Do trans girl athletes have an advantage? [Moderated title for clarity]

There have also been cases where teams that have lost decide that they only reason they lost is that a transwoman must have been involved - regardless of whether that’s true

Well if the testosterone level is high enough perhaps that cis-woman is some flavor of intersex?

Alas, nature is messy and trying to segregate genders can be accordingly difficult, even before we start to consider trans athletes.

hidden as off-topic, please do not reply

Caster Semenya - Wikipedia

Modnote: This off-topic subject. Start another thread on this if you must. Hari’s post wasn’t an invitation to expand this thread into adult sports. My modnote above made it pretty clear this would be a narrow focus thread.

I’m a father of a girl and boy who spent much of their early childhoods enrolled in various sports and this has not been my experience. Now, if you’re talking about swim “lessons”, or martial arts “lessons”, or , tennis “lessons”, sure. But lessons are not competitive team sports.

Well you’ve sort of put your finger on the nub of the problem. The circle that is very hard to square.

What is considered “male” sport is really just an “open” category. Whatever genetic hand nature plays you is fair game for competition in that category so issues of outright unfairness don’t come up. It is a really simple question.

However, once you start to set up specific categories based on specific biological characteristics you can run into edge cases that are very hard to solve.

Competitive fairness in the category of “female” sport is predicated on those people taking part having broadly “female” physiology and endocrinology. Nature is not that neat. There is intersex and there are other conditions that mean some competitors wishing to take part in female sport sit outside of those normal ranges, in the case of trans, widely outside.

So what to do? How do you ensure fairness? Is a medical assessment and treatment needed to ensure that the category is policed? but of course that leads to charges of unfairness against those with such medical conditions.

That doesn’t even touch upon the trans issue. To the OP’s question, yes. For a given value of “converted” it is highly likely that male traits will persist and offer some advantage. If they didn’t there’d be no point in female sporting categories in the first place.

The question is, and remains, what is the value and definition of “converted” that we are discussing here? If it is full transition, surgery, hormone treatment, puberty blockers from a very young age etc. then the advantage can probably be minimised. However, if transition is merely self-identification then the potential for huge advantages arises.

I don’t see any easy way out of this position that doesn’t cause problems either for biologically female athletes or for trans athletes and others who want to compete as their chosen gender without being forced to have medical intervention.

I would argue that since boys and girls are in fact biologically different those differences would manifest themselves in the real world.

Male and Female competitive sports are separated by sex as it is seen that males would have an unfair advantage over females. If we accept that this is a fair and appropriate thing to do, then we are designating sex (and specifically the differing hormones that make male and female bodies develop differently) as a specific point for which it is acceptable to restrict access to certain athletic competitions.

I find it is helpful to look at extreme cases to better understand the problem. Let us consider the case of the trans woman who has just come to accept that they are a woman. So, perhaps they dress in a traditionally female manner, but their body has fully developed until this point as a male, with the associated male hormones. In this case, they are, physically speaking, equivalent to a male and letting them compete against cis girls would be physically equivalent to letting a boy compete with girls. If we have already accepted designating male and female teams because having them compete against each other would be unfair, then it seems clear that letting this trans girl compete against cis girls would be unfair.

Lets look at the other extreme of the trans woman who transitioned several years ago before going through puberty and has been on hormones the whole time. While it has been noted that even prepubescent boys have a (small) advantage over prepubescent girls, it is not nearly so strong as post puberty, and being on hormones all this time would have made her body develop roughly equivalent to cis girls. It seems that in this case it would very appropriate for her to compete with other girls athletically.

So, it appears to me that one cannot make a blanket statement about trans girls being allowed or not allowed to compete in girls athletics. So, where is the dividing line? I certainly don’t know, but it would seem that the two year’s of hormones someone mentioned earlier would make a decent starting point for the discussion.

As to the thought of this being a slippery slope, I highly disagree. We have an accepted level of segregation based on sex in sports, so separating athletes based on that (or the associated levels of hormones) seems a completely different issue from disallowing someone from competing based on them being on the high end of the bell curve for fast twitch muscle fibers or some other physical advantage.

Who cares if a trans girl/woman has an “advantage.” Either you believe that a trans girl/woman is a girl/woman or you are a vile bigot.

You get to choose, but if you choose to be a vile bigot, nobody should listen to you.

People want to say that if trans girls/women get to compete without taking certain “treatments” or getting their levels to certain amounts then girls/women won’t be able to compete. But these trans girls/women are girls/women regardless of the “treatments” they choose or their levels. A trans girl/woman is a girl/woman even if she does nothing in the way of “treatment.”

A cis girl/woman is a girl/woman. A trans girl/woman is a woman. Girls/women sports should be open to both.

This type of language is really gross. I’m attacking this idea, not the poster so I removed their name.

People are biological creatures. Both cis girls/women and trans girls/women are biologically female. There may be biological differences, but they are both 100% biologically female.

Only the second statement is true.

I think you’ll have to explain your reasoning here.

What I’ve seen suggests that, while it may possibly matter at the higher end, it’s not generally an issue in school-level sports. There was this one high schooler suing because a trans girl beat her in track, but didn’t disclose that several cisgender girls had beaten the trans girl in other meets. Even the one suing had beaten her before.

There’s a video by a trans woman that I would like to link, but I’ll want to go back through it to make sure I remember correctly that it mostly focused on high school or earlier sports.

Warning for HughGoply. You’ve been advised in other threads today to not insult other posters and you continue to. So this is your first official warning.

You can attack the post, but not the poster. Your posts in this thread are pushing past what we allow and expect outside of the pit. Please dial it back.

I’m looking at all of your posts in this thread. You want to attack other posters, take it to the Pit.

Everything about us is biological at base. Being male or female is biological. Trans and cis women are female based on their biology.

(You can have characteristics that aren’t biological. Like being Canadian.)

Sorry if my post “crossed the line.” I thought I was attacking the idea. I’ll try to do better.