Robert Pawlicki has a theory as to why Republicans seem to be obsessed with sex* and sexual identity. A snippet:
A pillar of manliness has always been “not female” — weak and subservient. As women’s identity has come to include independence and strength, the definition of manliness becomes more uncertain, causing many men and some traditional women anger and frustration. Therein lies an underlying (but not readily omitted) dissatisfaction for those unhappy with the gender direction of our country. Leaders of the Republican Party have sensed that discontent and cultivated it to their political advantage.
Hence, we do not see attacks on women who are a political force. Instead, we see attacks on transgender bathroom rights, efforts to ban books in our schools, an initiative that would suppress many gender-related texts, and the false linking of the LGBT community to pedophilia. The diverse minority groups under attack are neither powerful nor numerous, but they are easy targets to rile up the discontent of those unhappy with the direction of the country.
*I shouldn’t have to point this out, but “gender” is a grammatical term, not a biological one.
Furthermore, I think “obsessed with sex” is a more forthright and accurate phrasing.
(Spelling erorrs correxted.)