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APA Reaffirms Opposition to Transgender Military Ban

The American Psychological Association reaffirms its opposition to the Department of Defense’s implementation later this week of a ban of transgender Americans from U.S. military service.

Prior to the adoption of this policy, the U.S. military had begun to successfully integrate transgender personnel. This new policy creates a problem for the military where none currently exist.

“APA opposes this ban,” said APA President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD. “As psychologists, we oppose discrimination that has no basis in science. We urge the administration to rethink this harmful policy.”

Based on psychological science and practice, there is no evidence of a relationship between being transgender and one’s ability to serve in the military. Gender dysphoria is a treatable condition and does not, by itself, limit the ability of individuals to function well in their work, including in military service. Moreover, transgender people are currently serving in uniform, and there is no scientific evidence of adverse impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale.

APA previously questioned the ban when it was first announced by President Trump in 2017. For decades, APA has been engaged in applying psychological science to improve the health and well-being of LGBT people and has urged psychologists to take a leading role in ending discrimination based on gender identity. APA’s governing Council of Representatives adopted a resolution in 2008 supporting full equality for transgender and gender-variant people and legal and social recognition of transgender individuals.

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