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What to do about transgender athletes?

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 08:14 am
Face it this is an issue. How do we be "all-inclusive" in sports but yet be fair as possible? Reality is males are built differently than females and that is why there is a difference in athletic competitions between men/boys and women/girls.

However, we throw in the reality of transgender - and the reality is you now have girls/women that have the internal make up of a male but is now considered a female. Now girls/women who have fought for high school and college athletics to have the same opportunities as males are competing from an athletic standpoint with males?

Recently in CT high school girls have sued as a result. This goes beyond simply high school sports as some of these top female athletes may lose potential college scholarships as a result.

How do we make this fair for the females but without discounting someone who is transgender?

https://www.boston.com/sports/high-school-sports/2020/02/12/the-families-of-3-connecticut-girls-have-sued-to-block-transgender-high-school-athletes-from-competing
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 562 • Replies: 54
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 09:08 am
It's a legitimate question. Likely there will be protests however it gets dealt with.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 09:36 am
@Linkat,
It's a tough call. I get the girls' argument but I also get the counterargument. Athletes are not physically equal. Some people are taller, have a different muscle build, have a different endocrine system, etc. Some of that you can make up with hard work, but you can be a great 5'2" basketball forward and never make a college basketball team. That said, the male/female difference is particularly glaring. I think you would have to look at it on a case by case basis. Someone who took puberty blockers and never went through male adolescence would probably have no advantage. Someone who is transitioning after puberty could have an unfair advantage.

Some other thoughts:
- I don't think the argument that these runners are losing college opportunities is valid. Track is pretty much a competition against yourself. If you run the 100 in 11 seconds and that is what a D1 college is looking for, you're going to get an offer even if you lost to someone who ran a 10.9.
- The state set the rules and those rules apply for everyone. If you don't like the rules of a sport, I don't know that you should just sue to make new rules. That 5'2" forward might think it's unfair that she can't dunk, but you don't change the rules because she can't win.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 10:32 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:


- The state set the rules and those rules apply for everyone. If you don't like the rules of a sport, I don't know that you should just sue to make new rules. That 5'2" forward might think it's unfair that she can't dunk, but you don't change the rules because she can't win.


The problem with that was when these girls begin track these were not the rules - the rules were changed just recently to allow transgender.

Yeah my daughter is a 5'4" basketball player - she accepts she is vertically challenged - but there is a big difference playing against a 6'3" girl and a 6'3" boy - she has done both ... she has practiced with the boys team when they need an extra player for scrimmage for example (because although she is one of the smaller players she is one of the better players) - and know she doesn't think it is unfair that she cannot dunk or that she is smaller than the majority of the basketball players - but yeah she probably think it unfair if she had to play against a boys team. They are built differently so even a very tall and/or broader girl is still built differently than a boy of the same size. Compare the NBA players vs the WNBA players there is a very big difference in size and build.

I think the big thing is Title IX for athletics is to allow for both men and women to have equality when it comes to athletics. This almost seems to work against this - I believe this is the basis for the lawsuit.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 10:45 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:


Some other thoughts:
- I don't think the argument that these runners are losing college opportunities is valid. Track is pretty much a competition against yourself. If you run the 100 in 11 seconds and that is what a D1 college is looking for, you're going to get an offer even if you lost to someone who ran a 10.9.



I guess this depends on if the transgender individuals are competing for the same the scholarships and opportunities to run track at the college level. This athlete might normally qualify for a D1 but now needs to move down to D2 because there are now faster athletes due to transgender individuals (who are still biologically male) or this athlete gets the spot from a particular college that she may have gotten now that she is number 2 instead of say number 1.

It has already caused denying them spots on competing at a higher level for these girls. Many of these competitions in which colleges would be looking at potential athletes.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 11:52 am
The issue I have is how to make it fair for the transgender athlete to best "fit in" while also addressing the whole reason that we have boys and girls sports that compete separately. There is a reason for this -

Overall I do not think there would be huge issues. For example most girls are not going to lose out/lose a spot because of this. I can see this as being more adding another spot - rather than someone losing a spot on a team. I do not imagine scores of boys "pretending" to be transgender to get a better athletic record.

