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NYT Article: What people will and won't say on LGBTQ+ Issues


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59 minutes ago, filovirus said:

My son is a very good soccer player. He has played with and been on teams with females for much of his growing up years. Currently he is on one of the best teams in the state of Oregon. At the level he is currently playing, there are no longer any females. How people can't see a difference in physical ability between men and women is beyond me. If he decided he was transgender, I would caution him against joining a women's soccer team. He is just that much better than them at this moment. And this is high school sports. The best women's soccer team in the world lost to a under 15 year old boys soccer team in Texas not that long ago.

I play, coach and referee soccer, so this is a sport that is dear to my heart.

The best example I can think of in this arena is when the US Women's World Cup soccer team, composed of the top female players from all over the country, lost to a U15 Academy boys team in Dallas (14 year old boys). These weren't even the top 14 year old boys in the country, just elite players from the Dallas area. This article says that the women's team wasn't trying their hardest, but a 5-2 loss in soccer is pretty bad.

https://www.cbssports.com/soccer/news/a-dallas-fc-under-15-boys-squad-beat-the-u-s-womens-national-team-in-a-scrimmage/
 

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1 hour ago, Analytics said:

This is the one person in Utah affected by this law. The only one. A sample size of one isn't big enough to extrapolate to your dystopian fear of legions of elite male athletes deciding to become transgender in order to dominate in women sports.

You do raise a good point. There is a huge variation in natural ability just from genetics, even among people of the same gender.

That being the case, why do you think society has traditionally separated people by gender in sports (from toddlers to professional and elite amateur divisions)? And when you think about the reasons we do that (as you see it), do you agree with them, and do you think it should continue?

Edited by cinepro
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2 hours ago, cinepro said:

You do raise a good point. There is a huge variation in natural ability just from genetics, even among people of the same gender.

That being the case, why do you think society has traditionally separated people by gender in sports (from toddlers to professional and elite amateur divisions)? And when you think about the reasons we do that (as you see it), do you agree with them, and do you think it should continue?

I'm not sure if the splitting sports teams by gender is as bright as you seem to think. When I was in the 4th grade, I belonged to a flag football league, and a girl from the neighborhood wanted to join. They let her, and she did quite well. Lots of leagues are coed. When I was growing up, my best friend's little sister was an All-American basketball player. She went on to star at BYU. When we were kids and played basketball in the driveway, we let her play with us--we didn't say that because she was a girl, she couldn't play with us.

Sports teams generally look for some parity. YMCA teams play YMCA teams. JV teams play JV teams. Elite club teams play other elite teams. That being the case, if "fairness" were the driving reason for different leagues, then the obvious solution is to let everybody try out, and put people on the team or on the league where they fit. Maybe fewer girls would letter in swimming, but so what? What could be more fair than letting people compete with people with comparable levels of skill, regardless of sex?

I think the real reason we generally separate sports by gender is culture. Guys want to play with their friends who are naturally guys, and girls want to be with their friends, who are naturally the girls. (That flag-football-playing girl grew up to be lesbian, BTW). Another memory I have was a church activity where the 14-18 year olds were on a trip at a lake, and we had some free time and somebody bought a football. The girls wanted to play so we were setting up the rules, and it got complicated deciding how to tackle. I suggested "two hands below the waste" and got a field full of frowns--it didn't occur to me that it would not be appropriate to run around a football field grabbing the butts of people of the opposite sex.

The 14-year old in the Tribune article wants to swim with the girls because she sees herself as a girl. She isn't doing it because she wants to win more swim races and thinks she can win more if she swims with girls. She wants to swim with the girls because she is a girl.

I think that is the real reason we separate sports by gender, which is why I think it makes sense to let her swim with the girls.

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13 hours ago, Analytics said:

My point is that for 99.9999% of athletes, the experience ends by going as far as you can, but then being dominated by others who were endowed with more athleticism. That's true regardless of whether or not there is a trans-woman in the field. 

Then why have sex-segregated sports in the first place? Why not just tell biologically female athletes, "Look, your experience ends by going as far as you can, but then being dominated by others who are endowed with more athleticism. Oh, and just to be clear, by athleticism we really mean testosterone so that means your experience is going to end around puberty. Enjoy!"

