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.
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.
A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a transgender teen. It’s the first time a court has ruled that the term “sex” no longer applies to the biological differences between men and women, but rather how a person feels about their “gender identity.”
Victoria Cobb is president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based groups. She says the ruling simply puts women and children at risk.
“Even for most adults, preferring to shower or dress in the most private atmosphere possible is completely rational,” she wrote in an op-ed for the Richmond Times. “Remarkably, that natural desire for physical privacy in public restrooms, locker rooms and showers shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans is being attacked as unreasonable, discriminatory — even bigoted. Worse, some are attempting to force our school children into vulnerable interactions with kids of the opposite sex in restrooms, locker rooms and showers, in addition to those who have suffered sexual abuse.”
Target’s decision to publicly share a long-standing policy allowing men entrance into women’s restrooms and changing rooms brought a chorus of opposition from parents and concerned citizens.
The American Family Association has more than 600,000 signatures on a petition pledging to boycott because of the policy.
“Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims,” AFA wrote on their website. “And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?”
Izzy Avraham talked to his young daughter about Target’s policy and suggested they go to the store and speak to the manager about it.
“We kept talking and I explained to her that we should be kind and loving to everyone,” he said, “because everybody is a person with a heart and feelings. But that you can also disagree with the way they’re acting, and think it’s weird.”
The Avrahams were disappointed with the manager’s response, but thousands of people on Facebook shared his post and used his hashtag, #byetarget.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute, Family Policy Alliance’s allied group in that state, shared a video from Defend My Privacy showing a mom and her daughter cutting up their Target REDCard because of the announcement. The video has gotten thousands of views and shares and continues to make the rounds on social media. You can view it through the link below.
By some estimates, one in 10 women have been the victim of sexual abuse. That leaves them particularly vulnerable to situations that make them feel unsafe. Stephanie, an adoptive mom of two girls in Virginia, says her daughters are at risk because of their abusive background.
“A particular risk to my daughters is exposure to the anatomy of the opposite sex,” she said. “To my daughters, the male anatomy is a weapon by which they were assaulted. But the risk extends to even being in the presence of biological males in situations where my daughters feel vulnerable, such as when they are using the bathroom, changing clothes, or showering.”
Despite the pushback, homosexual activist groups continue to push for bathroom policies that are uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst.
“The privacy rights and safety of vulnerable school children shouldn’t be cast aside or used as a political pawn for special-interest groups that desire to impose a genderless society,” Cobb wrote. “Hopefully, a reasonable court will step in and reaffirm that our children have the dignity of basic privacy rights in bathrooms and showers. Anything short of that will put vulnerable children at tremendous emotional, physical and developmental risk.”
Sign the petition asking Target to rethink their policy or see less of us in the future!
If you use Twitter, please use the hashtag #iexpectmore in your tweets.
You can see the Defend My Privacy video on our Facebook page.
Target announced a change in policy that allows men access to the women’s restrooms and changing rooms in their stores.
In a statement, the company said: “We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
The store’s Facebook page lit up with people condemning the policy, like this post from Laura Prater.
“…in your desire to be inclusive, you have failed to be inclusive to women and children. If anything, change all your bathrooms and changing rooms to single stall. You need to seriously consider this decision. You are not above the laws to protect ALL your guests, not just the LGBT community.”
Texas Values, one of Family Policy Alliance’s nearly 40 state-based groups, is asking Texans to express their opinion.
“Legitimate concerns about these policies are to be expected,” they wrote, “and are based on growing instances where men have entered women’s bathrooms to take video and pictures of women and girls, assault women or expose themselves in the restrooms. It is simple common sense for voters across the nation to protect women and children from being forced to share bathrooms or dressing rooms with grown men.”
We’re sending a petition to Target telling them we “Expect more.” We want restrooms and changing areas that keep women and children safe.