For almost a century now the international sporting community has grappled with the question of determining who gets to compete in the female sports category. Fifty years ago the question was answered with humiliating physical exams, but in more recent decades most international sporting federations have embraced a science focused approach.
The International Olympic Committee, for example, uses testosterone levels considerably above the female range, not gender, as the main determinant of who gets to compete in the women’s elite sport. But last October, World Rugby made international headlines when it announced a very different approach. The governing body’s new guidelines prohibit…
So why are these three states targeting trans boys and men?
Students debate what’s fair and what’s not.
More than 20 states are considering bills to ban transgender kids from girls’ sports. If only people really cared about female athletes.
Swimming is the latest sport to become embroiled in discord but there are some signs of courteous, informed discussion too.
Inclusivity bumps up against fairness.
Some experts say inclusion and competitive fairness conflict as leaders consider how to regulate the athletic participation of transgender women.
The science suggests males retain an advantage over females, no matter how they identify.
Be it resolved, yes you can have fair Olympics with transgender athletes competing against cisgender women.
It is the latest development in a bitter argument. On October 9th World Rugby, the global governing body for rugby union, decided to bar trans women—people who are biologically male, but identify as women—from playing in the international women’s game, on the grounds that it is unsafe.
To balance fairness and inclusion in elite sports, Olympic officials can look to the precedents they set when they assessed the advantages of prosthetic limbs.
The debate on whether transgender females should be allowed to play women's sports has become increasingly politicized. One transgender athlete and researcher is forging a middle ground with science.
Americans strongly support trans service members being in the military — even as they say trans athletes should compete in sports according to the sex listed on their birth certificates, according to a new Gallup survey.
Trans athletes are trapped in a culture war.
I’m not a cheater but I may have an unfair advantage.
Other sports could learn from World Rugby’s approach.
The long-awaited report argues there is no magic solution which balances the inclusion of trans women in female sport while guaranteeing competitive fairness and safety. And, for the first time, it tells sports across Britain that they will have to choose which to prioritise.
Male and female may not always be clear-cut categories, but it’s hard to preserve fair competition without them.
Where else is the divide between male and female so clearly defined than in professional sport?
With both sides claiming discrimination, can existing laws and principles provide a way forward?
Harper’s research indicated that, collectively, transgender women were running at least 10 percent slower after HT, and were no more competitive in female divisions than they had been in male ones.
Following her groundbreaking study of transgender runners, Joanna Harper now advises sporting bodies on the role of testosterone in athletics.
Under earlier IOC guidelines, anyone who transitioned from male to female was ineligible to take part in international competition until they had undergone gender-reassignment surgery, followed by two years of hormone therapy.
Policies permitting transgender athletes to play on teams that match their gender identity are not new. The Olympics have had trans-inclusive policies since 2004, but a single openly transgender athlete has yet to even qualify.
The often heated debates around these bills have centered on whether transgender women and girls have an unfair advantage over cisgender women — a term used for those who identify with the sex assigned to them at birth.
Fears of trans women taking over women’s sports simply doesn’t match up with the reality of the effects that transitioning and hormone replacement therapy have on an athlete’s body.
Be it resolved, safety and fairness preclude participation of trans athletes in high level women's sport.
This ruling is neither necessary, reasonable nor proportionate. It is simply unjust discrimination.
Many of the trans women I’ve interviewed were worried that they possessed the competitive advantage so often cited in the media as the primary reason to exclude trans women from elite sport, only to find that it didn’t exist for them.