But if you are one of few girls that does get directly impacted what about you? Wouldn't you almost feel the same way as a potential transgender that is left off the team because of being transgender? You could have made state tournament except for that one transgender individual who "took" your spot -

Now not to make "fun" of this but in Kramers last words "We are all at the same skill level!"

https://theladyofsituations.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/kramer-karate.jpg
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:13 pm
Could we make a distinction between gender and biological sex? As a society we have made some real strides in accepting transgendered people. The work we have done in adressing bullying and discrimination is important.

But sports is separated by biological sex because of biological differences. As long as sports are segregated by sex, I think biological sex is the only reasonable determining factor.

I don't think this contradicts the general movement for civil rights
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:26 pm
@Linkat,
I think this is a non-issue and just another way to discriminste against others who are different. Being competitive at sports means taking on the best. Regardless of gender, theses athletes are trained to do and be their best. For you to want censure who the best is soley based on gender, is wrong.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:35 pm
@neptuneblue,
I agree with Neptune.

Instead of having a boy's soccer team and a girl's soccer team, we should just have one soccer team for both. Players should be chosen for their physical prowess without regard to their gender.

That fixes the problem.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:49 pm
@neptuneblue,
neptuneblue wrote:

I think this is a non-issue and just another way to discriminste against others who are different. Being competitive at sports means taking on the best. Regardless of gender, theses athletes are trained to do and be their best. For you to want censure who the best is soley based on gender, is wrong.


You are incorrect.

From High School to college to professional athletics almost all sports are based on sex.

There are very few that are not.

WNBA vs. NBA is just one example.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:57 pm
@maxdancona,
Yes I agree - however, most of the states for High school athletics have a policy that it is based on sexual identity only - whether one has certain procedures that determine otherwise. Whereas the NCAA has different guidelines - I believe this includes a period of time after hormonal treatment - not sure the exact guidelines but is more restrictive.

I understand the policy for high school and realize it is to limit any sort of discrimination. But I can also understand why these particular girls would feel the need to sue. The transgender individuals they are referencing are at the time of competing biologically male giving them a physical advantage which differs for any female athletes even those that may be strongest and tallest of any other female athlete.

I am not saying this is an easy question but if you were the girls in this instance - not being able to compete out of the state because they fell below these two biologically males - is this fair for them? Other biological males are not allowed to compete against them.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 12:59 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I agree with Neptune.

Instead of having a boy's soccer team and a girl's soccer team, we should just have one soccer team for both. Players should be chosen for their physical prowess without regard to their gender.

That fixes the problem.


then you would have very few girls playing. Then you would have no D1 women's teams. Maybe you would have one or two women playing D1 - maybe. The whole title IX is gone - now again males will have all the opportunities and scholarships.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 01:06 pm
@Linkat,
What will you do with the 14 yr old, 6'4" female? Ban her too because she has a physical advantage?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 01:15 pm
@neptuneblue,
neptuneblue wrote:

What will you do with the 14 yr old, 6'4" female? Ban her too because she has a physical advantage?


no - not at all - as a matter of fact when my daughter was in 6th grade her town travel team was good enough to make the state tournament. They got to the semi finals. There they faced the team with not 6'4" but a girl that was just under 6' in 6th grade! Well she was held behind one year but in any case they played them and the other team easily won - all they had to do was pass up to her as she could hold the ball well out of everyone else's reach - it was so one-sided that my daughter dove for a ball was holding it and that big girl picked up the ball with my daughter still attached and flung her. My daughter still held onto the ball as she wasn't giving it up - no foul called because the girl only touched the ball.

But she was a full female so yep you compete against her. We have done this time and time again compete against girls much bigger, taller, but not against boys in true competition.

As I stated before there is a huge difference between a 6'4" girl and a 6'4" boy.

