The battle over trans athletes in American schools heats up

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Napp
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A very good overview on the eternal debate over including trans in womans spaces (and in mens for that matter).
Alas, as noted in the article, the debate is often hijacked by extremists to blast the otherside as so called 'transphobes' (although this argument goes both ways).
I am inclined to feel deeply sympathietic to the young ladies mentioned in the article who are grating against the ingrained unfairness of allow former men who have gone through pubity to compete in womens sports (at high school and college especially) where they have an innate biological advantage - as the figures demonstrate beyond question.

Begging, as per the titles of the article, what do we want "inclusivity" (at any cost) or fairness?

Whatre peoples though on this eternal debate, and on this articles examples in particular?

Emee silverman feels unusually nervous about the prospect of trying out for her high-school girls’ tennis team this autumn. That is not surprising: last year, she played for the boys’ team. For the past ten months the 18-year-old has been taking a combination of oestrogen and testosterone blockers as she transitions to becoming a woman. “It’s a big emotional shift going from one team to another,” she says, adding that she expects it to be made easier by the kindness she has been shown by girls her age.Ms Silverman is fortunate to live in Massachusetts, where transgender students can play sports as the gender with which they identify. Policies on this vary from state to state. While more than a dozen have introduced guidelines like those in Massachusetts, which also allow trans students to shower and change with members of their chosen gender, 11 states have policies that prevent this. Some say birth certificates are the final arbiters of sex; others, that transgender students must first have had gender reassignment surgery (which is generally restricted to over-18-year-olds). As an increasing number of teenagers reject the sex they are born with, these clashing approaches are sparking court cases.In Idaho, the American Civil Liberties Union is battling a statewide law that bans transgender women and girls from female sports teams. They are representing Lindsay Hecox, a transgender woman who was denied a chance to join the women’s cross-country team at Boise State University. Last month, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction on that law.In Connecticut, three female high-school athletes are challenging the policy of the state’s interscholastic athletic conference, which allows transgender girls to compete against females. They argue that it violates Title IX, a law passed to protect equal educational opportunities for the sexes, including in sports. In March the civil-rights division of the Department of Education said it did violate Title ix.These cases highlight the often irreconcilable nature of transgender rights and women’s rights. Those opposed to the inclusion of transgender women in women’s sports argue that it is unfair to allow people who have gone through puberty as men, and who tend to be bigger, stronger and faster, to compete against women.Connecticut offers a vivid example of this. Since 2017 two transgender athletes—biological males who identify as women—have between them won 15 state championships that were once held by nine different girls. When they started racing as girls they had not begun hormone treatment. But research suggests that even those who have gone through testosterone suppression retain advantages of strength and muscle mass. “It is so demoralising, running for second place,” says 16-year-old Alanna Smith, a highly competitive sprinter and one of the girls challenging the state policy. “I worry that women are going to become spectators of their own sports.” Transgender boys, meanwhile, often attest that it becomes easier to compete against males once they have had “top surgery” (a mastectomy) and taken testosterone.Yet transgender activists argue that the law should regard transgender men and women as members of the gender with which they identify. They say it is discriminatory to exclude transgender women from women’s sports as well as deeply hurtful, especially for those at school. “This debate frames these high-schoolers as Olympians,” says A.T. Furuya, the youth programmes manager at glsen, which campaigns for the rights of lgbt school students. Furuya, a former high-school sports coach and one of a handful of people in America to have obtained “non-binary” as their legally designated gender, adds that “These are kids who just want to play.”American exceptionalism

