Is It Trans Discrimination or Legitimate Concern for Women?
The landscape of women’s sports has changed drastically in the last few years. Natural-born males who now identify as women can compete athletically against natural-born women simply by stating they identify as a woman. This includes quite masculine males who have long since passed the age of puberty before their purported “transition.” What has been buried under the identity politics cacophony are facts of biology, and the indisputable differences between the two sexes.
Those who have spoken out against the sudden turn of events say they are being censored; some professionals have been fired for not following the trans activist narrative that prevails in public discourse.
The recent case at Connecticut State High School where two biological males, Andraya Yearwood, and Terry Miller, who have taken 15 women’s state championship titles in track and field, is a case which demonstrates the advantage over biological females. Both Yearwood and Miller experienced puberty before their transition to female.
Andrea Yearwood and Terry Miller (YouTube screen grab)
The most glaring case includes MMA fighter Fallon Fox who, despite doctors’ claim of Fox having less testosterone than female opponents, broke the orbital bone of a female opponent during a fight in 2014. Fallon Fox didn’t transition to female until three decades after puberty.
Tamikka Brents, Fox’s opponent in the fight, was transported to the hospital after the 3-minute bout. She told a reporter following the fight:
I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.
Jaycee Cooper is a transgender powerlifter who after only one year competing as a woman against natural-born women, set bench press records in 2018. In Australia, another transgender athlete, Laurel Hubbard, won the Commonwealth Games and set world records. Both of these trans-females went through male puberty long before transitioning, Hubbard not transitioning for four decades.
All of these self-identified women went through male puberty as have all transgender athletes to date who have entered women’s sports competitions. The outcry from women citing trans advantage is not discrimination, it is a deep concern for the protection and agency of women.
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the suppression of testosterone for self-identified trans-women must reach a level below 10 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for one year before competing against females. Biological women do not produce anywhere near that amount of natural testosterone. Women’s natural testosterone levels never reach above 3.1 nmol/L (the highest range) according to all experts.
During male puberty, testosterone drives the increase of bone density and size. Puberty increases calcium retention in the bones. Muscle strength increases, including tensile strength of connective tissues, ligaments, and red blood cells. Lung capacity is also greater in males, and they have larger airways.
We know one of the main elements that differentiate men and women is hormonal milieu. Normal concentrations of testosterone in males is 21 (+-) 1 nmol/L. In Mid-follicular women (menstruating) it is 1.1 (+-) 0.1 nmol/L. The normal estrogen levels for men is 128 (+-) 13 nmol/L and for women 184 (+-) 71 nmol/L. Males also have higher concentrations of both epinephrine and norepinephrine when they physically exert which increases their cardiac output ability. ¹
Female bodies which produce no higher than 3 nmol/L of testosterone do not have this level constantly, the level fluctuates and can be less than 3 noml/L at any given time. Experts across the board state the range of natural testosterone made by women ranges from 0.52 to 2.8 nmol/L. A male who transitions to female and competes against natural-born females has on average two to three times the amount of testosterone than the natural-born woman does, even when hormone replacement therapy is applied.
To date, no study has ever been conducted on male-to-female (MtF) trans athletes compared with biological females in an athletic arena. No study exists which negates nor refutes the MtF trans individual advantage over women. The only study ever conducted was done in a non-athlete population and not conducted using transitioned MtF athletes. Neither has an examination of the effect of cross-sex hormones on athletic ability ever been conducted.
The threat of discrimination lawsuits has caused fear for careers and reputations, social media mobs attack anyone who dares speak out against allowing trans individuals in women's sports. Policies and mandates have been rush-pushed because of political activism.
If the sport transgender athletes compete in is a contact sport, such as MMA, wrestling, boxing or other contact sport, the potential for danger and injury to women is high. The identity politics activism we see today seeks no less than to erase the lines between male and female.
While discrimination against trans individuals is unacceptable, it is women now who are paying the price for inclusivity with their sports and their safe, women-only spaces.
Accusing people who have legitimate concerns for women of “transphobia” is both insulting and misplaced. The latest survey from The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) itself reveals:
Results from a new national survey commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, reveal a significant uptick in the number of Americans who say they personally know or work with someone who is transgender, and a corresponding increase in favorable feelings toward transgender people. —HRC
The legal profession advises trans-identified athletes using the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. Though claims must be proven, careers and reputations are ruined by the mere implication of “transphobia.” The climate for speaking honestly and intellectually about the issue in the United States is dangerous.
Access to interscholastic sports is not a constitutionally protected right. The Supreme Court of the United States has consistently held, even access to public education itself is not considered a fundamental right. To date, no court in the United States has ruled on a case involving a trans-restricted student athletic policy under Title IX.
Trans activists claim those who suffer from Gender Dysphoria have a psychological disorder that is inherited or unchangeable, though the 2019 World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPath) Standards of Care, has resisted classifying transgender-ism as a medical disorder.
While it is true trans-gendered people have been victims of harassment, discrimination, and violence, with education and campaign, LGBT individuals, specifically trans-gendered individuals, have never been more accepted nor more advocated for than today.
The Gay and Lesbian Independent School Teachers Network () provides a statement on the issue of trans individuals in sport on their website:
Reality: Trans children display the same variation in size, strength, and athletic ability as other youth.
But that is not entirely true, is it? Boys do not resemble girls physically or biologically. No trans-identified athlete participating on any women’s team in the United States today has undergone replacement hormone therapy before puberty. These trans athletes who are competing against women are not elementary school children but post-pubertal adults, some in their twenties and thirties.
Regardless of who they are, this is neither fair nor acceptable. We must ask if it is fair to women’s sports? Fair to girls and women themselves as autonomous individuals, as a group, as a gender?
Before 1972 and the enactment of Title IX, there was an exclusion of girl’s athletics in favor of an emphasis on boy’s athletics. Female participation in high school athletics jumped from 250,000 in 1972 to 3.25 million in 2011 because of the enactment. ²
Are we not now discriminating against women by placing MtF transgender individuals on the same playing field as women? Author Adam Love has said this to women about sex-segregated sports:
Feminists should be cautious about supporting the sex-segregated model of sport as it works to reproduce an ideology of men’s superiority and women’s inferiority in many ways. ³
A rather frightening statement. If put into real-world practice it would ensure the end of women’s sports.
Reason must prevail. An equitable solution for all can be achieved. Certainly, research of MtF identified athletes in comparison to biological women in sports must be conducted. The current claim that MtF individuals have no advantage over women is a blatantly false narrative.
We can never sacrifice one class of people for another. Is society ready to erase the lines between male and female? How can anything so inarguably unfair and discriminatory against women's agency be so widely appeased?
1. Devries PhD, Michaela C. "Do Transitioned Athletes Compete at an Advantage or Disadvantage as Compared with Physically Born Men and Women: A Review of the Scientific Literature." Promising Practices: Working with Transitioning/Transitioned Athletes in Sport Project, May 18, 2008.
2. U.S. Dept. of Educ., OCR, Protecting Civil Rights, Advancing Equity 33 (2015).
3. Love, Adam, and Kimberly Kelly. "Equity or Essentialism?"Gender & Society 25, no. 2 (2011). doi:10.1177/0891243211398866.