 

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I highlighted [@cinepro's] last sentence because I have a hard time imagining that there will "eventually be more and more cases" so that things get to the point where "biological women" are pushed out of women sports. 

While I think it's obvious that seeing transgendered athletes win competitions will inspire other transgendered individuals to enter and compete as well, the "claim is not that an identity-based eligibility rule would introduce this enormous sea of boys and men into women’s competition. Rather, it’s that biologically male athletes—however they identify—don’t have to be elite to surpass even the very best biologically female athletes. And it doesn’t take a sea of them to obliterate the females’ competitive chances at every level of competition." 

So, even if only a very small sub-set turn out to identify as women, that's all it will take to dominate. And in competitive sport winning and room at the top are what ultimately matter, so relative numbers are irrelevant. It doesn't matter that there are 100 females and three males in a girls' race if the three males win spots in the final or on the podium because they are males.

 

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In Utah, there is precisely one transgender female K-12 athlete. Just one. There was a story about her today in the Salt Lake Tribune. It turns out she has known she was a girl since she was two, and has been on swim teams since she was four. She's now 13 and is pretty good--she has placed as high as second place in state in one stroke, and third place in another. But she hasn't broken any state records. And if you look at her physiology, she was the smallest girl on the team.

And in Connecticut, "For the second straight year, a small group of transgender athletes dominated their respective events at the girls track and field state championships."

Also, "it has been confirmed that none of the medalists in the women's 800 meters in Rio were biologically female."

Plus, with respect to the Utah swimmer, I would note that 12-13 is right where the performance gap due to testosterone from puberty begins to kick in. If she's already in the top three in the state now, she would likely dominate the competition throughout her high school career. If she were on hormone blockers (before and during puberty) and maintained T levels in the female range, I wouldn't have an issue with her competing.

Edited by Amulek
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18 hours ago, The Nehor said:

since I consider almost everyone weighing in on it to be acting in bad faith

The majority of people I know discussing this are women who appear to me to be sincere in their concerns about their sisters.  Most women in my experience have had opportunities to compete against men in casual play and are well aware of how well they would manage in serious competition generally against biological males. (I am not saying this is consistent everywhere, I just find it hard to see it as the vast majority are bad faith actors).

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, Analytics said:

I think the real reason we generally separate sports by gender is culture.

Is this true across all sports at all levels of play?  Or only for amateur pre-collegiate play?

The sport of golf is an instructive example, because there are structural differences baked into men's and women's games that provide an objective measure of the difference between the two.  At my home course, for example, a game off the men's tees is  37% longer than a game off the women's tees.  Even in mixed-gendered professional tournaments, participants don't play from the same tees.

Is the reason for different course lengths for men and women in golf because of culture?  Or are there physical differences between a man's body and a woman's body that makes it difficult for a woman to to play the longer version of those courses?  If those non-cultural reasons prevail in golf, do they maybe prevail in other sports as well? 

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11 hours ago, Amulek said:

Then why have sex-segregated sports in the first place?

As I said, it is cultural. 

11 hours ago, Amulek said:

While I think it's obvious that seeing transgendered athletes win competitions will inspire other transgendered individuals to enter and compete as well...

That's quite speculative.

11 hours ago, Amulek said:

Rather, it’s that biologically male athletes—however they identify—don’t have to be elite to surpass even the very best biologically female athletes. And it doesn’t take a sea of them to obliterate the females’ competitive chances at every level of competition." 

I'm not sure you are giving female athletes their fair credit here. My daughter swam in high school, and she swam about two miles every single morning before school. In contrast, boy scouts get a special badge for swimming just one mile, once.

The very best biologically female runners can run a mile in about four minutes, fifteen seconds. Very few biological males are capable of doing that. 

11 hours ago, Amulek said:

Plus, with respect to the Utah swimmer, I would note that 12-13 is right where the performance gap due to testosterone from puberty begins to kick in. If she's already in the top three in the state now, she would likely dominate the competition throughout her high school career. If she were on hormone blockers (before and during puberty) and maintained T levels in the female range, I wouldn't have an issue with her competing.

I appreciate you adding that. From the Tribune article:

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“Do we want to wait until something like the Penn swimmer situation happens in Utah?” one Utah lawmaker asked during debate on HB11.