A similar debate is raging across the rich world. World Rugby, which currently follows the International Olympic Committee guidelines that allow transgender athletes to compete in women’s events if their testosterone levels are below a certain level, is considering banning trans women from the women’s game. That is partly because of fears that transgender women players could injure their teammates.Strikingly absent from the discussion in America are women’s groups standing on the women’s side of the issue. Instead, many long-established women’s groups have aligned themselves with the transgender movement. “Transgender girls are girls and transgender women are women,” reads a statement from several rights groups in Connecticut, including the state chapter of Planned Parenthood. “They are not and should not be referred to as boys or men, biological or otherwise”.Doriane Coleman, a law professor at Duke University, observes that it is “extremely difficult” to get the support of any civil-rights group for an agenda that does not include trans women in its definition of women. That is why the female athletes in both Connecticut and Idaho are represented by the same conservative Christian organisation, the Alliance Defending Freedom (adf). (Ms Coleman points out that the adf also has first-class lawyers.) In Britain, by contrast, the battle to preserve women’s spaces, from lavatories to prisons, is largely being fought by feminists.The fact that progressives appear to have largely ceded this issue to conservatives reflects the way such issues have become polarised in America. In many countries, those who suggest that the law should not regard trans women as women in all respects are denounced as transphobic; in America, such attacks are particularly aggressive. Though polls suggest that a majority of Americans believe that trans women should not play in women’s sports teams, this is a view that is rarely heard publicly.“Our discussion about this topic is insane—you can’t talk about it at all,” says Natasha Chart, a board member of Women’s Liberation Front, which describes itself as a “radical feminist organisation”. “You face so much social opprobrium for speaking out that people don’t want to touch it.”How will the courts adjudicate? A landmark ruling on lgbt rights by the Supreme Court may offer a clue. In June, America’s highest court ruled in Bostock v Clayton County that gay, lesbian and transgender people were protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in employment because of sex. That has raised the question of whether this reasoning could also be applied to Title IX.Several lower courts have suggested it could. In August the judge who issued a temporary injunction on Idaho’s ban on trans athletes in women’s teams, cited Bostock. The same month, a federal appeals court ruled that school policies that forbid transgender students to use the lavatory of their gender identity violate the law. That judge said Bostock had guided his evaluation of claims under Title IX, because Congress had intended it and Title VII to be interpreted similarly.Yet in Bostock, the Supreme Court explicitly said it was ruling only on discrimination in employment; it was not attempting to address “bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind”. This qualification suggested that the justices expect to consider such questions in the future. However the courts in Connecticut and Idaho rule, the issue seems likely to end up at the Supreme Court.

https://www.economist.com/united-sta...hools-heats-up
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Gofre
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It's one of those topics that has no easy answer. I fully support trans rights and I have no doubt almost the entirety of the trans community seeking to compete in high level sport are doing it with no ill intentions or ulterior motives besides the genuine desire to participate in the sports they enjoy with the gender they identify as. But the unfortunate reality is depending on the age of transition and their physical condition prior to that point, they could arrive equipped with advantages that are absolutely unassailable to their competition, no matter their level of training, experience, physical condition or equipment. Sports are regulated in all of these areas to ensure a level playing playing field- the split between amateur/professional, monitoring for steroid usage or doping, regulating equipment standards etc, so it feels natural to also wish to regulate this biological advantage. But at the same time, all of those things are controlled by the individual athlete- the choose to make the move from amateur, they have to option to adjust their equipment to meet standards etc, whereas a trans athlete unfortunately has little control over their biological makeup, and are effectively doomed to this limbo on whether they should be considered legitimate.
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DiddyDec
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This is a really tricky issue.

On the one hand we have fairness, is it fair for a biological males who have an innate advantage to compete with women? No.

However we then have the issue of equality, is it right that trans women are excluded from their chosen pursuit because they were not born female? Also no.

I don't think there is any right answer here that will keep either side placated. But I do worry that should transwomen be performing at professional levels we may see an biological women forced out of their chosen sport by people they can never hope to reach in terms of performance due to the inherent biological differences.

There is a very good reason nearly every sporting world record is held by men.
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Ascend
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
On the one hand we have fairness, is it fair for a biological males who have an innate advantage to compete with women? No.
How far do we take this argument? Is it fair for an Usain Bolt to compete with a Yoshihide Kiryu?

Biological fairness in sport is a farcical illusion.
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by Ascend)
How far do we take this argument? Is it fair for an Usain Bolt to compete with a Yoshihide Kiryu?

Biological fairness in sport is a farcical illusion.
Exactly.. the only fair way is everyone competes with everyone and be done with it.

