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  • Jordan's Article on Sex Divison in Sports

    I was not a fan of the article. That was likely because I largely disagreed with his conclusions.

    I am fine with the current track and field standards (I don't know much about the issue in powerlifting).

    Basically the current standard in track and field is that intersex athletes are treated differently than non-intersex athletes. Intersex athletes are athletes are athletes who through no fault of their own were born with some of the sexual characteristics of men and some of the sexual characteristics of women. Intersex women are generally women who have a Y chromosome. Basically the rule in track and field is that Y chromosome women have to get a bunch of testing done and have to hormone levels within certain ranges to compete with women. Non-Y chromosome women (the majority of women) do not have to meet those same hormone tests in order to compete as women. In other words its okay for a XX women to have elevated levels of testosterone (assuming she isn't doping) and compete as a woman whereas that same level of testosterone would prohibit a Y chromosome woman from competing with women (in fairness the point is somewhat misleading because you typical XX woman almost never hits those levels of testosterone). To me this all seems fair.

    As much as everybody would like for the issue to be an exact science, the issue mostly comes down to your policy preferences. There is no intrinsic division between men and women sports. We can imagine a world where women have to compete against men in sports. Certainly talented women athletes would be able to better most men, but the top athletes would always be men. However for policy reasons (e.g. the encouragement for women to play sports) we divide men and women. That allows the top women to be elite rather than just very good and it allows the average women to compete rather than being below average in a co-ed sitaution. All the intersex and transgender issues comes down to is how do we want to best tweak our original goal of encouraging women to play sports by defining who can compete as women. You can argue and Jordan does, that intersex and transgender women don't have a big advantage over other women. However for now, lets go in the opposite direction and assume you are picking your winners and losers of sporting events by how you set your intersex and transgender policy. To me, I would rather women who have the same characteristics as 99% of women be the winners of women's sporting events because I think that most encourages women to play sports. My instinct is when transgendered women and intersex women win women sporting events it disincentives female participation in sports.

    That said, you could argue that intersex and transgendered women don't have a big competitive advantage so how we set our policy is not picking the future winners and losers of women's sporting events. My instinct is that in track and field that is wrong. Given what a small percentage of women who participate in track and field are transgendered or intersex and that a number of elites are transgendered or intersex--its significant. Even if they only had a 1 to 3% advantage that significant at an elite level. Using a stricter definition of intersex, only 1 in 5000 people is born intersex. That is .02%. Not .2%, but .02%. Yet the gold, silver, and bronze medalists at 2016 Olympic Games in the 800 meter race were all in that .02%. To me that is a good indication intersex athletes have an advantage. Take Caster Semenya for example. When she had to keep her testosterone levels lower she went from running around a 1:53 in the 800 meters to a 2:00 flatish 800. That is the difference between 113 second and 120 seconds, a 6% difference. Not a huge difference, but that difference is the difference between a good D1 college runner and being one of the top 10 runners in the world at that event.

    TLDR: I don't think we can say there is a right or wrong answer. Ultimately it comes down to your policy preferences. People like Jordan think that the most important policy preference is not to exclude intersex and transgendered women from competing in sports. I get that point. It would look ridiculous and awkward for a transgendered woman to compete as a man so that to a degree forcing these women to compete as men excludes them from the sport. By contrast, my policy preference is to give the maximum encourage to the 99%+ of women who are not intersex or transgendered to compete and enjoy sports and that is best achieved by something similar to the current arrangements in track and field (which is no transgendered women and intersex women must have hormone therapy to get their hormone levels in normal female range in order to compete as a woman)
    Last edited by philibusters; 08-07-2019, 01:21 PM.

  • #2
    Do people have thoughts on this? It seems like you can boil the issue down to a few questions. Thinking about it in flow chart form:

    1. Which policy goal should take precedence: 1) Trying to incentive female participation in sports by trying to monitor the playing field closely to make sure its an even playing field or 2) Including Transgender and Intersex people in sports

    If you pick 2 above you have reached your conclusion on the issue--you are going to support allowing intersex and transgendered women compete as women

    If you pick 1 above then you have to answer some more questions:

    1. Yes or no: Intersex and Transgendered male to female athletes enjoy a competitive advantage over XX women.

    If you choose no, then again that ends the discussion, you are likely going to support allowing intersex and transgendered women compete as females.

