Transgenderism and the Death of Women’s Sports, Part 1

Transgender

For most of the month of February 2018, the sports world will be dominated by the Winter Olympic games in South Korea. This Olympics will continue an experiment that began in Rio at the 2016 Summer games. It is an experiment with transgenderism that could well mark the death of women’s sports.

The New Olympic “Rules”

In January of 2016, the International Olympic Committee announced new rules concerning whether transgendered athletes could compete alongside normal athletes. These “rules” are listed as “guidelines,” so strict compliance would not be tested for or monitored.

The IOC ruling was effective for the Rio Olympics and will remain for this year’s Winter Olympics. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in charge of making the rules for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, said that there will be no sex or gender testing required for the upcoming games.

That is consistent with the ruling of two years ago. However, there is one feature that is key to why transgenderism is a real threat to women’s sports. According to The Guardian:

Female-to-male athletes can compete ‘without restriction’, while male-to-female athletes must undergo hormone therapy, according to new guidelines

The reasoning for this disparity is a slight nod to biological reality. Biologically, the male of the species has much higher natural testosterone levels than the female. This is the hormone which gives the male a natural athletic advantage over the female. Those “male-to-female athletes” who must go through hormone therapy are enduring an unnatural reduction of testosterone from their original levels.

The Transgender Athletic Advantage

32745919615_7f85d5a1b1_mAnyone who has observed sports in the past few decades will note that in almost every sport, males outperform females. This is especially true in Olympic sports that require high levels of speed and endurance. In the summer games, this is highlighted in sports such as swimming, track and field, and weightlifting and others. In the winter games, events such as ice hockey, skiing, and speed skating see significant differences in performance between men and women athletes.

This reality is reflected in the IOC guidelines as well. As noted above, “female to male athletes” will have no restrictions on their eligibility to compete. The only reason for this is the natural disparity in athleticism between females and their male counterparts.

The athletic advantage is conferred upon the athletes who are males ‘transitioning’ to females due to the higher levels of testosterone the males have to begin with.

The average male produces much more of it [testosterone] than the average female, roughly 35 nmol/L. Women usually produce less than 3 nmol/L.

Thus just the average male produces more than 10 times the testosterone of a female. The IOC regulations require that a male ‘transitioning’ to a female undergo at least a year of hormone therapy to reduce the level of the hormone to a maximum of 10 nanomoles per liter of blood.

4869134528_aebd90030f_mThe unfair advantage should be clear. The trans-athlete can carry the increased muscle mass and strength that only began a decline of sorts a year prior. Additionally, the trans-athletes testosterone limit is more than three times higher than the natural levels of female athletes.

two large studies in Russia and South Korea [show] that… 99 percent of female athletes had testosterone below 3.08 nmol/L.

The IAAF Opposition

The International Association of Athletics Federations is the organization the governs track and field competitions worldwide. The IAAF realized years ago that people ‘transitioning’ from male to female could easily dominate women’s track and field because of increased testosterone levels. They set forth regulations which attempted with various testing requirements to level the playing field.

However, a runner named Dutee Chand objected to the IAAF limitations and took them to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This is an international “Court” which rules on disputes with a ruling of binding arbitration. The CAS,

suspended the IAAF’s testosterone rule in 2014, citing a lack scientific evidence to suggest that women with high levels of the hormone have a significant competitive advantage. The IAAF argued that testosterone is the most important boost to athletic performance, but the court stated that unless it could prove an average performance gap of 10 to 12 percent between male and female runners, there was not sufficient “evidence about the degree of the advantage.”

Note that even the CAS denied an athletic advantage existed. However, this only suspended, not revoked, the testosterone rule. The CAS decided to give the IAAF until June of 2017 to come up with more proof of the advantage afforded by testosterone. Nothing has come forward from the IAAF since then.

The IOC Capitulation

15572392539_4fd27f2a49_mThe IOC issued guidelines instead of rules pending the final ruling of the CAS against the IAAF. Unless and until the IAAF can get their rules reinstated, the IOC has decided not to ensure the guidelines are being met. After all, they can’t enforce them as rules if they aren’t really rules, right.

However, according to the Daily Caller, this also means that:

Unless the Olympic Committee changes its mind before 2018, athletes competing in the South Korea Winter Olympics will not be required to undergo sex testing or adhere to testosterone limits.

Why would the IOC decide to handle the situation in this manner? This is an organization which has been involved in testing for PED, or Performance Enhancing Drugs, for many years. They have banned male athletes for using drugs to enhance the hormone they allow by this policy. The answer is found in the shadowy world of ‘political correctness,’ which will be dealt with in part two.

 

D.T. Osborn

Sources:
The Daily Caller – Here’s What The 2018 Olympic Gender Regulations Look Like
The Guardian – IOC rules transgender athletes can take part in Olympics without surgery

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Megan Cole’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Aaron Hawkins Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Queen Yuna’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Third Inset Image Courtesy of Mariano Mantel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

 

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