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Unread 02-26-2017, 02:11 PM   #1
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Transgender athletes

Not sure if there's much discussion on these matters around here anymore. Just thought I'd throw this out.

Should schools change their policies regarding gender and athletics? In this case it's a student transitioning from female to male so the student would maybe be at a slight disadvantage if they competed against male athletes. But what about a student transitioning from male to female? Would it be fair to have 5'11" 16 year old student transitioning from male to female playing on the girls basketball team?

There have been a few cases where birth certificates have been legally amended. I'm sure this will be common practice within the next decade. Should minors be able to transition genders and have their birth certificates changed?

One thought I had: If I were a female wrestler in that weight bracket I would not be happy about competing with someone who theoretically has an advantage, even if it is a very small advantage. In this case the advantage comes from the student taking hormone therapy (testosterone). From what I gather, from an athletic stand point this student is more male than female.



Transgender wrestler Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity wins Texas state girls wrestling title


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Unread 02-26-2017, 02:24 PM   #2
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I know I may appear to be super liberal to some, but I am very wary about children or teens being allowed to transition, especially if it requires surgery and/or taking hormones. I think this is a terrible idea, especially as some who work in this area have said that up to 75% of children and teens that experience gender dysphoria will eventually grow out of it. How horrible for someone to have grown out of these feelings after making such permanent or near permanent decisions!

Also, I think it is a terrible idea for teens or young athletes, or, heck, any athletes to be able to compete after transitioning.

The case you mentioned is a particularly egregious one. Completely unfair.

Males have body structures that make them a bit more solid in some ways. So, a male who is a fighter in some capacity (as an instance), being able to fight or wrestle females after transitioning to a female is just super unfair.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 02:24 PM   #3
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I read about Beggs. I think it was as unfair to him as it was to his competition. But, like one of the competitor's father said, it's not his fault. It's the governing body's fault.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown Thrunk View Post
I know I may appear to be super liberal to some, but I am very wary about children or teens being allowed to transition, especially if it requires surgery and/or taking hormones. I think this is a terrible idea, especially as some who work in this area have said that up to 75% of children and teens that experience gender dysphoria will eventually grow out of it. How horrible for someone to have grown out of these feelings after making such permanent or near permanent decisions!

Also, I think it is a terrible idea for teens or young athletes, or, heck, any athletes to be able to compete after transitioning.

The case you mentioned is a particularly egregious one. Completely unfair.

Males have body structures that make them a bit more solid in some ways. So, a male who is a fighter in some capacity (as an instance), being able to fight or wrestle females after transitioning to a female is just super unfair.
Where I grew up, the only way for girls to play traditionally male sports (football, wrestling) was to compete against males, and I knew a couple of female athletes who really held their own doing so. I think it kind of slanted my view on this. My first thought was, their school has a separate wrestling team for girls? Whoa!

And while I agree about teenagers transitioning, I think my real issue here is that he's on testosterone. I just don't see how it's okay for him to compete with chemically altered blood.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown Thrunk View Post
I know I may appear to be super liberal to some, but I am very wary about children or teens being allowed to transition, especially if it requires surgery and/or taking hormones. I think this is a terrible idea, especially as some who work in this area have said that up to 75% of children and teens that experience gender dysphoria will eventually grow out of it. How horrible for someone to have grown out of these feelings after making such permanent or near permanent decisions!
same. if one cannot get a tattoo or piercing without parental consent under 18, it makes me wonder how gender issues can be decided (by child or by parent) under 18. the brain continues developing and maturing until at least 25, if i remember my psych classes correctly. (also, my mama has an advanced degree in early child development from a biosocial and neurological perspective, so i may have absorbed some of my info by osmosis. )

regarding the physical mismatch...i think it depends on a lot of factors. how do you determine what steroids and/or hormone therapies are allowable and what are not allowable? my doc wanted to put me on a steroid inhaler for asthma. my body is super sensitive to steroids--mostly i gain weight really fast, so i rejected the inhaler, but who knows if it could also contribute to rapid muscle development? (i didn't test it out.) my body is naturally muscular and i gain strength pretty quickly, so would that be considered an unfair use of steroids if i were a competitive athlete? i know a teen who is on hormone therapy after childhood cancer in his pituitary gland--he needs to take steroid injections regularly to help him grow. i don't think he's involved in athletics, but if he were, is that fair to others in his height/weight class? obviously like i said above, i don't think gender transition should be open to teens (i think we need to have other strong support and therapeutic systems in place to help teens with gender dysphoria), but since it IS currently open, i think it's worth examining what is considered fair and what is considered unfair, and how you can equitably determine which is which.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 03:06 PM   #6
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@uptown funk I couldn't agree more about the timing of transitioning.