    If you said yes, you have answer an additional question

    1. Yes or No: Intersex and Transgendered Male to Female athletes can receive treatment that (largely) negates the athletic advantages they have over XX women

    If you said yes, you should support the current IAAF policy.

    If you said no, you should believe that in no cases whatsoever should intersex or transgendered women be allowed to compete as females.


    I support the IAAF policy. I think the policy goal and keeping a level playing field is more important than including transgendered male to female and intersex women in sports. I do admit the individual impact to MTF Transgendered women and intersex women is much greater in most cases than it is to any XX female because the effect is diluted over 99% of females. In the same way that a contractor may have a huge interest in some 30 million dollar legislative pork project, whereas for the tax payers as a whole 30 million is chump change--that doesn't mean the taxpayers interest in preventing wasteful spending is less than the contractors interest in getting the pork project.

    Second I do think transgendered and intersex women have a significant competitive advantage of XX women. Jordan cites three studies that collectively show that post operative/treatment transgendered women may have slightly more muscle than XX women and that in sex/age graded performances they don't seem to do better after treatment. He also points to studies that show the benefit of higher testosterone is fairly small and sometimes of no benefit at all though that compared athletic performance of women athletes within normal female ranges of testosterone levels and didn't compare women athletes with levels outside normal ranges that you would typically only find in XY males.

    I understand that evidence, but then I see that intersex females go gold, silver, and bronze at the 2016 Olympics 800 meter final. Intersex people make up about .02 percent of the population (1/5000) according to this analysis https://www.leonardsax.com/how-commo...usto-sterling/ . Jordan gives a different number in his article (1 in 1666) with the threefold difference likely being that intersex was defined slightly difference. If there was no difference the odds of intersex women going 1-2-3 at the Olympics would be .000008% (.02% X .02% X .02%). The winner of that Olympic 800 meters race was Caster Semenya and she was forced to undergo treatment to reduce her testosterone levels and the results do reflect the data comprised by comparing athletic performance of females with normal testosterone range. In this case her performance declined by 6 or 7%. Enough to take her from the best in the world to a non-factor at the elite world level. Long story short I think the competitive advantage is significant.

    Which raises the last question of whether intersex and Transgendered MTF athletes can receive treatment that negates the competitive advantage they have?

    I think they can as shown by Caster Semenya's case. It may not be possible to completely negate the advantage exactly. We could go so far where they are actually at a disadvantage compared to XX women or we could negative 95% of their competitive advantage but have 5% of their competitive advantage remain. I think the IAAF has handled it well. The restrictions seem to negate the vast majority of the competitive advantage intersex and MTF transgendered athletes have with a tiny advantage likely remaining. However we don't need perfection, we just need to keep the playing field fairly level to incentivize female participation in sports and the current policies are close enough.

    So I posed a bunch of questions if a flow chart format. How would other people answer those questions?

    Comment


    • #3
      People that come to these forums do have opinions on this but in the current climate its safer to avoid these topics.

      I disagree with the premise of the article (but did enjoy reading it) which I will totally admit is based purely on my own biases but I commend Jordan for presenting what he believes on the topic and backs it up with more than "muh feels"

      Personally yes, I believe Men have a strength advantage over women in general and allowing Trans-women to compete is unfair, granted I admit this is not due to looking at studies but the recent stories that have been hyped in media of Trans-women who were average in their born with gender go on to transition and win over women, pushing them out of opportunities they would have otherwise had (see the numerous videos about the girls track situation in Connecticut). Yes this is anecdotal and Im sure dramatized but it still points to there is some advantage in displays of strength to being a male during puberty.

      I also believe if you allow Trans-women to compete with biological women (I know I know I read the article, its not as simple as that to identify someone's sex but I view it like the Supreme Court views porn...you know it when you see it) then you cannot have rules that say they have suppressed their testosterone or gone through surgery as that is also discriminatory. Current Trans thinking on the matter is you dont have to do anything to your current physiology to be considered a woman so what do you do with that? Are those Trans-Women not allowed to compete? is it because the test levels are too high? OK Ill give you that, then would you allow a man with hypogonadism to compete with women? why not? and if there is NO advantage then why have gender separated sports at all?

      Again I am fully aware that my opinions on this are my own and probably not based on any concrete data, just my own version of "common sense"

      Thankfully I dont have to decide on any of this
      Last edited by Bassett; 08-08-2019, 08:22 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        One of the main strengths of BBM, that benefits us all with respect to training, is that they strive to overcome implicit bias with peer-reviewed research and data. With respect to this topic, as a white, cis male, my opinion shouldn't be prioritized very high and Jordan's article will certainly positively influence my lizard brain.

