Author Topic: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?  (Read 346 times)

Bad Penny II

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Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« on: October 25, 2017, 11:01:52 AM »
Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?

According to a radio program I was listening to it was unanimous, if you think that you’re a homophobe. 

http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/programs/theticket/  That’s audio you probably don’t need to listen to it.

Here’s some words on the subject:   http://theconversation.com/do-transgender-athletes-have-an-unfair-advantage-54289

Quote
Hannah Mouncey is a name most of Australia now associates with AFLW, despite being told by the governing body this week she couldn't play the game. At least, not at an elite level.

Hannah was a 6’ 4” male now she is a 6’ 4” woman.  Good for her, people suffer and changing gender helps them and bigoted people hurt them.  I don’t want to be amongst those who hurt them.  I fear I face one of those dreaded “buts” that prove I’m a homophobe.  I’m dubious about those incriminating “buts,” the world is complicated and adding a qualification shouldn’t automatically designate the user a pariah.

I’m not sure what a fear of homosexuality has to do with this issue anyway, it probably deserves a phobia of it’s own.  People may overestimate the advantage, apparently after a year on medication much of the advantage is lost, so a degree of irrational “fear” for the want of a better word may apply.

Hannah was a lower grade male player, now her ability would qualify her for a top level woman’s team.  She has had the advantage of growing up a male, 6’ 4” men are a lot more common than 6’ 4” women.  This form of football favours tall people, there is a lot of kicking and high jumping to catch the ball.
 
The radio program seemed to lean to allowing anyone identifying as female being able to compete without restriction, (I heard it last Friday and haven’t re-listened to it again though).  A rule is made disallowing elite competition but allows lower level inclusion.  This is identified as being inconsistent, ye consistency can be nice but a tyrant if it goes against you, compromise is useful in this flawed world.

I think there should be restrictions, is my thinking tarnished by my prejudices?  Possibly a bit but I’m pretty much always supportive of the “light” side on gay/trans issues.  Possibly there is a bias on the other side that makes them see things differently to me, I don't have a phobia at hand to apply to them in conclusion though.  Shame that, a useful rhetorical device that, labelling your opposition wrong in the head. 
 

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BooksCatsEtc

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 08:10:38 PM »
Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?

According to a radio program I was listening to it was unanimous, if you think that you’re a homophobe. 

I believe the correct term here is transphobe.

And given that gender reassignment is cosmetic surgery with chemical support (admittedly extreme cosmetic surgery) to change what your gender appears to be without changing your body's actual gender, I would say that yeah, having a male body in a female sport is an unfair advantage.

Question:  does this issue ever come up with transmen joining male sports?  I've only seen it be an issue with transwomen joining female sports.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 08:29:32 PM »
And given that gender reassignment is cosmetic surgery with chemical support (admittedly extreme cosmetic surgery) to change what your gender appears to be without changing your body's actual gender, I would say that yeah, having a male body in a female sport is an unfair advantage.


It's definitely an unfair advantage. That's one reason we have female sports, so females can compete against females.  Throw a male body in there and you undermine the whole idea.

Dave

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 08:46:45 PM »
Yes, decidedly unfair. If there are transathletes they should either have a competition class of their own or compete in their genetic gender classes.

There is some history behind sex testing in athletics to prevent unfair advantage so "discriminatipn" woukd not be a new thing: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_verification_in_sports
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:54:37 AM by Dave »
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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 10:18:23 PM »
Bad Penny II:
Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?....... if you think that you’re a homophobe.



BooksCatsEtc:
I believe the correct term here is transphobe.


The correct term is asshole!

Icarus

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 11:44:34 PM »
I'll go with Books word; Transphobe.

It seems that there is a lot of social discomfort about the trans people.  As for a person who is a former male playing in a woman's sport....No way that is to be allowed if the male had been male at an age that approached the age or developmental phase of puberty. There are implications about muscle development and  skeletal differences. 

It is generally understood....whether or not true....that males naturally develop more upper body strength than females and that females can develop lower body strength equivalent to males of the same stature and weight. Legs have to support and transport females as well as males so those lower limb developments might well be equivalent or near so. It is a reality that track and field performances, such as sprinting in the 100 meter events and other short distance events show a superiority in the male performance.  The upper division females do get pretty close to the male 100 meter times.

I am pretty damned sure that it would need a very skilled and exceptionally physically fit  male to beat Venus or Serena Williams in a tennis match......I do recall a famous event when Billie Jean King bested Bobby Riggs in a much hyped tennis match.  I reckon that was more show biz than real tennis. 

I will stand by for further information or refutation about the leg thing. Qualified anatomists are urged to reply.  ( no! not you Donald J. Trump)

Dave

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 05:17:52 AM »
Interesting bit sbout the comparstive running times, Icarus. Taking the extremes in stadium racing there is less than a second difference in the fastest 100m and only about 25 seconds difference in the mile (though, percentage-wise those differences are dignificant) - but the men have got slightly faster whilst the womens' records remain unbroken since 1988 and 1976 respectively.

