(THE COLLEGE FIX) -- Multiple medical officials at the University of Pennsylvania are refusing to comment about a proposal to have the university provide “chest binders” to transgender students for free via the school’s student health insurance, a provision activists hope to have in place by the fall of next school year.
Chest binders allow females who wear them to constrict their breasts in order to appear to have male bodies. The Penn Undergraduate Assembly last month announced a drive to push the school’s student health insurance provider, Aetna Student Health, to provide the binders to students who request them, shooting for fall 2020 to have the new rule implemented.
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Binding’s growing popularity is a relatively recent phenomenon, likely spurred in large part by the growth of transgender advocacy along with the recent uptick in young women identifying as transgender. Research on the effects of chest binding is still relatively sparse but indicates that it can have numerous negative effects.