But unlike Thomas, many transgender girls now are making decisions about their bodies at a younger age, choosing to delay puberty or start hormones earlier. As high school athletes, they do not have the alleged “scientific benefits” of a larger body.

The 13-year-old swimmer, feeling certain at a young age that she was born into the wrong body, has a tiny blocker inserted into her arm. It has stopped the flow of testosterone and, by proxy, her growth. She got it a year ago and is basically still in the body of a 12-year-old.

“It’s not like you’re getting stronger than anyone else,” her mom says. “The Legislature has just got this completely inaccurate idea.”

“I think I’m actually getting weaker,” the 13-year-old corrects.

Even still, she’s a good swimmer, earning top spots at last year’s state championships for her age group. A second place in one event, a third in another.

But never a first, her coach notes. She also hasn’t broken any state records. She has no dreams of going to the Olympics (her heart is set on being an astronomer). It shouldn’t matter if she did want to compete on that stage, her coach adds, but “the fear mongering is around athletes that look and compete like Lia Thomas. And that’s not what we have here.”

Edited by Analytics
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10 hours ago, Amulek said:

Also, "it has been confirmed that none of the medalists in the women's 800 meters in Rio were biologically female."

That's just wrong, should not be permitted.

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4 hours ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Is this true across all sports at all levels of play?  Or only for amateur pre-collegiate play?

The sport of golf is an instructive example, because there are structural differences baked into men's and women's games that provide an objective measure of the difference between the two.  At my home course, for example, a game off the men's tees is  37% longer than a game off the women's tees.  Even in mixed-gendered professional tournaments, participants don't play from the same tees.

I'm told the average male golfer can hit a ball 200 yards, while the average female golfer can only hit a ball 150 yards. It turns out that I can only hit a ball 100 yards--I'm a below-average golfer for a male, and would be a below-average golfer compared to females, too. Despite being weaker than the average female, I still hit the ball from the men's tee box. Why? Because I'm a man.

That's why the placement of tee boxes is about culture.

As a society, we've made the decision that women should judge their performance against women, and men should judge their performance against men. But that is a cultural decision. We could have males and females use the same tee boxes, just as males and females both play basketball with 10-foot hoops. 

4 hours ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Is the reason for different course lengths for men and women in golf because of culture?  Or are there physical differences between a man's body and a woman's body that makes it difficult for a woman to to play the longer version of those courses?  If those non-cultural reasons prevail in golf, do they maybe prevail in other sports as well? 

Yes, the average male is stronger than the average female. And yes, elite males are stronger than elite females. I'm not denying that. All I'm saying is that people are individuals who fit somewhere on these bell curves that overlap. My daughter worked incredibly hard as a swimmer in four years of high school, but she had no illusions of ever qualifying for the state meet, much less winning and getting a college scholarship, much less going to the Olympics. The experience of 99.9% of swimmers is like that of my daughter. The point of swimming is to do something with your life. To get into shape. To practice self-discipline. To improve your own times. To work towards personal goals. To be a part of a team. That's what it is all about for people in the bottom 99.9%, and having a transgender person on the team doesn't change any of that.

Edited by Analytics
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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

As I said, it is cultural. 

That's quite speculative.

I'm not sure you are giving female athletes their fair credit here. My daughter swam in high school, and she swam about two miles every single morning before school. In contrast, boy scouts get a special badge for swimming just one mile, once.

The very best biologically female runners can run a mile in about four minutes, fifteen seconds. Very few biological males are capable of doing that. 

I appreciate you adding that. From the Tribune article:

Just curious @raingirl, why you felt so strongly about this post that you gave it a negative down vote??  Are you threatened to hear the other side of this coin?

Edited by california boy
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39 minutes ago, california boy said:

Just curious ….Are you threatened to hear

Yeah, like that is a sincere curiosity question that is going to lead to an open discussion about people’s feelings…

Are you threatened by someone publicly disagreeing so that you have to inflate the meaning of a downvote?  Does that sound like a reasonable question to ask you?
 

Lots of people use upvotes to express agreement, saves posting and is nice as it allows people to respond even if they don’t want to express in detail their opinion.  Makes sense if someone wants to use the downvotes frequently in the same way for disagreement.  There is no need to jump all the way to “threatened” first instead of simply asking what is the person using the downvote expressing first.

