Evidence for why transwomen should be in women's sport?

(76 Posts)
GonadTheGaul Sun 18-Jul-21 15:01:45

I know some posters here have been wondering where the evidence is for including transwomen in women’s sport and sadly so far nobody has produced any. I went looking for some and found nothing with any actual evidence at Mermaids, Pride Sport, Gendered Intelligence or GIRES, although they might have something I didn't find. I did find this document from Athlete Ally:

www.athleteally.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/The-Future-of-Womens-Sport-includes-Transgender-Women-and-Girls-Statement_7.14.21_v5.pdf

There’s 8 pages of the statement so it won’t take you too long to read. They say that their document uses ‘a close reading of peer-reviewed, credible sources’ and also state that ‘The consensus among scholars from multiple disciplines, including human biology, kinesiology, law and policy, and gender studies, is clear: the future of sports for women and girls includes both transgender and cisgender women and girls’, although there’s no reference as to where this consensus came from.

There’s plenty about how doing sport is beneficial, which I’m sure we agree with, and how transgender people are often under-represented in sport, which is a shame and worth addressing, which I’m sure we also agree with. There are sections on sports policies and what they say, and the legislation around them. The document states that ‘most organizations have removed unscientific and exclusionary restrictions that prevent access’, referring to transwomen in women’s sport. There is no evidence provided to back up the assertion that these policies were unscientific.

On page 7 they deal with the science (don’t get excited!). They start by saying that the majority of studies on trans athletes are inconclusive, rely on false comparisons, use cherry-picked studies to support an ideology, and that they are ‘laden with limitations, flaws and biases’. So what are these limitations, flaws and biases, and why are the results so unreliable? They don’t seem able to elaborate on that at all. I was hoping for a good critical review of the research here but none is forthcoming.

Then they list a variety of factors that affect sports performance such as ‘aerobic capacity, cardiac capacity, flexibility, height, lean body mass, limb length, muscle mass, and red blood cell counts’ without any mention that these factors are affected by sex, but not by gender. They criticise the concentration of sports bodies on testosterone levels and say that ‘the link between testosterone and athleticism is inconclusive at best, and inherently flawed, at worst’, but don’t even consider the details about the difference between a testosterone-driven puberty and its effects, versus adult serum levels and the effects of maintaining/increasing/lowering them on performance. Again, where is the critical review of this literature?

On the last page they state ‘transgender inclusion in sport is fundamentally an ideological, rather than a scientific, issue.’ Which is interesting as they’ve claimed policies excluding transwomen from women’s sport are ‘unscientific’ (no evidence supplied), they’ve claimed the scientific evidence that transwomen have an advantage over women is flawed and unreliable (no evidence supplied) – so why not say the science doesn’t support the women’s category being for females only?

Finally, although they produce evidence for the benefits of sport and for increasing participation of transgender people in sport, they produce no evidence as to why transgender people should be included in a category for people of the sex they identify as, and not for the sex they are.

There are issues I’m sure others will pick up on, but while they’ve made a case for transgender people benefitting from participating in sport more, which I agree with, they haven’t addressed fairness or safety for female athletes, or made any coherent case as to why anybody should be included in the sex category that isn’t theirs. My overall impression is that it’s very disappointing and doesn’t really address the science at all.

I'm still interested in seeing the evidence if anyone has it though!

OP’s posts: |
TheSlayer Sun 18-Jul-21 15:03:39

That's a very fancy way of saying men are entitled to women's sports.

PennineSpring Sun 18-Jul-21 15:15:22

I’m so glad I don’t live in America. What a load of guff.

334bu Sun 18-Jul-21 15:43:14

8 pages to say there is no evidence to justify including transwomen into the female sports category but we want in so there.!

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 18-Jul-21 16:11:23

After 20+ years learning about and teaching physiology and biomechanics in sport I am fairly certain the science won't contradict my next statement.

That is utter bollocks!

The human body hasn't changed in the last few years. Sex based differences have been properly measured, quantified for over a century. Everything science learns makes changes to that knowledge base. But male biology and physiology are male. Even the most 'effeminate' of men has a male body.

Speed and strength are male characteristics. Better training.metjods make women faster and stronger... but men benefit form them too. There are physical differences in the very basic building blocks of the human body that mean that will never change.

If you take muscles as your one and only measure that is an incontrovertible truth.

Same for the skeleton.

Cardiovascular system.

Ligaments, tendons.

Blood.

Pick any body part...

ElliottSmithsfingers Sun 18-Jul-21 16:20:34

I don't have to read it to conclude it's a load of bollocks (literally so given we are talking about transwomen).

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 18-Jul-21 16:21:46

I didn't read it. But I know it is bollocks.

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GrumpyGran8 Sun 18-Jul-21 16:26:09

I only have to read that some of their "evidence" is from kinesiology to that that it's a load of nonsense!

Thelnebriati Sun 18-Jul-21 16:29:41

The evidence has existed for years and is the reason why there are separate categories for men and women.
In the UK, both the GRA and The Equality Act recognise sports as a sex affected activity, so sports are permitted to be single sex for reasons of fairness and safety.

Megasausagehead Sun 18-Jul-21 16:40:50

What are you looking for OP.

Pro trans groups are not going to cite the actual differences between the biological sexes. They are gender orientated, sex is irrelevant to them.

Scientific research regarding factual differences between the sexes is so plentiful that it is overwhelming. This is why sports are actually segregated by sex in the first place. Compare male and female tennis players?????????

It is a fake argument by pro trans groups which requires further continuation of the theme of cognitive dissonance needed to buy any of it.

You cannot change sex.
Men in women's sports is unjust.

I can go on Google now and find "evidence" that the world is flat. It isn't.

