Transgenderism and Fairness to Female Athletes

An Olympic Transition

Transgender rights march on; this time, onto the field of competitive athletics. But in the name of fairness, fairness is being threatened.

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John Stonestreet

In late January, the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, announced a change in policies that will enable transgendered athletes to compete “without first having to undergo gender reassignment surgery.”

Previously, a man who’d “transitioned” to being a woman could compete as a woman “only after surgery, having undergone a minimum of two years of hormone therapy and being legally recognized as their changed gender.”

The IOC’s rationale was that the old rules may have been “inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights.”

What they mean by “developing legislation and notions of human rights” is the idea that people who identify as members of the opposite sex should be treated as such even if they’ve not undergone surgery or hormone therapy.

Of course, the best-known and most controversial example are laws and regulations that allow anatomical males who identify as female to use women’s facilities, such as restrooms and locker rooms, a trend the Department of Education has endorsed in public schools.

Under the new Olympic rules, which have to be implemented by the various bodies that govern Olympic sports such as track and field, basketball, gymnastics, etc., athletes who “transition from male to female” must meet several requirements: They must “declare” as female; and their testosterone levels must fall below a certain threshold for at least 12 months while competing.

All of this is being done to ensure, in the IOC’s words, “opportunity to participate in sporting competition” while safeguarding “the guarantee of fair competition.”

I have my own words: folly and nonsense.

It’s strange that it even needs to be said, but there are undeniable differences between men and women.

Even after sexual reassignment surgery and hormone therapy, “some gender-specific attributes remain,” including muscle mass. While transitioning males will not be as muscular as they would be without hormone therapy, there’s a good chance they will be more muscular than their born-female competitors.

And if they do not undergo the surgery and simply take hormones, muscle mass is possibly maintained at close to male levels.

daily_commentary_02_01_16In a 2014 Mixed Martial Arts fight, a transgendered fighter, Fallon Fox, destroyed Tamikka Brents, giving Brents a concussion and breaking her eye socket. As Brents put it, “I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night.” She continued, “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life” and “I’m an abnormally strong female in my own right.”

And mind you, Fox underwent reassignment surgery in 2006 and had been on hormone therapy ever since. In other words, Fox is as “transitioned” as a transgendered athlete can be, and still the competition was blatantly unfair.

In contrast, the men the IOC proposes will compete against women in contact sports such as hockey and basketball are nowhere near Fallon in their “transition.”

Now what’s going on here is the triumph of ideology over reality, in this case, human physiology, and therefore over common sense. For the sake of this ideology, the IOC is willing to sacrifice not only fairness, but the health and safety of female athletes, too.

As Chuck Colson often said, the ultimate test of a worldview is to follow it to its logical extreme. And thanks to the International Olympic committee, we’ve reached the logical extreme of a secular worldview that says humans can re-make ourselves in any fashion we choose—the rights and safety of others be darned.

And the results won’t be pretty.


Rio 2016: Olympic body changes transgender guidelines
CNN.com | January 25, 2016

A Medical And Scientific Analysis of Transgender MMA Fighters. Do They Have an Advantage?
Jon Gelber | fightmedicine.net | March 2013

Transgender ‘female’ MMA fighter gives female opponent concussion, broken eye socket
Dustin Siggins | lifesitenews.com | September 19, 2014


It's not that simple. The fact of the matter is (and I suppose I am extending NG's comment by saying this) that there are:

1. hermaphrodites (people born with both male and female reproductive organs),

2. neuters (people born with neither),

3. people born with the chromosomes of one gender and the anatomy of the other,

4. people born with more than two sex chromosomes (like xyy, which used to be thought to predispose one to violent criminal behavior).

However we decide to deal with these people, similar techniques could be used for transgenders. Where do we draw the line?

And for those of you who are inclined to mindlessly repeat the slogan "God don't make junk", all I can say is, "What exactly does that mean? That everybody is born perfect? Nobody is born blind, deaf, with missing or extra parts, etc." Well, reality says otherwise, and so does scripture. So give me a break!
Communicating with Secular Friends and Family
I agree with the the basic conviction that this ideology deviates from reality. At the same time, I think we need to dig deeper into underlying assumptions (both ours and our neighbors') in order to effectively question the prevailing system of thought. I'm not exactly sure how best to do that since there are several facets to the discussion. First, there's the common conviction that humans can create our own identities -- something akin, I think, to Sartre's "existence precedes essence" axiom. How do we call that into question? Second, we are assuming certain obligation attending to biological givens, such as maleness and femaleness. The response from the LGBT side seems to be that biology does not come with prescriptive mandates, and so humans can change biology when such structures are in the way of happiness or a sense of congruence. How do we defend our view that our given bodies are essential to our humanity in such a way that we have moral obligations to preserve sex-specific distinctions? Third, there does seem to be a segment of the population (however small) that experiences gender dysphoria and they perceive a deep incongruity between their biological sex and their internal sense of self. How do we graciously affirm the truth about sex differences and simultaneously not ignore the painful discord some people feel within themselves? Finally, the growth of transgender views has grown concurrently with medical techniques for changing biology. Some techniques, such as testosterone or estrogen replacement therapies, have helpful uses as well. How do we distinguish appropriate uses of these techniques without falling prey to what Lewis called "the abolition of man"? These are complex issues, and I want to clarify them for myself as well as provoke thought amongst my secular friends and family. What do you all think about these topics?
Larger Picture
I like your comment "triumph of ideology over reality". This mentality seems to go beyond just transgender-ism though. We are also seeing this play out on colleges across the country where a young woman can get a fellow male student thrown out of school just for an accusation. This mentality extends to Bill Cosby (curiously not to Bill Clinton though) who has had lots of accusations, but very little evidence presented against him. The current mentality is to throw out time honored judicial protections for a perceived injustice, because the ideology of these people is that sexual relations should not be constrained in any way. They are ignoring the reality of the price that we all pay for this kind of debauchery. The solution is simple, don't get drunk at a party full of drunken men, but they think because they want to protect their ideology, that they can take this kind of risk and not pay for it. Instead we throw the "baby" of judicial protection of innocent until proven guilty for the bathwater of not being able to go to a party with drunken men. The biblical description of these people is appropriate: "they professed to be wise, but instead became fools".
I don't understand why science is the considered 'god' of for example creation logic (specimen dating methods etc) but in this specific realm of gender identification, the chromosomal makeup is never mentioned. Seems pretty simple to me, got 2 "x"'s you play for the girls, got an "x" and a "Y" you play for the boys. seems like the worst scientific double standard I've ever seen