최종편집 : 2020.5.21 목 20:08
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The Admission of a Transgender Woman to a Women's College Is Premature
Sim Seong-a  |  tlatjddk2019@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2020.04.20  18:57:40
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

 

   
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On January 30th, it was reported through the media that a transgender woman passed the regular admissions process for Sook-Myung Women's University Law School. After undergoing a sex change operation in Thailand in August last year, she was approved by the court in October and changed their legal gender status to female. This, however, caused a major social controversy over whether it is justifiable for a person who has changed their gender to be able to enter a women's university. There was a public opinion cheering for their decision, saying, "Transgender people’s admission to a women's college is a natural right." However, 23organizations belonging to major female universities in Seoul, including Sook-Myung Women's University, Deok-Sung Women's University, Dong-Duk Women's University, Seoul Women's University, Sung-Shin Women's University, and Ewha Woman’s University, issued statements opposing the admission of transgender students. They expressed concern that deciding whether to enter the school or not based on individual claims, not biological sex, could have severe side effects. At this point in time, granting transgender people admission to a women's university has the following problems:

          
First, the establishment of clear legal standards and protection measures for transgender must come first. Currently, gender changes in Korea are not based on specific legal grounds. When a person who wants to change gender submits related attestationdocuments, the judge sees them and makes an arbitrary decision. The Supreme Court maintains that for legal gender changes, the appearance of the body should be altered by transsexual surgery. However, some lower court cases caused confusion by admitting that gender changes are possible without surgery. In fact, in February 2019, the Cheongju District Court ruled that surgery should not necessarily be a prerequisite and allowed legal gender changes even though no external genital cosmetic surgery was performed. In this current situation where the requirements for gender change are not specified, it is impossible to approve a transgender woman's admission to a women's university. Also, at a time when there is little social consciousness of looking at transgender, the admission process risks encouraging furtheremotional division and damage. According to Gallup Korea's survey of 1,000 adults on their perception of transsexual surgery in January this year, 60 percent of the respondents responded positively, while 36 percent still looked at it negatively. In addition, the abomination of crime against transgender is rampant around the world. CNN reported in January that a transgender woman was assaulted for using a women's restroom. Permitting admission without coming up with measures to improve and prevent this abhorrent perception could leave a great scar on both the transgender student and her classmates.
 
Second, there is a possibility that the admission of transgender women will go against equity in the college entrance exam and the calculation of grades related to physical education students. Based on healthy adult men and women, the average percentage of women's muscles is 34 percent, but that of men is more than 40 percent. In other words, due to innate physical conditions, differences between men and women occur in most of their physical abilities, such as muscular strength, endurance, speed, and lung capacity. This is not an insurmountable problem, as a hormone injection does not give a transgender person the same physical condition as their perceived gender at all. In other words, a transgender woman's admission to women's colleges could have unfair results in the college entrance exam for physical education departments and in the calculation of grades for physical education-related subjects. Currently, the department of physical education at Chung-Ang University applies different practical evaluation standards to female and male test takers. Men can get the perfect score if they archeive more than 164 centimeters in the high jump event, while women can get the same perfect score if they archeive more than 140 centimeters. This physical difference between men and women is recognized by the university and applied to the college entrance exam. However, if the admission of a transgender student results in the same practical exam, it would be unfair. In addition, Sook-Myung Women's University is currently adopting self-defense, golf, weight training, and futsal as its liberal arts subjects. These subjects are bound to work in favor of the biologically male transgender students, so it is difficult to calculate grades on the same lines as other female students.
 
           Third, security standards become ambiguous. Up until recently, there have been several cases in which men break into women's universities and commit criminal acts. In 2018, a man was found to have entered Dong-Duk Women's University naked and left nude photos and videos, which led to a prison term. Last year at Sung-Shin Women's University, a man in his 50s consecutively assaulted a group of female students without any motive. For this reason, many women's university students are demanding the designation of no-man zones to ensure safety. Even in March last year, a man dressed as a woman was arrested for trespassing into the women's restroom of Sook-Myung Women's University. As such, with women's university students suffering from the anxiety of crime, the security standards become ambiguous if Women's Universities allow transgender women to enter the school. This is because there is a possibility that ordinary men may trespass on women-only facilities, such as toilets and retiring rooms by disguising themselves as transgender classmates. It creates loopholes in the existing security system itself, which was used to determine whether outsiders were intruding through appearance. However, identifying and distinguishing each transgender classmate to prevent damage can't be a solution. This is because it can be considered another form of discrimination against them.Therefore, there is a limit to preventing crimes that have abused the admission of transgender students under the current security system, and sufficient deliberation should be made first to address them.
 
It is premature to grant transgender women admission to a women's college. Until now, legal standards for recognizing gender transitions are vague, and measures should be preferentially taken to improve or prevent some people's abhorrent perceptions of them. In addition, it is not fair toother students in the process of college entrance exams and grading. There is also the possibility that security standards at women's universities could be blurred, and students' safety threatened. Despite the anticipated risks, unconditional demand for transgender admission is an unrealistic claim, only encouraging social confusion and division. Therefore, more in-depth social discussions are needed regarding transgender women's admission to women's colleges.
 
When the case of the transgender women of entering Sook-MyungWomen's university Law School first surfaced, opinions for and against it are at odds. On the positive side, they argue that they should respect the needs and identity of the transgender person and that it is appropriate to grant admission because it is in line with the founding ideology of the women's university. On the other hand, there are also voices opposing the admission of the student, taking issue with the lack of legal standards, equity during education, and vulnerability in security. But what is most important in this debate is that the human rights of both sexual minority students and female college classmates should be protected first. CAH hopes that there will be a clear institutional mechanism regarding admission for transgender women to a women's universities as soon as possible, as long as no one's rights are violated.
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