It if usually assumed that the men did the big game hunting in prehistoric times, maybe walking a long way then running down the prey. Bushmen can trot for many hours. Both sexes would have had to have the ability to walk some distance but maybe not run. Selection would have been for the best, as usual and, perhaps, it dtill shows in the ethnic origins of even today's runners.

And, of course, in the Victorian times of mass cycling, walking and running events ladies were simply not expected to take part...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 05:28:49 AM by Dave »
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Bad Penny II

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 12:53:09 PM »
Interesting bit sbout the comparstive running times, Icarus. Taking the extremes in stadium racing there is less than a second difference in the fastest 100m and only about 25 seconds difference in the mile (though, percentage-wise those differences are dignificant) - but the men have got slightly faster whilst the womens' records remain unbroken since 1988 and 1976 respectively.

How many metres do they run in a second?
It's only a 100m event.

My daughter won her age group world championship last month, I'm just looking at the male times, she would have come 45th in open gender competition. 
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Bad Penny II

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 01:09:32 PM »
Bad Penny II:
Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?....... if you think that you’re a homophobe.



BooksCatsEtc:
I believe the correct term here is transphobe.


The correct term is asshole!

Ah yes the self hater
hates self so much
but others much more
self has the high ground
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Dave

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 01:25:32 PM »
BP
Quote
How many metres do they run in a second?
It's only a 100m event.
That is why I looked at both 100m sprint and the mile - two different kinds of energy expenditure management, fast muscle against stamina. Needs a dee9er look. The m/s are going to depend on which metre of the hundred you measure as they accelerate to peak! The average is easy to work out, just distance ÷ time.

Last sentence seems a bit meaningless for this argument, how would she have faired in the equivalent male races? If male>female trannies ran in female races then female>males would have to run in male races. One might have a distinct advantages the other a disadvantage and neither would be exactly "sporting".  However I have met very "masculine" women who could possibly give men a good competition on the track (or even in the wrestling ring!) if they had taken suitable training.
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Bad Penny II

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 02:16:15 PM »
Last sentence seems a bit meaningless for this argument,

No it is not.
I think you said there was 1 second difference between male and female times over 100m.
One second is not a hair, a nose or a head, it is a long way.
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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 03:24:36 PM »
I think there are a lot of problems with treating genders differently and then saying that genders are different.

For males, nearly 100% of them are tested for "natural" sports ability and are guided into it and supported pretty much from birth. They are encouraged to be aggressive.

For females, not so much on any of those counts.

And then people come along and say that women in general are not as good at sports as men in general.

It's like you have two grey hounds, let's say they are both male. One of them, you train, exercise, support, and praise. The other one you give them some dolls to play with in a corner. Which do you think will have the physical advantage? Well, no shit.

I bet there are some physical gender differences, but I don't think that we have a very good picture on what those differences actually are. I suspect that given more equal starting points, support, and competition that the differences are not as big as everyone is making them out to be. It's not something that can be scientifically tested because doing so, would mean taking children out of society to be raised in a place without any gender bias. I'm not willing to ruin several children's childhoods to test these things, I only hope that people become more rational and accepting of the limitations we currently have in trying to understand gender differences.

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 03:43:02 PM »
Last sentence seems a bit meaningless for this argument,

No it is not.
I think you said there was 1 second difference between male and female times over 100m.
One second is not a hair, a nose or a head, it is a long way.

Less than a second, about 0.7s IIRC.

Perhaps all categories should be "open",  you test for ability and are sllowed to run in your ability class regardless of gender. Thus the top eight, say, runners in all the heats run against each other regardless of their genetic or cosmetic differences.  :whistling:

In my RAD training we had to gain a certain standard in at least four field events, but the standards were set by age (we were all within a year of each other). So myself, at 5ft 3in was expected to reach the same standard as a six footer.
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Bad Penny II

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 04:06:50 PM »
I bet there are some physical gender differences, but I don't think that we have a very good picture on what those differences actually are.

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Re: Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 04:59:56 PM »
I think there are post-pubertal gender differences when it comes to strength and speed, caused in part by biological differences due to different hormonal makeups. Testosterone for instance is present in both genders, but to varying degrees and in men it's probably the main hormone responsible for increased muscle and bone mass. More muscle means more contractible fibers, and more fibers means more strength and speed. It's well known that the number of fibers one recruits when performing a movement is related to the force exerted by the muscle. There are also two types of muscle fibers -- fast and slow -- but I won't go into that.

That's on average, of course you have people on both ends of the spectrum in both males and females, some produce more testosterone while others much less, some are naturally more athletic while others less, but if you could take two cohorts -- one of pubertal girls and another of pubertal boys and made them train the same number of hours per day, using the same equipment, you would see a difference between them as time went by (they would probably have to be adjusted for age group because on average girls peak before boys do).

This type of experiment has probably already been done in nonhuman animals, where it's much easier to control their environments and wait until they reach young adulthood to test for differences, besides ethical considerations. It isn't ideal to train with intensity while still growing.   

As for whether transwomen would have an unfair advantage, I guess it depends a lot on when they underwent surgery and hormonal replacement. If it happened as an adolescent or adult, then yes, I do think it would give them an unfair advantage. Perhaps they should have to wait for a certain period of time while undergoing hormonal replacement to qualify, I don't know.   
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