Are Transgender Women in Sports a Threat to Female Athletes?

            Trans women, people born as a biological male with a female gender identity, are joining women’s sports. This has been in the center of a cultural and political battleground recently. Several female athletes have expressed their irritation that trans women athletes, with their male genetics, are winning over biological women. Many proponents argue that there are rules in place to ensure fairness and that trans women are women.

A new transgender bathroom has been setup near the gymnasium at Hall High School. The proximity of the two symbolizes more transgender participation in sports. (Camden Carpenter)

            “I think it creates an unfair environment for the biological women playing,” says Hall athlete Jonny Robinson. “There is biological proof that men have different strengths and weaknesses and different aspects which can create an unfair advantage for them.” Indeed it is true that testosterone (found in significantly higher levels in males) influences muscle mass and strength. However, rules are in place. According to the Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Policy of the NCAA, for a transgender athlete to participate in sports, they must show documentation of one year of testosterone suppression treatment.

These gender symbols represent the traditional separation of women and male sports which is now in question with more transgender participation, especially in women’s sports. (Camden Carpenter)

             Hall student Emma Clifford adds that although transgender women are not the exact same as biological women, the whole point of life is to make the most out of it and to not build walls showing how we are all different. 

             Recently there have been incidents involving this controversy. Penn State Swimmer, Lia Thomas, won the 500 freestyle in the 2022 NCAA Women’s swimming championship. After the event, competitors and media showed concerns with her previous gender advantages. In an interview with Fox News, college athlete Madison Kenyan uses phrases like “deflating” and “women are still losing to biological males in their own sport”, which really displays the level of irritation female competitors have.

             Dr. Herz, a pediatrician from Connecticut, explains genetic advantages with a male body. Genetic advantages means that male bodies have more musculature. Men tend to be faster and stronger. She also speaks out about the controversy: “I think if you’re a transgender male [with] a female body but participate in male competitions, I think this is seen as less controversial.”

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