My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

And so it starts

203 replies

MimiSunshine · 27/09/2023 17:16

I cant accurately describe my emotions right now.
sad
fuming
disbelief

my primary aged niece has just ran a race in a, mainly for fun, but they do get 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on positions, inter-school event.

She’s utterly convinced that 1st place out of easily, 40+ girls went to a male child.

now I was too busy watching her and a friends child running so didn’t pay attention to the other kids but I could hear one of the other parents asking ‘was this a mixed race, I thought it was girls only?’

then my niece comes up and immediately says that a boy won, my friends child was also saying the same thing.

one of the mums went and asked an official about it and they told her that they’d asked the school the child was from and they’d been told it was a girl.

my niece is absolutely insistent that it was a boy.

I think overall I’m feeling sad that those girls have already encountered this situation and a) lost a place in the rankings
b) are being actively told to ignore their instincts

although my brother and I both told them that we believed them and no it wasn’t fair.

OP posts:
Report
MissLucyEyelesbarrow · 27/09/2023 17:45

Before anyone says that boys don't have an advantage pre-puberty, they do. They already have higher testosterone levels than girls and some anatomical advantages. These aren't enough to mean that boys win every time in a mixed sex race, but they do still have an advantage.

Report
itsallnewnow · 27/09/2023 17:47

But you don't know anything though it could be a masculine looking girl already going through shit because she gets this all the time.
Don't get me wrong I don't think
Boys and girls should compete in sport but you don't have any idea if that's what happened

Report
Villagetoraiseachild · 27/09/2023 17:49

Glad you were there and believed them and affirmed their sense of injustice.

Report
Signalbox · 27/09/2023 17:52

In this day and age it might just be a girl with short hair. Did your niece know the child in question?

Report
MimiSunshine · 27/09/2023 17:57

I totally agree. We don’t know for sure and we said as much to the girls.

my SIL has always been very keen to ensure that her daughter understands that girls can have short hair and boys long hair etc. That certain clothes don’t mean you are a boy or girl.

but the girls were absolutely adamant that they knew it was a boy.

OP posts:
Report
NitroNine · 27/09/2023 17:57

Absolutely not wishing to undermine your niece, but it is incredibly unusual these days for girls to have short hair. There are lots of adults who think hair length is gendered, so they’d be with [modern] 9yos on “short hair = boy”.

Otherwise, 9 is still an unusual age & stage for a “trans girl” to be remarkable to a group of their peers in a context like that. A male child identifying as female would be presenting as female; & as your niece’s understanding from a brief interaction was that the child in question was boy, I’d be more likely to think “he’s” a gender-non confirming girl: short hair, “boys’” clothes &/or shoes, & perhaps taller than the others.

Did you ask her why she thought the other child was a boy?

If the other school did allow a male child to enter a race for female children that is dreadful; but I would be wary of stating with certainty that was the case.

Report
Changethetoner · 27/09/2023 17:58

It would have been a boy, who felt like a girl that day, and their teachers are going along with the nonsense, and affirming it. I do not doubt your niece at all.

Report
MimiSunshine · 27/09/2023 18:06

i didn’t see the child in question but the parent who made the comment about ‘is this a mixed race?’ Said that it was clearly a boy, in no way presenting as a girl in any ‘stereotypical’ way.

my niece just says she knows it was a boy and she fully understands that long hair doesn’t mean girl, short hair means boy.

OP posts:
Report
Blondebutnotlegally · 27/09/2023 18:26

I mean, I wouldn't be "fuming in disbelief" until I knew for sure. And unless the child in question has got naked in front of your niece, (which if that were the case she would likely mention as she was challenged on her assumption) you can't know for sure.

Report
Signalbox · 27/09/2023 18:36

but the girls were absolutely adamant that they knew it was a boy.

my niece just says she knows it was a boy and she fully understands that long hair doesn’t mean girl, short hair means boy.

But did nobody ask how she “just knows” though? Does she know the child in question?

Primary aged children are pretty androgynous until you add clothing and hair styles.

Report
beastlyslumber · 27/09/2023 18:40

Not sure why pp are insisting this couldn't happen and that people can't tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This shit is happening everywhere.

Report
C1N1C · 27/09/2023 18:42

Pull them from the races in future. If enough people do it the school will have to change its policy

Report
neilyoungismyhero · 27/09/2023 18:44

Children that age aren't stupid. If they say it was a boy it probably was. Unfair.

Report
ErrolTheDragon · 27/09/2023 18:48

I don't think the OP has said that the child in question had short hair, some posters are assuming that's what the other children were going on?

Report
JanesLittleGirl · 27/09/2023 18:50

Just because we find it difficult to accurately sex young children doesn't mean that they do. They are not mini adults.

Report
OllyBJolly · 27/09/2023 18:53

If it's a primary school, it's more than likely the child was known to someone in the friendship group.

I used to run a junior youth club (age 9-12) and I could see a smart ass boy manipulating this. No gender confusion, just an open goal to win a prize. And I can fully believe that the current climate of fear means that teachers won't challenge.

Well done for supporting your daughter and her friends.

Report
AmeliaEarhart · 27/09/2023 18:53

beastlyslumber · 27/09/2023 18:40

Not sure why pp are insisting this couldn't happen and that people can't tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This shit is happening everywhere.