@Art definitely a loose/loose situation. I train BJJ and have known several of my training partners who have gone to competitions and then had no one in their bracket so two brackets are combined. This sometimes results in a competitor competing down a whole belt rank. Every student I know who has competed down and won has left frustrated and feeling like the victory was hollow.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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@beanbag most athletic governing bodies have an allowable range for each gender based on norms. I have heard of athletes being disqualified for higher levels of hormones (Testosterone and HGH) even though they had "reasonable medical" explanations. That's why athletes need to know the rules and be very careful about what they put into their bodies.
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Unread 02-26-2017, 03:16 PM   #8
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallon_Fox

This MMA fighter transitioned from male to female and had several fights before that become public knowledge. She has brutally beaten several opponents and most female fighters have refused to fight her stating safety reasons. "Fair" is an interesting construct. It may not be fair to not allow someone like Fallon Fox or the wrestler Mack Beggs to pursue their dreams, but is it fair to let them compete in an arena where they have a physical advantage? Conundrums.....
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Unread 02-26-2017, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthomas1600 View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallon_Fox

This MMA fighter transitioned from male to female and had several fights before that become public knowledge. She has brutally beaten several opponents and most female fighters have refused to fight her stating safety reasons. "Fair" is an interesting construct. It may not be fair to not allow someone like Fallon Fox or the wrestler Mack Beggs to pursue their dreams, but is it fair to let them compete in an arena where they have a physical advantage? Conundrums.....
Wow. Just read the "Controversy" section in the Wikipedia article. Did some pretty scary damage to other fighters.
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Unread 02-27-2017, 10:18 AM   #10
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I heard about this on the radio some time back. It's indeed a conundrum - if you let him/her compete against others, you risk serious damage to other fighters, and the eroding of the fan base. But if you take a stand the other way, you are labeled and lynched by the PR police.
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Unread 02-27-2017, 10:42 AM   #11
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I do think it's worth noting that, for her (Fox's) advantages, her lone loss came at in a title shot, so it's not like she's run rampant over her league.
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Unread 02-27-2017, 01:59 PM   #12
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The thing you have to consider is that the hormones involved in gender transition therapy will, in fairly short order, cause the body of the person so treated to come to more or less resemble the proportions of the gender they are transitioning to.

Estrogen will feminize a masculine body, reduce muscle tone, and the like. Androgens will have the opposite effect. The IOCC is well aware of this, and has a rule (if I recall rightly?) that transgender athletes can compete as the gender they are transitioning to once a suitable amount of time has passed to enable the hormones to make their body suitably feminized or masculinized.
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Unread 02-27-2017, 04:38 PM   #13
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@Issac You are right about the hormones and that is what actually gave the wrestler in question an advantage -- at least in theory -- because she was a female transitioning to male. So the student was taking extra testosterone yet being made to compete against female competitors.

In the case of the MMA fighter the athlete would have (in theory) had about the same levels of testosterone and estrogen as the opponents they were competing against, but would have still had some of the residual traits of being male, i.e. wider shoulders, larger hands, higher bone density, and according to some studies even increased lung capacity.

I think the practice of medically altering gender is still new enough we probably don't know enough about it yet to really know if the "advantages" I've cited are statistically significant or not. I'm guessing yes...... but who knows.
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Unread 03-23-2017, 08:32 AM   #14
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This one is making the news this week.

I just don't get it.

Transgender Woman Wins International Title
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Unread 03-28-2017, 02:31 PM   #15
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Considering transgenderism is still considered a mental illness, I think transgender athletes should be disqualified on the grounds of mental incompetence.
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