People can make anything up. You don't have to believe it.

allmywhat Sun 18-Jul-21 16:41:26

Even if they didn't have an advantage, and any human being with functional mind and senses has to admit they do, transwomen still wouldn't belong in women's sports. Why would being less good at sport than other men mean that they should compete with exceptionally good women? We don't have sports categories for (Paralympians +teenage boys), or for (teenage boys+women) or for (female ultra-heavyweights+male featherweights) we acknowledge that people should compete in sports with their peers with similar physiology, not with a different group that they've been arbitrarily decided to have no advantage over.

So it's impossible to muster evidence for the idea that transwomen belong in women's sports - the only thing that can be evidenced (falsely, but you can muster evidence if you're dishonest enough) is the idea that they don't have an advantage. Which isn't good enough, even if it weren't a lie.

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 18-Jul-21 16:47:24

GrumpyGran8

I only have to read that some of their "evidence" is from kinesiology to that that it's a load of nonsense!


Which is another reason to hate the bastardisation of so much science.

I based all of my post hospital rehab classes on kinesiology. The real version rather than the evangelical version that seems to have taken over.

I even had to rewrite all my class literature to remove words like biofeedback. And now, some 20 years later that still pisses me off 😁

AntiSocialDistancer Sun 18-Jul-21 16:52:24

The best evidence really is that sport should be as inclusive as possible. Letting more people compete, train, etc is better for all communities.

Those people just cherry pick the testosterone studies to their own advantage, rather than see how inclusion of transwomen to the exclusion of women.

Greenwateringcan Sun 18-Jul-21 16:52:57

My DD is fucked playing her sport if they let trans women play. She simply won’t get a place on the team.

(She’s at elite level)

NiceGerbil Sun 18-Jul-21 18:23:27

You're looking for the wrong sort of science.

The study of why men have primacy and it's been for so long and so widespread is the one involved here.

GonadTheGaul Sun 18-Jul-21 18:29:00

Megasausagehead

What are you looking for OP.

Pro trans groups are not going to cite the actual differences between the biological sexes. They are gender orientated, sex is irrelevant to them.

Scientific research regarding factual differences between the sexes is so plentiful that it is overwhelming. This is why sports are actually segregated by sex in the first place. Compare male and female tennis players?????????

It is a fake argument by pro trans groups which requires further continuation of the theme of cognitive dissonance needed to buy any of it.

You cannot change sex.
Men in women's sports is unjust.

I can go on Google now and find "evidence" that the world is flat. It isn't.

People can make anything up. You don't have to believe it.

What I was looking for is the evidence that transwomen should be in women’s sport, evidence that previous posters in this section claim exists but never manage to produce.

This is what I’ve managed to find. What I’d like to know is why organisations publish this kind of stuff and expect anyone with intelligence to take it seriously, and even more, why some people who ought to know better actually do take it seriously.

OP’s posts: |
NiceGerbil Sun 18-Jul-21 18:33:47

Most don't take it seriously.

They either keep quiet or go along with it for their own reasons.

Speakingofdinosaurs Sun 18-Jul-21 18:46:37

I thought this was pretty shocking..

“People may turn to certain forms of scientific knowledge to understand the nuances of athletic performance, but what is at stake is not a scientific matter but the health and wellbeing of trans people.”

And that’s all that matters then - sod the women!

NiceGerbil Sun 18-Jul-21 18:50:21

Well quite.

Melroses Sun 18-Jul-21 18:58:41

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001f05

Here is the Woman's Hour episode with Dr Beth Jones on sport.

"Trans women are keen to share the social, health and intrinsic benefits of playing sport with other women. Trans women athletes can compete with women at international level, but many women feel that transgender sportswomen are at a natural physical advantage in any competition. We look at the arguments and the evidence about whether it’s fairer to include or exclude trans women from women’s sports. Jane is joined by Dr Beth Jones and Dr Nicola Williams"

It is not very enlightening though. Differences in sporting achievement just boiled down to women not trying hard enough. 🤷‍♀️

Datun Sun 18-Jul-21 19:30:39

This is what I’ve managed to find. What I’d like to know is why organisations publish this kind of stuff and expect anyone with intelligence to take it seriously, and even more, why some people who ought to know better actually do take it seriously.

No-one takes it seriously. Everyone knows men are stronger than women. That's why transgenderism is an ideology. Not a science.

Claiming it has anything to do with science is just TRA straw clutching.

Plus I don't understand why it's stated that transpeople as a group are under represented in sport. Why are they? No-one's stopping them.

NiceGerbil Sun 18-Jul-21 19:45:57

Arguments I've seen include

There's no difference in size physical strength etc between men and women. Women just need to train harder.

Or
Women believe there is a difference only because it's been pushed by patriarchal ideas about women being weak/ feminists saying women are vulnerable to men. It's a damaging lie

NiceGerbil Sun 18-Jul-21 19:47:44

The argument that if people can't compete etc as their gender then they are banned from sport.

Is just untrue. Seems to be everywhere though.

GonadTheGaul Sun 18-Jul-21 20:07:48

Yes, there’s lots of talk about trans athletes being ‘banned’ from sport, which they aren’t, lots of rubbish about lack of physical differences between males and females, all sorts of obfuscation about testosterone levels. All of it is easily proved to be false.

OP’s posts: |
Greenwateringcan Sun 18-Jul-21 20:10:38

NiceGerbil

Arguments I've seen include

There's no difference in size physical strength etc between men and women. Women just need to train harder.

Or
Women believe there is a difference only because it's been pushed by patriarchal ideas about women being weak/ feminists saying women are vulnerable to men. It's a damaging lie

That’s so much nonsense isn’t it

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