        I don't know if anyone caught any of the crossfit games this past weekend. It can be argued that those women are the premier female athletes in the world. For the individuals, they had a couple of co-ed events (teams are always co-ed) and a woman won the swimming event outright. The amazing ability of those women certainly sways my opinion further that athletic performance differences are smaller than we think.

        One section of the article leaves me with doubt about upper body strength differences: "Less is known about the effects of previous exposure to high levels of endogenous testosterone in the case of MTF individuals, or current exposure to exogenous testosterone in the case of FTM individuals. Neither have been well characterized nor fully understood." Unfortunately, there just isn't much data.

        I also think there is a difference between participating in sport because you love it (all should be welcome!) and participating in elite competitions. If I was an elite level male powerlifter and decided to transition MTF, I could not convince myself it would be OK to bring my 400lb bench to a national competition.

        Comment


        • #5
          What's disagreeable about his conclusions?

          I think he presented a strong case that 1. sex is not binary, and 2. there is not enough data for anyone to have any semblance of confidence about whether trans & intersex individuals do or do not have a competitive advantage, but if there is one, it may be small and sport dependent.

          Given the lack of clarity, we probably shouldn't discriminate against groups of people and should uphold the spirit of sport declaration set forth by the Olympics.

          From the Olympic Charter:
          The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play
          I think given the evidence presented by Jordan, the IOC guidelines regarding trans participation in sport are a pretty reasonable way to balance fairness, the olympic spirit of sport, inclusivity, and the arbitrary nature of having sex divisions. If and when we have more data, the IOC guidelines can be updated and our policies and conclusions may change.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by llaffin View Post
            What's disagreeable about his conclusions?

            I think he presented a strong case that 1. sex is not binary, and 2. there is not enough data for anyone to have any semblance of confidence about whether trans & intersex individuals do or do not have a competitive advantage, but if there is one, it may be small and sport dependent.

            Given the lack of clarity, we probably shouldn't discriminate against groups of people and should uphold the spirit of sport declaration set forth by the Olympics.

            From the Olympic Charter:


            I think given the evidence presented by Jordan, the IOC guidelines regarding trans participation in sport are a pretty reasonable way to balance fairness, the Olympic spirit of sport, inclusivity, and the arbitrary nature of having sex divisions. If and when we have more data, the IOC guidelines can be updated and our policies and conclusions may change.
            To me the disagreeable part of his conclusion was that he weighed the policy of inclusivity more heavily than I would.

            In terms of whether of him presenting a strong case that sex is not binary, I didn't look at that part of the article as closely because I am already in agreement with that position and just took it as a given. I read the book Middlesex when I was in college and watched the show Freaks and Geeks in HS (which had a character that was intersex). I am sure you can find people who think sex is binary, but most of them only believe that out of ignorance rather than out of ideology. I didn't consider the point that sex is not binary controversial at all. My instinct is that almost all the informed parties on both side of this debate would agree with that statement.

            In terms of his argument that there is not enough data to say whether trans or intersex individuals have an advantage I think that is correct from a scientific perspective as not enough controlled studies have been performed and the studies that have been done relate to but don't speak directly to the issue. However, his article totally ignores the non-scientific evidence. For example only .02% of women are intersex, one out of every 5000, yet intersex women won the gold, silver, and bronze int he 2016 800 meters. That is not evidence gathered in a lab or in a controlled study, but its still very telling evidence and it was not considered at all.

            Ultimately if you think the current rules are fair then we are in agreement. If post-operative/treatment trans MTF and intersex women are willing to get their testosterone levels under the current thresholds I think they likely give up most of the competitive advantages that they enjoy and should be allowed to compete as women. Do I think the playing field is perfectly even---not really, but its close. To me the priority of keeping the playing field even takes priority. Once we feel confident that the playing field is fairly even then we can start implementing the policy goal of inclusivity. To me there is a clear priority in the policy goals.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sjalbrec View Post
              One of the main strengths of BBM, that benefits us all with respect to training, is that they strive to overcome implicit bias with peer-reviewed research and data. With respect to this topic, as a white, cis male, my opinion shouldn't be prioritized very high and Jordan's article will certainly positively influence my lizard brain.

