Allowing male-born competitors in female sports excludes women

Tomorrow, when the Tokyo Olympics begin in earnest, Laurel Hubbard, one of New Zealand’s weightlifting team members, will be in the spotlight. The 43-year-old transgender athlete, currently ranked 15th in the super heavyweight division, will be the first transwoman (male-born) to be chosen to compete with women in the women’s category.

In 2011, Hubbard joins the women’s team of trans-gender male athletes Chelsea Wolf (US Freestyle BMX), Stephanie Barrett (Canadian Archery) and Valentina Petrillo (Italian Paralympic Sprinter).

For the past 125 years, men and women have been competing separately at the Olympic Games. Olympic organizers and society as a whole believe this is necessary to ensure that female athletes have a safe and equitable opportunity for success.

As Helen Joyce writes in her best-selling book Trance: When ideology meets realityBecause the female body is designed for childbirth, it is less stable in the lower back and less efficient in walking than males. In addition, the average adult male weighs 41% more fat-free, 50% more leg muscle, and 75% more arm muscle than the average adult woman.

In 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that male athletes can compete as women if their testosterone levels are less than 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to the first competition. Hubbard met those criteria.But 10 nanomoles per liter is still many times higher Average biological woman..

Performance enhancer

Shameful former cycling champion Lance Armstrong is so familiar that testosterone is a very efficient performance-enhancing hormone.

Over the last few years, the number of people who believe that “sex is a spectrum” has increased, and the concept of male / female sex binaries is “obsolete.”

They want to replace the concept of biological sex with the vague concept of “gender identity.” However, the material reality that 99.98% of humans are born in a clearly, immutably observable male or female, and in the body of male or female gender, is the internal and subjective feelings about gender. Cannot be overwritten by.

Gender conflicts with respect to gender identity in sports policy have created conflicting, competing rights conflicts. However, in the name of inclusion, international and national sports authorities and organizations allow transgender athletes to compete in the opposite category to the gender in which they were born. I don’t want anyone to be seen as unable to play along this concept of progressiveism, and I don’t want to be accused of not showing enough loyalty, but I’m stopping thinking about what “inclusion” really means. There are no people.

What happens to women and girls if men are in the women category? They miss the spot on the team, self-exclude, withdraw to their parents, silence when they resist, lose opportunities for prizes and scholarships, and are threatened with losing sponsorship. Inclusion actually means the exclusion of women and girls.

New consensus

The IOC announced a new consensus on sex reassignment surgery and hyperandrogenism in 2015. Commission panelist Dr. Joanna Harper, a sports transactivist and medical physicist specializing in oncology and radiation, used “evidence” from a methodically flawed survey of eight self-reported non-elite athletes. Provided. To justify the change in eligibility for the women category.

Based on this scientifically questionable paper, it declares “female gender identity” and allows biological men to compete with women by lowering testosterone to 4 to 20 times higher levels than biological women. , The women category is now “open”. girl.

A year later, Commission panelists acknowledged a “lack of evidence” on this issue, and despite the consensus itself that it was a living document subject to new evidence, the IOC recently included Dr. Harper. I chose to ignore the study. Decreased testosterone (obviously) does not diminish the performance benefits of men.

Trusting that athletes and nations seeking a slight competitive advantage will not abuse it is either very naive or deliberately unaware of the IOC. Hubbard, Wolf and Barrett are not technically cheating and do not violate the rules, but if male-born transgender athletes are allowed to compete with women, the rules themselves are broken. It is clear that it is.

Due to their androgenic body, biological men have substantial and observable performance benefits that are simply insurmountable for women of comparative age, size, and training.

When boys hit their mid-teens, gender differences become more pronounced and their performance begins to outpace the performance of the most elite women. Allyson Felix, the fastest woman in the world, is beaten by 15,000 men and boys each year. World Champion US Women’s Soccer Team lost 5-2 to boys under the age of 15 and Matildas of Australia lost 7-0 to boys under the age of 16.

No matter how hard a female athlete trains, how much she sacrifices, or how talented she is, male physiology gives him speed, strength, size and stamina.

Weaponization in debate

The presence of intersex people does not deny the gender binary system. In fact, intersex people have repeatedly demanded that congenital medical conditions not be armed in this cultural debate over gender.

This is illustrated by repeated false claims that Christine Muboma, Beatrice Masilingi and Caster Semenya are female athletes who are excluded due to high testosterone levels. These competitors are biologically males with the Y chromosome, but were born and raised as females with disorders of sex development (commonly known as “intersex”). Their exclusion is based on the benefits of a material androgenic effect from typical testosterone levels in men.

The purpose of having separate categories is to provide opportunities for athletic participation to groups of individuals who cannot otherwise compete due to their insurmountable inherent disadvantages.

We classify sports by age, martial arts weight, child clash and contact sports size, and yes, gender. Within these protected categories, it is a necessary, rational and proportional means of ensuring that the benefits of successful exercise are available.

There is a simple answer to this question, backed by growing evidence and voices against inclusion policies that mock women’s sports. Women’s sports category must be protected for biological women, and men do not expect women and girls to sacrifice the opportunity to play safely and fairly in their sports, but by gender. We must start accepting and embracing non-conforming men more.

The hyperbolic statement that trans-gender men are “banned” from playing sports is nonsense. They are free to compete in the category of biological gender, which means athletes such as Laurel Hubbard, Valentina Petrillo, Stephanie Barrett and Chelsea Wolf establishes a pioneering position on the international arena It’s just a relative unknown.

When we look at elite women’s sports competitions where we don’t want to see old men and mediocre men on the podium, we want to see the best female athletes the world has to offer.

What do you think? Do male-born transgender athletes have the right to compete in women’s sports, even if it puts female-born athletes at a biological disadvantage?Please write in and share your thoughts with us [email protected], And if you want to consider including it in “Your Say”, don’t forget to include your full name.

Catherine Debes is a lawyer, co-founder and spokeswoman for Save Women’s Sport Australia...

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