areas.
The NCAA and other groups used bullying tactics to get the lawmakers to agree to the “deal.” The NCAA threatened to not schedule any tournaments in the state until 2022 if the law was left in place as is.
John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 allied groups, was disappointed, but determined.
” House Bill 2 was the strongest bathroom privacy and safety law in the nation,” he said. “We will continue to urge our state lawmakers to stand strong and resist the threats of the NCAA and others who would willingly place our state’s women and children at risk.”
The compromise also drew criticism from groups on the other side of the issue. National LGBT rights group, the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU of North Carolina opposed it, particularly the language that prevents local communities from passing ordinances for the next four years to regulate private employment practices and businesses.
”The real tragedy today is that North Carolina legislators voted for the bullying tactics of the NCAA over the privacy and safety of their own citizens who put them in office. They’ve angered both the Right and the Left sides of their constituencies, and no doubt North Carolina voters will remember that in November 2018.”
Texas is now the only state left with a privacy bill working in the works. SB 6 passed the Senate on March 14 and is now waiting for a vote in the House. If any state can stand up to the school yard tactics, it’s Texas.
“We call on the members of the Texas House to now consider the merits of the Texas Privacy Act,” said Jonathan Saenz of Texas Values, “which respects private business while making it clear that boys do not belong in the girls’ room in our public schools.”
Target’s stock price has fallen 5.8 percent over the last two weeks, 2.5 percent on Friday alone. Many are pointing to an outpouring of opposition to the store’s announcement that men would be allowed access to women’s restrooms and changing rooms.
The American Family Association now has more than 1.1 million names on a petition vowing to boycott the retailer. Millions more have watched and shared a video from Defend My Privacy that encourages people to #CuttheCard, getting rid of their Target REDcard credit account.
“Clearly, Target’s new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters,” said Tim Wildmon with AFA. “We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority.”
A Target spokesperson said this week they are standing by the controversial policy: “Our belief in and commitment to inclusivity has not changed.”
According to the Family Policy Institute of Washington, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based policy groups, the recent figures from the New York Stock Exchange mean a loss for Target of over $2.5 billion.
“Recent polls have shown that American’s feelings towards open-bathroom policies have hardened significantly in the month of April,” FPI’s said in a blog post, “with support for the open-bathroom concept falling by more than 20 percentage points.” That’s according to numbers from Reuters.
Sandy Rios, director of Government Affairs for AFA, told Breitbart radio host Stephen K. Bannon that this effort by gay activists won’t stop with Target.
“I would say on the positive side, we’ve had other corporations come to us privately and say they’re watching,” she said. “They were considering changing their policies, but they’re watching this boycott and they’re saying, you know, maybe not. So a lot hinges on it and this is something simple that people can do. We are in dialogue with other companies, other corporations encouraging them not to do this. And of course if they do, we’ll have to apply the same thing that we applied to Target.
Tell Target that #iexpectmore. Sign our petition to Target CEO Brian Cornell telling him to protect the privacy and safety of women and children.