I'm not saying that's right or the best thing to do, but if we are to be fair and logical then your right, biological unfairness exists everywhere and no matter where you place arbitrary lines, you will still have people with biological advantages winning and those without loosing.
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Ascend
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(Original post by fallen_acorns)
Exactly.. the only fair way is everyone competes with everyone and be done with it.

I'm not saying that's right or the best thing to do, but if we are to be fair and logical then your right, biological unfairness exists everywhere and no matter where you place arbitrary lines, you will still have people with biological advantages winning and those without loosing.
:yy:

For a possible start on how to keep deluding ourselves about fairness but minimise it in order to be entertained, here's an interesting proposal:

Our proposed approach is an extension of Bianchi’s. An algorithm that accounts for


(a) Social parameters including gender identity and socioeconomic status.
(b) Physiological parameters.

Such an algorithm would be analogous to the divisions in the Paralympics, and may also include paralympians. First, there would be multiple divisions rather than simply male and female. Second, based on the results of the algorithm, athletes would be placed into a division which best mitigates unfair physical and social parameters.

The physiological parameters could include

► Size, for example, height and weight.
► Haemoglobin levels.
► Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2
max).
► Whether the athlete transitioned before, during or well after
puberty.
► Past and present testosterone levels, and the presence of
testes.
► Previous characteristics of physiology that are not changed
via hormone therapy, that is, bone strength or structure,
lung capacity and heart size.

The algorithm would need to be tailored to specific sports as a physiological factor will be more advantageous in some sports than others. For example, weight would need to be accounted for in weightlifting, and perhaps wingspan for swimming.

While it would be difficult to generate such an algorithm, a considered response that adapts to evolving scientific evidence is required. Further discussion regarding this algorithm is beyond the scope of this article but is being developed by the authors.

https://jme.bmj.com/content/45/6/395?rss=1
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by Ascend)
How far do we take this argument? Is it fair for an Usain Bolt to compete with a Yoshihide Kiryu?

Biological fairness in sport is a farcical illusion.
It is fair because it has been manufactured to be has fair as possible, however not everyone is made to be world record sprinter.
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Underscore__
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(Original post by Ascend)
How far do we take this argument? Is it fair for an Usain Bolt to compete with a Yoshihide Kiryu?

Biological fairness in sport is a farcical illusion.
(Original post by fallen_acorns)
Exactly.. the only fair way is everyone competes with everyone and be done with it.

I'm not saying that's right or the best thing to do, but if we are to be fair and logical then your right, biological unfairness exists everywhere and no matter where you place arbitrary lines, you will still have people with biological advantages winning and those without loosing.
I've seen this argument quite a few times but I think it's quite fallacious. The gap between Bolt and Kiryu is obviously enormous but Kiryu also isn't regarded as one of the elite professionals; you're essentially comparing Bolt, the fastest human being we know to have ever existed, to a decent professional (if I'm being generous, there are American college kids who can run faster than him). Now let's put Kiryu against women, against even the elite female sprinters he looks like Usain Bolt, his 100m PB is half a second faster than the women's 100m world record and his 200m PB is almost a full second faster.

You can extrapolate this out into almost any sport and there are numerous examples of males beating females who compete at a much higher level. The physiological gap between comparable males and females (i.e. average man v average woman or elite male athlete v elite female athlete) is so large that female sport would become a farce if it was open season on trans women competing.
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Just my opinion
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If it doesn't give m2fs an advantage in women's competitions where are all the f2m athletes trouncing natural born men in male competitions?
Last edited by Just my opinion; 2 weeks ago
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by Gofre)
It's one of those topics that has no easy answer.
The answer is actually very easy. If women and men normally compete in separate groups it is only because men have huge physical advantage and competition wouldn't be fair. A trans woman still has male's muscular structure, even if the testosterone is supressed, which gives a great deal of advantage, and makes the competition unfair towards women who were born as such. Letting trans-women to compete against normal women is the same as letting selected sportswomen to use doping drugs, or to let one driver to use a 2000cc car in 1300cc class.
Last edited by PTMalewski; 2 weeks ago
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by Just my opinion)
If it doesn't give m2fs an advantage in women's competitions where are all the f2m athletes trouncing natural born men in male competitions?
But if groups of men and women train equally, on average the men will have huge advantage over women.