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

The point of swimming is to do something with your life. To get into shape. To practice self-discipline. To improve your own times. To work towards personal goals. To be a part of a team. That's what it is all about for people in the bottom 99.9%, and having a transgender person on the team doesn't change any of that.

That could be true for many participants.  But for many girls, they want to train hard, compete with other females, set goals for improvement, and aim for the "playoffs".  They want the excitement of battling for the championship.  It really is deflating for them to put in whole season of hard competition only to have that taken away by trans stealing their venue with total dominance in the playoffs.  The ONLY fair thing to do is for trans to have their own appropriate classifications.

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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

As a society, we've made the decision that women should judge their performance against women, and men should judge their performance against men. But that is a cultural decision.

 

Well, OF COURSE we made a decision as a society that women should judge their physical performance against other women.  But WHY did we make that decision as a society?  You're dancing around the issue.  We segregate sports because women's bodies perform differently from men's bodies, regardless of the gender of the individual driving the body.   

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4 hours ago, Amulek said:

While this is true, the problem is that the performance gap holds even when we adjust for the fact that the best elite athletes are "freaks of nature" and that their success can be largely attributed to their unusual physical traits. Sex, specifically testes and their effects, matter in ways that other biological differences among athletes do not.

For example, swimmer and multiple Gold Medalist Missy Franklin is six feet two inches tall with a wing span of six feet four inches. Her world record in the 200 meters backstroke, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is 2:04.06. Ryan Lochte's world record, set at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was a full nine seconds faster at 1:53.94.

If Franklin had been in that race, at her best she would have been about a half a lap behind Lochte when he finished, even though they are the same height and have just about the same wingspan....

Just to clarify, I'm not arguing that sports should all be integrated across sex. I'm not arguing that Utah should pass a law integrating all men and women sports so that there won't be a controversy about what team a transgender girl should join. I think women sports is a great thing.

I'll number my points.

  1. The average male letterman on a high school swim team can't swim nearly as fast as Missy Franklin. A male who can swim 200 yards in an Olympic pool in 2:04.06 is probably a collegiate athlete competing in the NCAA's Division I. For example, USA Swimming provides "motivational times" that are ubiquitously found on swimmer's gym bags. For each event and age group, a set of times is given at the B, BB, A, AA, AAA, and AAAA level. Most serious swimmers are B or BB swimmers. Getting to the A level is a major achievement that few serious swimmers ever achieve, much less getting to AA, AAA, or AAAA. On the B to AAAA scale, times for 17-18 year old men on the 200 meter backstroke is in the range of 2:50.59 to 2:07.89. Again, very few ever get close to the 2:07.89. The set of people who are transgender and athletes and at the elite level is a very small set--almost vanishingly small. 
     
  2. The vast majority of people who swim or play tennis or run cross country do so in order to be a part of a team, get into shape, practice self discipline, and have fun competing. They have no hope of ever being elite athletes that go to the Olympics or set world records. That isn't why they are there. Participating in sports at the elite level is very different than participating at the non-elite level.
     
  3. Decisions about how to handle transgender athletes ought to be made on a case-by-case basis by local sports leagues and the organizations that govern them. Considerations for elite athletes and non-elite athletes are different because the situations are different.
     
  4. The only reason we are talking about this now is because politicians have decided this is a useful wedge issue to stir up fear and anger.
     
  5. I believe the Board of Directors of USA swimming understands and cares about girls swimming more than the Utah Legislature, and they should be the ones who decide how transgender swimmers should be treated. They said:
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USA Swimming firmly believes in inclusivity and the opportunity for all athletes to experience the sport of swimming in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and expression. We also strongly believe in competitive equity, and, like many, are doing our best to learn and educate ourselves on the appropriate balance in this space.     

In 2018, we established athlete inclusion procedures, which included both a process by which an athlete could change their competition category consistent with their gender identity and criteria for athletes qualifying for or competing in elite-level competitions (including those competition time qualifications such as Juniors, Nationals and U.S. Open), which adhered to previous International Olympic Committee guidelines. This policy also importantly provides for individual athlete consideration. 
 
The non-elite athlete inclusion procedures remain unchanged. Following broad transgender policy changes in Nov. 2021, the IOC now requires International Federations to create their own sport-specific eligibility requirements, and so we have been proactively working with FINA for several months to help shape and support their policy development efforts. 