The thing is - once the girls get into high school those height differences pan out. This girl is still tall - and we have competed against her AAU but the girls on our team have caught up -- not all the girls are that tall but like any basketball team you have a variety of heights and sizes like any good team should - gives you a diversity of skills and speeds, but we do not have any boys.
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 01:25 pm
@Linkat,
We will just have to disagree.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 01:36 pm
@neptuneblue,
You can do any sort of research about the male body vs female - it is genetically different in muscle mass - women just do not have the larger muscle mass that men do. They do not have the capacity for speed that men do.

Why is there a difference between the mens and womens gymnastic competitions - men's are geared towards their strengths whereas womens are more towards flexibility.

They are built differently -

The reason to have different gender sports is so that women can compete as well. There are many benefits for sports competition beyond just the physical side of things -- the majority of females would not be able to compete in a highly competitive way if you had males and females together. Girls would lose that opportunity.

Again - I can pull up links that support both above if you would like - but it is just as easy to have look for yourself.

Having daughters I have experienced how this impacts them - I have also seen the reverse when one could not compete for over a year due to a severe injury and surgery. For an athlete it has a very negative impact on their learning and whole emotional being.

This also makes me concerned about a transgender athlete as they could be in the same boat if unable to compete - that is what the dilemma is how to best accommodate one situation while not hurting another.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 01:42 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

It's a tough call. I get the girls' argument but I also get the counterargument. Athletes are not physically equal. Some people are taller, have a different muscle build, have a different endocrine system, etc. Some of that you can make up with hard work, but you can be a great 5'2" basketball forward and never make a college basketball team.


I disagree with this - well a 5'2" would never play forward (unless you are 9 years old) - they just wouldn't play that position - they could play college basketball and have.

Also there are all levels of college sports -if you are a good player - you can find a college team - might not be D1 unless it is just not a good D1 team.

Just attended a college game last weekend where there was a 4'10" girl playing - and she had alot of minutes.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 02:38 pm
I see a valid argument to segregate athletes and sports teams by biological sex. I see no value in segregating sports by gender.

We now understand that gender has nothing to do with anatomy or physiology. Why shouldn't the two genders all play on the same team?

This issue a political minefield for the Democrats (and it is definitely a political issue). Once you start saying that people with the size and musculature of biological males can play on teams reserved for girls... you lose almost all of the political middle.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 02:48 pm
@Linkat,
Your argument is only half based in science and you neglect the other portion. There is a process to transgender - it's not like some dude wants to get ahead so he tries out for a sport in a female section. Yes, people vary in size and shape, capabitities, drive, desire, aptitude and even physical prowess.

To me, it's plain discrination. And I don't agree with your stance.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2020 03:17 pm
@neptuneblue,
neptuneblue wrote:

Your argument is only half based in science and you neglect the other portion. There is a process to transgender - it's not like some dude wants to get ahead so he tries out for a sport in a female section. Yes, people vary in size and shape, capabitities, drive, desire, aptitude and even physical prowess.

To me, it's plain discrination. And I don't agree with your stance.


I don't think you completely read what I wrote. I have not even stated which way it should go - I am arguing both sides because it is not an easy answer which is fair, equal and not discriminating against either girls/women and transgender. In either situation someone is going to be discriminated against and is there a way to determine this as fairly as possible.

I said exactly what you are saying here - that it is discrimination - and that is why it is difficult how to weigh between the girls vs. transgender issue.

And if you read through all I wrote you would see that I also mentioned that this is NOT a situation where guys are all of a sudden going to try to get some sort of athletic advantage by saying they identify as a female.

I actually said all the things you are arguing to me about.

The only difference I have stated that you do not seem to agree with is that men/boys have a significant physical advantage over women/girls which is proven by science.

And that allowing transgender (those that are biologically still male) to play on female teams appears to run counter to Title IX. That is probably why the NCAA has the stance that they do.

I have not taken a side at this point - I am trying to state both sides and see what others takes are.

I have not seen you look at it from these girls point of view - how would you suggest accommodating them? Is there a way? When you have held a rule that boys cannot compete in girls track and then change it - so suddenly now these girls lose out of competing in a regional competition because they come in second in state. And where they lose their state title because they are competing against biological boys? How do you balance these?

I had one thought that you in these situations you allow the top biological girls to move on as well.
 

 
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