              I don't know if anyone caught any of the crossfit games this past weekend. It can be argued that those women are the premier female athletes in the world. For the individuals, they had a couple of co-ed events (teams are always co-ed) and a woman won the swimming event outright. The amazing ability of those women certainly sways my opinion further that athletic performance differences are smaller than we think.

              One section of the article leaves me with doubt about upper body strength differences: "Less is known about the effects of previous exposure to high levels of endogenous testosterone in the case of MTF individuals, or current exposure to exogenous testosterone in the case of FTM individuals. Neither have been well characterized nor fully understood." Unfortunately, there just isn't much data.

              I also think there is a difference between participating in sport because you love it (all should be welcome!) and participating in elite competitions. If I was an elite level male powerlifter and decided to transition MTF, I could not convince myself it would be OK to bring my 400lb bench to a national competition.

              I don't think Jordan wrote that article to truly understand the issue. I think likely already had a position and wrote the article to advocate for that position.

              Your second sentence "With respect to this topic, as a white, cis male, my opinion shouldn't be prioritized very high..." is signaling your political perspective. Which is fine, if you want to convey an opinion its probably good that people correctly understand where you stand and signaling can help avoid confusion. Likewise, I thought Jordan's article had lots of signaling in his article. Things that don't really contribute directly to his argument (but do tangentially relate to the argument), yet convey his political sympathies very effectively. For example if I just read the couple paragraphs he wrote on gender fraud which really isn't what the current controversy is about, I could fairly accurately guess his political sympathies, what evidence he would consider, and fairly closely guess the conclusion he came to. All based on a couple paragraphs that don't really go to the central issue of how to treat transgender and intersex athletes.

              In terms of the cross-fit games I haven't paid attention to them, but I am sure the athletes are amazing. In terms of the differences between male and female athletic performance there is a ton of data on that point so those differences can be fairly confidently assessed.

              In regards to you noting that the effects of previous exposure to high levels of endogenous testosterone in the case of MTF individuals being not well known, I think you are looking at a somewhat analogous situation to when powerlifters take steroids for a number of years than quit steriods. Did the steriods create infrastructure differences that last even after the lifter stops using steriods?

              In terms of your point about there being a difference between participating in sports and participating in elite competitions I completely agree. For example everybody should be allowed to compete at a powerlifting competition. Further I am fine with intersex women and trans women being included in the women's results. What I am less comfortable with is them being eligible for performance based awards. For example they can compete but I don't think they should be eligible for a weight class award unless they have met all the legal requirements to lower their testosterone for example.
              Last edited by philibusters; 08-09-2019, 10:32 AM.

              Comment


              • Leah Lutz
                Leah Lutz commented
                Editing a comment
                "I don't think Jordan wrote that article to truly understand the issue. I think likely already had a position and wrote the article to advocate for that position."
                It always fascinates me when people decide to make statements about someone else, particularly someone they only slightly know online. I'm not going to argue the point, but I find it curious that you find it useful to attempt to judge the formation of the article.

              • philibusters
                philibusters commented
                Editing a comment
                I find Jordan arrogant and he can kind of grind my gears so I am not all that inclined to be charitable to him.

                In terms of my comments about Jordan's motivations, could I be wrong? Sure. My comments are speculative in nature. But its what I do. I am a lawyer and I also enjoy political conversation. As a lawyer, it order to be good, you have to be able to read signaling--whats going on beyond the surface of people's words. If you the prosecution you are not allowed to say "this is a bad person he probably did the crime" but you can signal the judge or jury subtly. As the defense you are trying to signal them the opposite way but you are not allowed to say "my client is a good person and he wouldn't do what is alleged becasue its inconsistent with his good character", but that doesn't mean you don't say it underneath your words. If you are a good attorney you can see what the other side is signaling. If a witness on the stand is signaling meaning beneath the words you take note of it and see if you can use it against them on cross examination. In political conversation, where people are usually too smart to say something controversial or that will hurt them strategically you are always looking for clues to understand what happening.

                Take my post in this thread where I said "I follow three new sources on Facebook (The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Quillette)" From that one sentence if you are attuned to political signaling you can pretty much guess my politics. Washington Post = Respectable Democrat publication (if I was a Republican I would and wanted to convey respectability I would have said the Wall Street Journal), The Atlantic = Educated worldview, and Quillette equals interested in the intellectual dark web and pushing back against the social justice movement on the left. In order to catch all that you would have to follow politics, but when I wrote I was definitely being frank about political affiliations while also being a little bit discreet. That is an example of purposeful signaling.

