Princeton University is rated as one of the “Top 10 Trans-Friendly Colleges and Universities“.

However, that rating still isn’t good enough for the prestigious institution. Princeton is now considering plans to include “sex reassignment surgery” in its student health plans, following in the wake of Yale and Brown.

Princeton student Zach Horton weighs the pros and cons in a Daily Princetonian editorial, which incorporated the typical “diversity” argument.

Because relatively few students would elect to have the surgery while on the University’s health insurance plan, the financial impact on the University of covering sex reassignment surgery would be negligible, but the benefit to the few students and staff members in need of this surgery could be life-changing, and perhaps even life-saving. Even if few take advantage of the new policy, it would signal an important shift toward fulfilling Princeton’s mission of tolerance and diversity. A growing number of schools, including Brown, Penn, Harvard and Cornell have already made this commitment. Yale covers sex reassignment surgery for faculty and staff and is considering extending coverage to students. The Board urges the University to join our peers in providing for the medical needs of the transcommunity.

Yet, Horton also bravely included a thoughtful dissent:

According to a study published in General Psychiatry, “Sex reassignment surgery confers no objective advantage in terms of social rehabilitation” (Meyer MD, et al.). Paul McHugh, chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, has even observed “a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment” and urges an end to the procedure. The Board, however, has boldly deemed it “life-saving.”

Promoting sex change operations furthers the problematic thesis that one’s actual body must be in accord with one’s notion of the “right” body for him or her in order to be healthy and to have dignity. It supports the thesis that a person with gender dysphoria is diseased because of his or her sex. This would suggest that other cosmetic procedures are also necessary. Breast implants, for instance, would alleviate the disconnect in self-perception of some self-conscious women. Should the University health plan also cover these surgeries? Certainly not. Healthcare is about restoring health, not engendering transformation.

Though sexual dysphoria is indeed an unfortunate source of significant suffering, it is not clear that sex reassignment surgery is the right medical response. While other universities have done as the Board has prescribed, Princeton should make this decision independent of the fickle public opinion.