A traditionally female-only college has announced a new initiative allowing men who identify as female to have the opportunity to enroll, The Blaze reports.
Founded in 1833, Stephens College, located in Columbia, Missouri, has only granted admittance to biological women until now. The school posted a timeline of their decision on their website, citing 2014 Obama-era legislation as the foundation for their policy change.
According to the college’s website, the Obama administration issued “new administrative rules/guidance, defining ‘gender identity’ as an individual’s ‘internal sense of being male or female,’ and defining a transgender person as someone ‘with a gender identity that is different from the sex assigned them at birth.'”
“It asserts that transgender students are protected from gender discrimination under Title IX (backed by a 2016 statement by the Justice Dept.),” the statement continues.
The school’s policy explains that transgender women “will need to provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female,” according to Inside Higher Ed. However, biological women under the impression or transitioning to manhood will not be permitted to attend.
“Because the College has expanded its definition of womanhood to include both sex and gender, it is logically consistent that it also acknowledges both sex and gender in its definition of manhood,” the school’s website explains.
The institution states the new policy will go into effect in fall 2019 and highlights students admitted before fall 2019 will not be affected.
Stephens is not the first all-female college to make changes to their policy. Other institutions, such as Smith College and Holyoke College, have already made similar changes.
Stephens’ new policy is found below:
“The college’s undergraduate residential women’s program will continue to admit and enroll students who are women and who live as women, just as it always has. It will also admit and enroll students who were not born female, but who identify and live as women; those students will need to provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female. Because the college has expanded its definition of womanhood to include both sex and gender, it is logically consistent that it also acknowledges both sex and gender in its definition of manhood. As a result, the college will stop admitting and enrolling students who were born female but who now identify as men or who are transitioning from female to male.”