                In terms of not guessing at people's motivations, I thought Jordan's signaling was not all that subtle and discreet. The tone of the article let you know which side of the fence he was on. He wasn't in your face about it and it kept it professional, but it wasn't like he tried to hide it either. Here is the thing, there is a lot of professions like politics and journalism where you have to be able to be able to fairly accurately guess people positions from signaling. If you cannot do that, you cannot excel in that profession. It doesn't mean you cannot earn a living in that profession, but you cannot excel in it. But its one of those things where even if you are good at it, you are occasionally going to get some of them wrong. We have had experiences where we make have an impression of someone and then over time that impression changes.

            • #8
              Originally posted by Bassett View Post
              People that come to these forums do have opinions on this but in the current climate its safer to avoid these topics.

              I disagree with the premise of the article (but did enjoy reading it) which I will totally admit is based purely on my own biases but I commend Jordan for presenting what he believes on the topic and backs it up with more than "muh feels"

              Personally yes, I believe Men have a strength advantage over women in general and allowing Trans-women to compete is unfair, granted I admit this is not due to looking at studies but the recent stories that have been hyped in media of Trans-women who were average in their born with gender go on to transition and win over women, pushing them out of opportunities they would have otherwise had (see the numerous videos about the girls track situation in Connecticut). Yes this is anecdotal and Im sure dramatized but it still points to there is some advantage in displays of strength to being a male during puberty.

              I also believe if you allow Trans-women to compete with biological women (I know I know I read the article, its not as simple as that to identify someone's sex but I view it like the Supreme Court views porn...you know it when you see it) then you cannot have rules that say they have suppressed their testosterone or gone through surgery as that is also discriminatory. Current Trans thinking on the matter is you dont have to do anything to your current physiology to be considered a woman so what do you do with that? Are those Trans-Women not allowed to compete? is it because the test levels are too high? OK Ill give you that, then would you allow a man with hypogonadism to compete with women? why not? and if there is NO advantage then why have gender separated sports at all?

              Again I am fully aware that my opinions on this are my own and probably not based on any concrete data, just my own version of "common sense"

              Thankfully I dont have to decide on any of this
              I appreciate you responding. I am interested in politics so posting on topics like this is basically second nature to me. I follow three new sources on Facebook (The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Quillette) and I probably comment on 5 articles between those three sources a day.

              This issue is probably somewhat prickly because I would say it falls into the social justice category of political topics. Social justice issues are more prickly than some other political issues simply because I think people tend to infuse them with more morality than say an economic issue or an issue regarding educational policy.

              In regards to your point that current trans thinking is that you don't have to undergo an operation or hormone therapy to be considered a woman, I think you hit on an important point; Which is ideology cannot drive nuts and bolts policy. If a biological male says he is a woman, but doesn't undergo an operation or therapy, I perfectly fine with identifying that guy as a woman in polite conversation because there is no policy goal of keeping an even playing field in sports at stake. But when you talk about sports or whether that man should be legally recognized as a woman I balk. Its one thing to be polite, its another to confer a legal designation on something. At the very extremes of feminism, the idea has emerged that there is no difference between sex and gender. These are ideas that I find worrisome, not because they are evil or anything, but because they tear down cultural understandings and consensus understanding that are fundamental to most people's world view. They is a saying that culture is composed of all of society's solutions to past problems. We may over time, forget that those past problems even existed, but if we are too ready to change our culture and traditions on a whim we may find a lot of problems that society solved long ago reemerge.
              Last edited by philibusters; 08-09-2019, 11:17 AM.

              Comment


              • sjalbrec
                sjalbrec commented
                Editing a comment
                i think you've contradicted yourself:

                You stated: "In terms of whether of him presenting a strong case that sex is not binary, I didn't look at that part of the article as closely because I am already in agreement with that position and just took it as a given."

                But then you said: "At the very extremes of feminism, the idea has emerged that there is no difference between sex and gender. These are ideas that I find worrisome, not because they are evil or anything, but because they tear down cultural understandings and consensus understanding that are fundamental to most people's world view. They is a saying that culture is composed of all of society's solutions to past problems. We may over time, forget that those past problems even existed, but if we are too ready to change our culture and traditions on a whim we may find a lot of problems that society solved long ago reemerge."

