Unless you live under a rock, odds are you’ve heard the left claim that nonbinary people—that is, those who neither identify as male or female—face discrimination in employment. A newly published study sought to determine the accuracy of this claim. And as a consequence, it shows how a more radical application of civil rights law to the private sector is bound to create more problems than it solves.
The three-phase study, published last month by business.com, sought to examine “bias against nonbinary people, both in the workplace and during the job search process.” It found evidence of both.
In the first part of the study, researchers polled 409 U.S. nonbinary adults. 83 percent of respondents felt that identifying as nonbinary would negatively affect their job search.
Interestingly, some respondents believed that by being upfront with their nonbinary identities, they would be able to more quickly find employers with whom their views align. “I am currently a student on a very accepting campus, so my on-campus jobs have not been affected by my gender identity,” said a 20-year-old student. “After I graduate, I think I should include my pronouns as early as possible so that I can see how potential employers react.”
Study participants were also asked how their nonbinary identity affected their work experience. Fifty-one percent replied “very or somewhat negatively,” 41 percent replied “neutral or no effect,” and 8 percent replied “very or somewhat positively.”
The second and most significant part of the study was an A/B resume test, in which researchers created two near-identical resumes: one with they/them pronouns, the other without. These resumes were then used to apply for 90 jobs each (180 total). The study states:
“These resumes aligned well with the jobs at hand: both phantom candidates were college graduates with qualifications matching the entry-level jobs they applied for. Despite this, the test resumes that included pronouns received eight percent less employer interest than the control resumes without pronouns.”
The study found that “the resume with nonbinary pronouns received less interest from employers and fewer requests for interviews or phone screens.”
In the third part of the study, researchers sought to determine why nonbinary resumes were received less favorably by prospective employers. To answer this question, they showed 852 American hiring managers a hypothetical job description, provided one of the two aforementioned resumes, and asked what the managers thought of them.
The study reveals that “72 percent of managers said they’d contact the applicant on the control resume, but only 69 percent would want to interview the applicant whose resume contained ‘they/them’ pronouns.”
Some managers explicitly told researchers that the pronouns were a red flag. “This person seems like a decent fit on paper, though I am not interested in the drama that a person who thinks they are a ‘they/them’ brings with them,” said a 57-year-old male who does hiring in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry.
Assuming this study is representative of the country overall, then it would appear that employers are hesitant about hiring nonbinary individuals. But why should companies, particularly those owned and operated by Christians, be required to hire people who can’t decide on whether they’re a man or a woman? Our biological sex is given to us by God and is ingrained in our DNA—it isn’t something we choose. Anyone who believes otherwise is clearly confused.
The only solution to the issue of nonbinary discrimination, which is already outlawed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, is to further involve the federal government in the private sector. This would grow the already-bloated bureaucracy. And there are many reasons conservatives should be opposed to this.
Since the 60s, civil rights law has been the primary means by which the federal government has combated discrimination. As Christopher Caldwell has convincingly argued in The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, what began as a reasonable movement against racial segregation has evolved into something much different. Nowadays, civil rights law is used to compel Christians to act in ways contrary to their faith, force the Boy Scouts to accept girls, and discriminate against white and Asian people in college admissions.
If people are suffering from gender confusion, then we should pray for them. And as far as I’m concerned, whom a business hires isn’t the government’s concern. Businesses shouldn’t be forced to hire someone confused about their gender, especially given business owners’ concerns about the potential drama these individuals bring.
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