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

Oh, for god’s sakes. That’s such a ridiculous reading, and all it does is derail the conversation. You know perfectly well that’s not what he meant.

It was far from clear no matter what your protestations are. You’ve just admitted it was a flippant response, can you therefore be surprised that people latch upon that as something out of character from the previous conversation?

I followed the conversation carefully and wasn’t confused by the other usages. This was the one I picked up on because it seemed different to the rest. Sure enough you now admit that this was a flippant response. Are you still surprised that this was the one I chose to ask for clarification on?

No derailing by me, When I’m genuinely not sure of something, even when it may be a “ridiculous reading” on my part I ask, what do you do?

Mod note to @Novelty_Bobble and @MrDibble

Please drop this hijack. I think we all know how each of you is using the relevant words at this point.

OK, my point is clear.

Let’s summarize:

  1. Sports seem to have benefits for all girls who play them (in aggregate–of course some individuals suffer).
  2. Sports participation is negatively correlated with suicide for all girls.
  3. Trans girls are at a much higher risk of suicide than cis girls, but both groups are at high risk.
  4. Trans girls’ higher risk appears to be in part associated with social stigmatization and denial of their gender identity.

Can we all agree on that?

My point is that:
5) A “solution” to the nonexistent problems that trans girls introduce to girls’ sports must not further stigmatize trans girls or undermine their gender identity.
6) If you advocate such a solution, you’re implicitly or explicitly approving of the resulting suicides of trans girls.

I would add, points

4b. The high risk of suicide for all girls appears to be in part associated with social stigmatization of the female gender

5b. A “solution” to the nonexistent problem that trans girls introduce to girls’ sports must not further stigmatize or undermine the gender identity of cis girls

6b. If you advocate such a solution, you’re implicitly or explicitly approving of the resulting suicides of cis girls

7a. Allowing a trans girl to join the girls team can stigmatize/undermine the gender identity of displaced cis girls

7b. Preventing a trans girl from joining the girls team can stigmatize/undermine the gender identity of the trans girl

8. Given 5a-b, and 7a-b, there are no solutions to this nonexistent problem

ETA: But in counter to my own argument, 7a and 7b may well be a false equivalence. There isn’t much real world data because the trans girls displacing cis girls is almost completely unheard of.


I think this is totally a false equivalence. Cis girls have all sorts of shitty messages coming at them, but “You’re not a real girl so you’re not allowed to join this girl’s space” isn’t generally one of them.

And “You’re not a real girl because trans girls are allowed to join this girls’ space” is barely coherent, and definitely not one of them. The only way that becomes one of them is if we support the transphobic position that trans girls aren’t girls.

How does that work?

It’s also worth looking at this. The social stigmatization tends to take the form of “girls are less competent than boys.”

The proposed solution–set up one league that every child can join, and then have a separate league for cis-girls, because science says that cis-girls won’t be able to hack it in the open league–isn’t exactly a great way to counter that stigma.


The proposed solution not only undermines the gender identity of trans girls, but it also stigmatizes the gender of all (including cis) girls.

It’s a super shitty solution to the nonexistent problem.

The shitty message I had in mind when (hypothetically) a cis girl is displaced by a trans girl was, “you didn’t make the cut because you had the disadvantage of being born with female biology”.

ETA: As you note this message accompanies the open team solution, too.


Congratulations, you’ve just described Women’s and Girl’s athletics. At least for the last century prior to our society being open to the concept of treating the trans population like genuine people, those leagues were a place for cis-women to compete because they can’t compete against the cis-men.

Nobody believed that we had girls leagues because girls wanted to hang out with girls, or were too shy to be on the same team with boys. It’s always been because they are physically different, legitimately, honestly, vastly different than the men. Yet somehow the participants looked past the idea that they were ‘less competent’ than the participants in the other league, and focused on being the best at what they were doing, even if they ran slower, jumped lower, and didn’t hit as hard.

All sports segregation by sex and/or gender is implicitly sending that message. So is the widespread attitude among sports fans that they don’t want to watch women’s sports because they’re “boring” or “not as good” or “lower-achievement”, etc.

