BBC segment on transwomen in female sports

February 13, 2022 • 11:15 am

This 9-minute BBC show on testosterone, sport, and transwomen athletes (below), won’t tell you much more than the posts I’ve put up on this topic, but the show does have the cachet of an expert weighing in. And he says what I’ve also extracted from the published research: once a biological male has gone through puberty, and then transitions to the female gender, even the use of testosterone antagonists for up to three years can’t produce a “level playing field”. That’s because puberty, with its surge of testosterone, helps give biological males the skeletal, muscular, and physiological differences from women that confer a performance advantage in sports.

Moreover, research shows that these morphological and physiological differences remain even after three years (the former Olympic regulations mandates low testosterone for only a year), and translate into performance advantages, though there isn’t yet much research on the performance part. What research there is shows the athletic advantages mirror the remaining biological differences.

The narrator concludes, properly, that it will take years to sort out the biology and performance issues that can possibly create a “level playing field.” In my view, we either wait for those data, which may never be forthcoming given how hard it is to collect them, or create a two-category sports system: “biological women” and “everybody else”. (The latter sounds a bit crass and insensitive, but I don’t know what to call it.)

The program ends with the narrator adding, correctly, that some say that trans athletes of any sort “should be able to compete in whatever category they choose.” Those groups who so far seem to favor medically untreated trans women being able to compete against cis women (or “biological women”) include the ACLU, the Biden administration, and several states that specify gender as “what one identifies as”, with no medical intervention needed. (In Connecticut, for example, if you say you identify as a woman, you can compete in women’s sports, period.)These groups, while motivated by an admirable desire to support the marginalized, are creating a greater unfairness to athletes of an entire biological sex

I will do the usual throat-clearing: in all other ways that I can imagine, trans women (or trans men) should have the legal and moral rights of everybody else. But I reject the notion that my view (the one advanced here and by the BBC expert) is “transphobic.”

Click below, and then on the right-pointing arrow to hear the segment. But do it quickly, as I think the Beeb takes down its shows quickly.

h/t: Jean

14 thoughts on “BBC segment on transwomen in female sports

    1. Some problematic words here. Shouldn’t this be spelled “like a womxn scxrned”?

      In the Soviet Union, a biologist named Bosh’ian reported that antibiotics were living things, that
      viruses could turn into bacteria, and that bacterial cells could transform into viruses. His discoveries still turned on observation, revealing a residual empirical outlook of sorts. Even Bosh’ian did not claim, as the state of Connecticut might today, that viruses and microbes can change their identities by simple announcement.

  1. What exactly is “admirable” about allowing anyone who declares themselves a women to compete with actual women? This is insanity.

    The simple fact of the matter, that should be the evidence that this is massively unfair to actual women, is the fact that this is only an issue when a man transitions to a woman, never when a woman transitions to a man. Never.

    Why is this? Because while you might be able to suppress your sex, you can’t actually change it. Declaring yourself a woman doesn’t actually make you one.

    This is obviously brutally unfair to actual women, but in today’s left wing McCarthy-ist environment, speaking out, at best will get you shunned, at best.

    Btw, according to the ACLU, and other groups that have lost their minds, men can give birth. When oh when is this lunacy going to end?

    1. And, presumably, to breast feed. While in the UK (according to my cousin’s FB post yesterday) womxn are now relegated to “chest” feeding, at least while in some hospitals.

      1. Mrs. M., who has never borne children, was furious the first time she heard it called chest feeding. What must anyone who ever has had children, and breast-fed them, think? Besides, the breast is not the chest. That’s just anatomically and surgically wrong. Don’t call a breast surgeon when you have a sucking chest wound! Or a thoracic surgeon when you have “chest” cancer.

      1. I don’t care anymore. I refuse to support these obvious delusions and lies. It’s like The Emperor’s New Clothes has come to life.

  2. “More or Less” is always a good listen and has a podcast if you miss it. Tim Harford’s book, “How to Make The World Add Up” is a terrific read too.

  3. … or create a two-category sports system: “biological women” and “everybody else”. (The latter sounds a bit crass and insensitive, but I don’t know what to call it.)

    The term “open” works and is already used in this context. Of course it implies that biological women could, if they wished, join the category, but that would generally be fine.

  4. I literally just heard the repeat of Thursday’s More or Less on Radio 4 in the past half hour or so and thought it might interest our host. An excellent and clear analysis of the issues.

  5. Taking performance reducing drugs in order to participate in elite sports seems rather backwards to me. And potentially dangerous to your health?

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