                I don't think anyone (especially those directly impacted) would say that society is moving past old-fashioned norms about gender "on a whim". It is, and will continue to be, quite a fight. I'd say you could categorize this issue along side women's voting rights, gay marriage, voter suppression of minorities, etc. These were all consensus cultural understandings and obviously wrong. Btw, I am in no way accusing you of supporting any of these outdated schools of thought!
                Last edited by sjalbrec; 08-09-2019, 05:01 PM.

              • philibusters
                philibusters commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for your comment sjalbrec.

                I don't see the contradiction. In terms of sex not being binary--I have accepted that as I gained piece meal knowledge of intersex people. There is no one factor that separates a male from a female, but a computer analyzing a persons biological makeup could with something very close to 100% accuracy label 98% or so of the population as male or female. About 2% of the population is born with a biological makeup more complicated than the cookie cutter version we think of and that is where the stat that 1.7% of the population is born intersex came from. However even within that 1.7% in the vast majority of the cases it is still pretty easy to label somebody as male or female. But there really is a small percentage of cases. Jordan's figure was 1 out of every 1,666. The number I saw was 1 out of 5000 where the person is genuinely not a good fit for male or female. In addition to the people who were born intersex, other people through surgery and hormone treatment alter their biological makeup so that they too don't truly fit into the male or female category. So both people born intersex and transgendered people serve as examples that sex is not binary.

                The idea in some extreme circles within feminism that sex and gender are not distinct is something I learned about from an article I read in Quillette ( https://quillette.com/2019/03/13/gen...brief-history/ ) I find that idea troubling because society still makes a lot of important distinctions based on biological sex. The idea that gender is fluid, and that sex is the same thing as gender, so that biological sex is also fluid challenges a lot of practices of society. Should boys and girls use separate bathroom? Should male and female prisoners be held in separate prisons? Should doctors be cognizant of biological differences between men and women when they treat them? Not that feminists who hold those beliefs want any of those things or are even worried about those issues. What they want is for transgender woman to become recognized as a biological female (sex) rather than just as a woman (gender). But the foundational underpinnings of such a belief would place a lot of things in doubt. To me sex is biologically based and gender is a combo of being biologically based and culturally based. Thinking that sex is biologically based does not mean I think sex is binary. Rather I think people who are born intersex and born that way based entirely based on biologically processes.
                Last edited by philibusters; 08-10-2019, 11:01 PM.

            • #9
              I really appreciated the article, for a couple of reasons:

              1. It challenged my common-sense/intuition that trans/intersex female athletes will automatically have a competitive advantage over their opponents with actual data. This is a useful opportunity for self-reflection and reviewing my priors.
              2. It presented an opportunity for me to troll my fundamentalist religious relative on Facebook, which I always appreciate.

              Joking aside, I've read the whole thing and I still don't know 100% where I stand. I'm inclined to agree with Jordan's conclusions as I generally favour inclusivity and fewer restrictions on people playing sports. I still can't shake the idea that for certain sports and certain individuals there may still be some competitive advantage gained, which doesn't sit well with me. This is a difficult topic to think about rationally.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by ropable View Post
                I really appreciated the article, for a couple of reasons:

                1. It challenged my common-sense/intuition that trans/intersex female athletes will automatically have a competitive advantage over their opponents with actual data. This is a useful opportunity for self-reflection and reviewing my priors.
                2. It presented an opportunity for me to troll my fundamentalist religious relative on Facebook, which I always appreciate.

