• Press Release

"Anatomy Does Not Determine Gender, Experts Say" -Denise Grady

  • The New York Times
  • New York, NY
  • (October 23, 2018)

Defining gender as a condition determined strictly by a person’s genitals is based on a notion that doctors and scientists abandoned long ago as oversimplified and often medically meaningless. Researchers who have studied gender issues and provided health care to people who do not fit the typical M/F pigeonholes said that the Trump administration’s latest plan to define gender goes beyond the limits of scientific knowledge. “The idea that a person’s sex is determined by their anatomy at birth is not true, and we’ve known that it’s not true for decades,” said Joshua Safer, MD, executive director of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai. No one knows for sure why body and mind sometimes do not match. But being transgender is not a matter of choice, said Dr. Safer. It is not a fad or a whim. For transgender people, it is generally an overwhelming sense that their gender is not the one on their birth certificate. And gender is not about whom they’re attracted to — it’s about who they are.

- Joshua Safer, MD, Executive Director of The Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai, Senior Faculty, Endocrinology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Learn more


About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.