Focus On The Family Cites Bogus Study To Blame Target Store Bathroom Policies For Sexual Assaults

Focus on the Family’s political arm, Family Policy Alliance, cited a bogus study to claim that the gender inclusive bathroom policy adopted by Target stores has caused sexual offenses in store bathrooms.

In an article entitled “Beware of Target Bathrooms,” Family Policy Alliance’s Stephanie Curry tried to link sex crimes in Target to the chain’s inclusive bathroom policy:

A new and original study, authored by Woman Means Something, has been released showing that reported sexual offenses have risen significantly since Target changed their bathroom policy to be “gender inclusive.”

It’s no surprise that when men have access to women’s and girls’ bathrooms, sexual incidences will increase…

Woman Means Something used Target’s new bathroom policy to analyze the incidences of sexual- predatory behavior reported in Target bathrooms.

However, the study’s data base — made up of archived news links — shows that most of the voyeurism incidents did not happen in bathrooms, but rather in the store. Only six out of 220 incidents  happened in women’s bathrooms.

Undeterred by facts, Curry added: 

The most likely reason for this increase, study authors concluded, “is that Target’s policy signaled to sexual offenders that voyeuristic offenses would be easier to perpetrate in [Target] stores than elsewhere.”

It is certainly notconclusive that people who identify as transgender are more likely to commit sexual offenses. But what is true, according to the study, is “gender-inclusive bathroom polices” attract sexual predators.

There’s no evidence in the study that proves Target’s policy signaled anything to sex criminals.

The website Woman Means Something — where the study appears — is actually an anti-transgender campaign against Bill C-16 in Canada. The website states:

Other information here includes the research of Paul Dirks, who does original research on women’s protections-related issues, and presents on gender dysphoria. Paul had read widely in sex and gender medical literature, including most of the extant literature on paraphilias such as voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Paul Dirks is actually an anti-transgender pastor and activist, noted CBC News in March 2017. Dirks opposes transgender rights and Bill C-16 in Canada.

Bill C-16 became law in June 2017, reported CBC News:

The legislation also makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. It would also extend hate speech laws to include the two terms, and make it a hate crime to target someone for being transgender.

Dirks also happens to be the only author of the study, even though Curry refers the “authors” behind the study.

(Sources: Family Policy Alliance,,, CBC News, CBC News, Photo Credit: Focus on the Family/Twitter)


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