                Joking aside, I've read the whole thing and I still don't know 100% where I stand. I'm inclined to agree with Jordan's conclusions as I generally favour inclusivity and fewer restrictions on people playing sports. I still can't shake the idea that for certain sports and certain individuals there may still be some competitive advantage gained, which doesn't sit well with me. This is a difficult topic to think about rationally.
                I am not convinced the evidence really shows that they don't have an advantage. For example he uses the study by Bermon which compared the athletic performance of women athletes who were in the top third of females testosterone levels with women who were in the bottom third, to argue the data shows that levels of testosterone only have a minor effect on performance advantage which is 0.31% for running events and 1.07% for non-running events like throws. But the problem with with that study is it studied females in the normal testosterone range of 20-60 ng/dL, meaning the difference from a very low testosterone participant to high testosterone participant was about 40 ng/DL. With intersex athletes we are potentially talking about women with testosterone levels 10 X the high end of the female spectrum so we are talking about a difference of 540 ng/DL not 40 ng/DL so the study doesn't address how that type of testosterone discrepancy would affect performance. In at least one case, Caster Semenya, when she had to reduce her testosterone levels it immediately affected her performance by about 6%. That is huge.
                Last edited by philibusters; 08-09-2019, 01:03 PM.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Interesting article. If you choose to manipulate/mutilate your own body in order to assign yourself a new gender, then the consequence should be no participation in professional sports or a trans division must exist . In just a few instances where average male competitors decide they are female and compete as such, they have blown out the biological female competitors in track and strength sports. Over time, I think with no boundries, many top podium spots and records would be occupied by trans people in women's divisions. As a father of 3 girls that play sports, I would not be on board with biological or gender re-assigned persons competing with them. Sorry.

                  Comment


                  • llaffin
                    llaffin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't think the word "mutilate" is appropriate. Also, the article did not suggest there should be no boundaries, but that the current IOC guidelines appear to eliminate most of the competitive advantage. What are these "few instances"? Most I have seen are from trans athletes not having to follow the rules set out by the IOC.

                • #12
                  Another issue I have, not so much with this particular article, but with the debate in general, is the term transgendered.

                  People who have surgery and get hormone treatment should be called transsex because they are altering their body to more resemble a sex that they were not born into. If gender is based on behavior rather than biological basis (e.g. how we dress), then a transvestite (a man who dresses as a woman is an example of a transgendered person). A person going though an operation and hormone treatment by contrast should be called trans-sex.

                  Comment


                  • MitchellCole
                    MitchellCole commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It seems like this subject causes you a lot of stress. There are far more important things to worry about, IMO.

                  • philibusters
                    philibusters commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Political issues occasional cause me stress, but for the most part I enjoy the conversation in the same way I enjoy exercise like strength training or running.

                • #13
                  I felt the same way and PM'd Jordan about it. I prefer to keep things as simple as possible because the more complicated you make the issue (more than it needs to be) the more wrong you usually are. Jordan said to respond via forum instead of PM, so I'm submitting this here. My initial argument just seeing the highlights of the article posted on instagram is "We've had a way to tell sex with 99.9% accuracy for 6000 years. Penis + XY chromosomes = Male, Vagina + XX chromosomes = Female. Tiebreaker goes to chromosomes." After reading the full article at his behest, I see one of his largest arguments against this is that there's females with XY chromosomes and individuals with 1 less or 1 more chromosome, and this invalidates the way I determine sex. But he himself shows in the article that these only show up in 1 in 1000-2000 births. 1 in 1000 makes my method 99.9% accurate, as I stated. This isn't anywhere close to a significant number to invalidate our definition of the 2 sexes. If you have a birth abnormality that modifies your chromosomes that's bad luck of the draw for you. You can still be included - in the division that matches your chromosomes. You probably won't be exceptional enough to place - but neither is someone with other abnormalities at birth like a heart defect. (Side note because Jordan questioned it in PMs: Why did I say for 6000 years? because the first document i know of that describes 2 sexes is the bible and the oldest scrolls recovered are around that age so im comfortable saying this standard was set then. might have been known earlier without documentation, doesn't really matter.)

                  So to summarize, sex is very simply and accurately determined: Penis + XY chromosomes = Male, Vagina + XX chromosomes = Female. If you are outside this norm you have a rare abnormality but this doesn't bar you from participation in every classification, you might just have a harder opponent genetically. It's scientifically impossible to include every rare abnormality in a classification, but 99.9% coverage is perfectly acceptable as a standard.

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                  • #14
                    It's a very interesting question to ask if there are situations that an unfair advantage might exist.

                    It seems like people are worried about that a great deal.

                    It would be nice to have a more thorough examination into that topic, although from a certain perspective, it might be the most important topic.

                    I'm just a guy on an internet forum, I don't have strong opinions or answers to life's hard questions.

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                    • #15
                      I know from what research I have read I would pose the question of what role “muscle memory” plays in function post transition. It’s well known that there are physiological differences post trans but not enough research or any for that matter has actually looked at the impact previous training history has on post trans performance. I’m not saying one way or the other if it is fair or not. I simply think looking further into that specific factor would be pretty cool and provide a nice insight into it all.

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