Take a look at cross country skiing. Women race on much shorter tracks than men, but men still get shorter times. The advantage is immense.
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Iñigo de Loyola
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It should be obvious why allowing people who are biologically men despite thinking otherwise to compete against biological women is a bad idea.
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(Original post by Iñigo de Loyola)
It should be obvious why allowing people who are biologically men despite thinking otherwise to compete against biological women is a bad idea.
C'mon grandad, 2016 has called they want you back. 😊
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Iñigo de Loyola
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
C'mon grandad, 2016 has called they want you back. 😊
Please God let this be satire.
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anarchism101
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(Original post by Underscore__)
You can extrapolate this out into almost any sport and there are numerous examples of males beating females who compete at a much higher level. The physiological gap between comparable males and females (i.e. average man v average woman or elite male athlete v elite female athlete) is so large that female sport would become a farce if it was open season on trans women competing.
(Original post by Just my opinion)
If it doesn't give m2fs an advantage in women's competitions where are all the f2m athletes trouncing natural born men in male competitions?
Trans women have hypothetically been allowed to compete in the Olympics since 2004, as long as they meet the same testosterone conditions as their cis competitors. Yet far from trans athletes dominating women's events, we're still to see any compete at the Olympic level, at least openly. There was a brief suggestion about Team GB possibly including a couple of trans women in 2016, but to my knowledge their identities were never revealed, so either they weren't picked at all or went largely unnoticed in the games. The far bigger gender-related controversy in professional athletics has been over intersex athletes.

And the original topic of this thread is of course not about something even close to Olympic level.
Last edited by anarchism101; 2 weeks ago
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
The answer is actually very easy. If women and men normally compete in separate groups it is only because men have huge physical advantage and competition wouldn't be fair.
No, that isn't the only reason. Tall guys have a huge physical advantage over short guys in basketball, yet we don't have separate competitions. Short slight guys who grew up in high-altitude areas have a huge advantage at distance running, but we don't have separate events for big bulky guys who grew up at sea level. Why not? Because we don't consider it socially important that those disadvantaged groups be represented and able to participate at a comparable level of prestige.
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(Original post by Iñigo de Loyola)
Please God let this be satire.
Guilty as charged 😌 of course it was.

To paraphrase Douglas Murray in the Madness of Crowds Things that we knew for generations were facts we are supposed to forget and things that we knew were incorrect yesterday we are supposed to believe they have always been correct.
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Guilty as charged 😌 of course it was.

To paraphrase Douglas Murray in the Madness of Crowds Things that we knew for generations were facts we are supposed to forget and things that we knew were incorrect yesterday we are supposed to believe they have always been correct.
”Whoever controls the present controls the past.” - George Orwell
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(Original post by Napp)
A very good overview on the eternal debate over including trans in womans spaces (and in mens for that matter).
Alas, as noted in the article, the debate is often hijacked by extremists to blast the otherside as so called 'transphobes' (although this argument goes both ways).
I am inclined to feel deeply sympathietic to the young ladies mentioned in the article who are grating against the ingrained unfairness of allow former men who have gone through pubity to compete in womens sports (at high school and college especially) where they have an innate biological advantage - as the figures demonstrate beyond question.

Begging, as per the titles of the article, what do we want "inclusivity" (at any cost) or fairness?

Whatre peoples though on this eternal debate, and on this articles examples in particular?

https://www.economist.com/united-sta...hools-heats-up
Worth noting that the article doesn't mention any cases of the opposite problem. For instance, when Texas passed laws requiring all high school athletes to compete in the even of their birth assigned sex, this had the unintended consequence of forcing Mack Beggs, a trans boy wrestler, to compete in the girls' events, against girls who had far less muscle and stamina than him, and so he beat them all comfortably. Beggs, for the record, repeatedly asked to be able to compete in the boys' events.
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