Because honestly people can’t always tell! I have a 10 year old daughter with short hair who wears mostly trousers and shorts and she DOES frequently gets mistaken for a boy.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think biological males should be competing against females at any age, but it’s incorrect to suggest that people are never mistaken about a child’s sex.

Report
Dissidente · 27/09/2023 18:55

The kids would have been able to smell each other. Pupils from the winner's school might have known.
However if it's a girl it could be very upsetting.
Exceptional 9yo girl athletes often have short hair and look muscular.

Report
Signalbox · 27/09/2023 19:00

beastlyslumber · 27/09/2023 18:40

Not sure why pp are insisting this couldn't happen and that people can't tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This shit is happening everywhere.

Nobody on this thread has insisted that this couldn't happen.

It's just if my niece came up to me and said they "just knew" something I'd ask how they knew. These stories can get ugly when it turns out this was just a gender non-conforming child racing in the correct category. This has happened before.

Report
beastlyslumber · 27/09/2023 19:07

JanesLittleGirl · 27/09/2023 18:50

Just because we find it difficult to accurately sex young children doesn't mean that they do. They are not mini adults.

And it sounds like they knew the boy in question and were 100% confident he was a boy. Interesting how ready people are to discount what girls are telling them. Good on you OP for supporting them.

Report
Helleofabore · 27/09/2023 19:08

Here are some studies and papers to ward off the ‘there is no difference!’ arguments .

Sex Differences in Track and Field Elite Youth

Mira A. Atkinson, Jessica J.James, Meagan E.Quinn, Jonathon W. Senefeld andSandra K. Hunter

https://sportrxiv.org/index.php/server/preprint/view/324/version/419

RESULTS: Males ran faster than females at every age in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 m (P<0.001). When combining all running events, the sex difference (%) was 4.0 ± 1.7% between 7-12 years and increased to 6.3 ± 1.1% at 13 years, and 12.6 ± 1.8% at 18 years (P<0.001). Similarly, males jumped higher and further than females at every age (P<0.001). For long jump, the sex difference was 6.8 ± 2.8% between 7-12 years, increasing to 8.5 ± 1.7% at 13 years, and 22.7 ± 1.4% at 18 years (P<0.001). For high jump, the sex difference was 5.3 ± 5.2% between 7-12 years, increasing to 10.3 ± 2.4% at 14 years, and 18.4 ± 2.04% at 18 years (P<0.001). 

CONCLUSION:Prior to puberty in elite youth track and field athletes, there is a small but consistent sex difference, such that males run faster and jump higher and further than females. The sex difference in performance was event dependent and increased significantly from ~12 years for running and 13-14 years in jumping events

Sex Differences in Track and Field Elite Youth | SportRxiv

https://sportrxiv.org/index.php/server/preprint/view/324/version/419

Report
IThoughtTerryWoganWasMyDad · 27/09/2023 19:10

I mean I was endlessly mistaken for a boy by both adults and other children when I was a child and I'm very proudly a woman.
One of the many reasons I'm a G.C feminist now.
If the child in question is a boy, yes it's shit otherwise it could have been me years ago.

Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Helleofabore · 27/09/2023 19:16

Another one

Danish study on VO2 max and LBM in children from age 6

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1725036/pdf/v039p00725.pdf

Maximum oxygen uptake and objectively measured physical activity in Danish children 6-7 years of age: the Copenhagen school child intervention study
 
Eigberg, Hasselstrom, Gronfeldt, Friberg, Svensson, Anderson
October 2005

Objectives: To provide normative data on maximum oxygen uptake (Vo(2)max) and physical activity in children 6-7 years of age and analyse the association between these variables.

Methods: Vo(2)max was measured in 366 boys (mean (SD) 6.8 (0.4) years of age) and 332 girls (6.7 (0.4) years of age) from preschool classes in two suburban communities in Copenhagen, during a progressive treadmill exercise. Habitual physical activity was measured with accelerometers.

Results: Boys had higher Vo(2)max both in absolute values (1.19 (0.18) v 1.06 (0.16) litres/min (+11%), p<0.001) and relative to body weight (48.5 (6.0) v 44.8 (5.6) ml/kg/min (+8%); p<0.001) than girls. The difference in Vo(2)max between boys and girls decreased to +2% when expressed relative to lean body mass (LBM). Absolute Vo(2)max was related to LBM, body mass, and stature (all p<0.001). Boys were more physically active than girls (mean counts +9.4%, p<0.001), and even when boys and girls with the same Vo(2)max were compared, boys were more active. The difference in physical activity between the sexes was higher when sustained activity of higher intensity was compared.

Conclusions: Vo(2)max is higher in boys than girls (+11%), even when related to body mass (+8%) and LBM (+2%). Most of the difference in Vo(2)max relative to body mass was explained by the larger percentage body fat in girls. When boys and girls with the same Vo(2)max were compared, boys engaged in more minutes of exercise of at least moderate intensity.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1725036/pdf/v039p00725.pdf

Report
SuperNewMe · 27/09/2023 19:18

Yes, it's not clear how "I just know" is that they actually know, or just thinking the child in question is a boy - especially a child who doesn't even go to the school they're from (that's how I read it anyway, seeing as the official had asked the school the child was from, which implies not from the same school.as OP's kid)
Also very intrigued by pp 's "they'll smell each other"
What?!
Reminds me of that old rhyme
Little girls smell of sugar and spice and all things nice
Little boys smell of rats and puppy dog tails
😁

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.