All girls who play gender-segregated sports are constantly getting the message that they’re athletically inferior to boys. But we’re only supposed to be bothered by that message if we think it’s being conveyed by the experience of a cisgender girl losing a team spot to a transgender girl, who may or may not have some physical advantage due to male physiology? Uh-huh, right.

ETA: I mean, this is a particularly irritating aspect of this controversy, that somehow support and validation of girls’ athletics suddenly becomes a Very Important Issue only in the context of excluding transgender girls.

Not calling out participants in this thread specifically, but I’ve seen multiple examples of people who are just fine with casual sexist denigration of female athletics—including disparagements like “throw like a girl” and “beaten by a woman” and “ladies” used as an insulting form of address to male athletes, etc.—who, when the subject of transgender female athletes comes up, are all of a sudden all concerned about the alleged negative consequences for the self-esteem and achievement of cisgender female athletes.

Yeah, bullshit, like those people ever gave a rat’s ass about the self-esteem and achievement of cisgender female athletes in the first place.

That is something I didn’t think about.


That message is true, at least after puberty hits, and girls are smart enough to know it already. What’s the alternative? NOT have sex segregated sports so as to not “send a message” that… well, that they’d be sent anyway by finding themselves up against males?

The above is true and as for this…

As a sports fan it is certainly true that, for the sports that interest me and that I know intimately, I pay attention to the elite men’s version far, far more than the womens because I do consider that to be the very best example of the sport.
In the same way, absent a compelling personal , I don’t have the same interest in watching the lower divisions and tiers of those sports either i.e. the junior levels don’t interest me to the same extent.
I don’t think that is so much of an “attitutude” by sports fans but more a reality that the top level of anything is pretty much always going to be more attractive to more spectators. I don’t see that ever changing.

That doesn’t mean that everything other than men’s elite is worthless, far from it (and especially to the individual concerned) but I don’t think we’ll ever have a world where segregated sport (segregated in whatever way) can avoid existing in a hierarchy of implied superiority.

Obviously, I and a lot of other people who are concerned about trans-girls in girls’ sports disagree that it’s a non-existent problem. And I don’t agree that not playing on the girls’ team further stigmatizes them or undermines their gender identity, and even if it did, it’s not the responsibility or role of cis-girls to destigmatize transgenderism via the detriment of cis-girls or to confirm the gender identity of trans-girls via sports.

I don’t agree with the premise that there is an explicit or implicit approval of any resultant suicides, but if that’s your belief, the inverse is also true…that you explicitly or implicitly approve of the resultant suicides of cis-girls if they’re prevented from playing high-school sports. And I suppose that it’s somehow not as bad, or less awful, in your opinion, if a cis-girl commits suicide than if a transgirl commits suicide because transgirls have a higher suicide rate than cis-girls? Is that really what you believe? No snark in that question, I’m genuinely asking because I’ve reread your post several times and I don’t see any other way to interpret points 3-6.

I agree that that’s true for a lot of sports fans, but there are several sports where the woman’s side is generally considered to be more interesting and fun to watch like gymnastics, figure skating, and for myself personally, tennis and soccer.

I don’t have any interest in watching lower divisions/tiers of sports either. Minor league baseball, college football, and college basketball are boring to watch IMO, but I don’t think of women’s sports as being lower level. In my view, it’s watching the peak achievement of female athletes and the female body which isn’t at all related to the men’s division or the records that men set.

Sure it is a personal choice but in terms of objective performance in athletic sports like tennis and soccer it is completely valid to point to higher levels in the men’s elite version and therefore it is unsurprising that it will attract higher levels of interest overall. That isn’t an indication of any sort of antipathy towards the other versions, I don’t think we can draw any sweeping judgements about people who think that way.

When I watch female soccer I cannot put myself in the position of treating it as a different sport as you do. If it is good it is good on its own merits and that goes for pretty much every sport at every level out there. I just find it rarely reaches a level of performance that interests me, same for tennis, rugby and cricket and as such I spend my limited spectator time where I’m likely to get the most enjoyment.

Anyhow, all that is only tangentially related to the topic at hand.

So, what’s the problem? Have there been lots of cis-girls not making teams? Have there been many high school records getting broken by trans-girls? Have cis-girls’ suicide rates been going up because the lack of available spots on high school sports teams? Have there been a rash of additional injuries in girls teams cause by trans-girls participation?