According to their new policy, if somebody isn't going to be disrupting elite competitions, let them swim. It's as simple as that. But if they do get to that elite level, the elite athlete policy takes affect:

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The elite athlete policy will be implemented by a decision-making panel comprised of three independent medical experts and eligibility criteria will consist of:

  1. Evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.
     
  2. Evidence that the concentration of testosterone in the athlete’s serum has been less than 5 nmol/L (as measured by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry) continuously for a period of at least thirty-six (36) months before the date of application.

I believe USA Swimming's policy is reasonable. I agree with their values, I believe they understand the nuances of the situation, and I believe they sincerely care about the sport and its participants much more than the political activists who are trying to make people scared and angry.

Edited by Analytics
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49 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

Well, OF COURSE we made a decision as a society that women should judge their physical performance against other women.  But WHY did we make that decision as a society?  You're dancing around the issue.  We segregate sports because women's bodies perform differently from men's bodies, regardless of the gender of the individual driving the body.   

I disagree. The main reason men and women don't participate against each other is because it is unseemly for men and women to be grinding against each other on the basketball court, grabbing each other on the wrestling mat, etc. The secondary reason is that historically, boys socialize with boys and girls socialize with girls, and sports is a social event. Comparing the times of girls to girls and boys to boys because on average they have different bodies is tertiary. 

The girl in yesterday's article wants to swim with the girls because she is a girl--she talks like a girl, has long hear like a girl, thinks about girl stuff, and wears a girl's swimsuit. If her times are also in line with those of other girls, what's the problem? 

Edited by Analytics
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50 minutes ago, longview said:

That could be true for many participants.  But for many girls, they want to train hard, compete with other females, set goals for improvement, and aim for the "playoffs".  They want the excitement of battling for the championship.  It really is deflating for them to put in whole season of hard competition only to have that taken away by trans stealing their venue with total dominance in the playoffs.  The ONLY fair thing to do is for trans to have their own appropriate classifications.

Would you say you understand girl swimming more than the Board of Directors of USA Swimming? Do you think you care about the sport more than they do? Do you think we need a big-government solution where the state legislature makes these decisions rather than USA Swimming?

Just curious.

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25 minutes ago, Analytics said:

I disagree. The main reason men and women don't participate against each other is because it is unseemly for men and women to be grinding against each other on the basketball court, grabbing each other on the wrestling mat, etc. The secondary reason is that historically, boys socialize with boys and girls socialize with girls, and sports is a social event. Comparing the times of girls to girls and boys to boys because on average they have different bodies is tertiary. 

 

CFR on this claim.  Not because I'm trying to win an argument, but I really want to understand reasoning that leads to different conclusions than my own.  To me, it is obvious that male bodies and female bodies are different and so should be treated categorically different in contexts where the physical biology of the body is the dominant factor (so, yes when it comes to sports and medicine, no when it comes to employment or education). 

A quick Google turned up this article from the Sports Journal on the History of Women's Sports Prior to Title IX.  An early paragraph has this to say about the initial development of women in sports.  To me, this reads as if early organizers of women's sports were aware of the differences between male and female bodies, though their science and reasoning for those differences were way off. 

Quote

 

A dominant belief in the 1800s was that each human had a fixed amount of energy. If this energy were used for physical and intellectual tasks at the same time, it could be hazardous (Park & Hult, 1993). Horseback riding for pleasure, showboating, and swimming became fashionable, but women were not encouraged to exert themselves. Such physical activity for a woman was thought to be especially hazardous because during menstruation she was “periodically weakened” (Clarke, 1874, p. 100).

 

 

These differences between male bodies and female bodies led to differing philosophies on the physical education of men and women, which in turn led to encouragement of competitive venues for men, and the discouragement of competitive venues for women.  Even so, some clubs allowed women to compete with men in leisurely sports like croquet, bowling, or archery. 

What I'm seeing from this article is that sex segregated sports emerged because men were encouraged to be competitive and women were not so encouraged.  And the reason for those differing levels of encouragement were based on then-current beliefs about the differences between male bodies and female bodies. 

We have a better understanding of the science today.  And that science indeed tells us that male bodies and female bodies have different capacities in competitive edges like musculature and lung capacity.  

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Many sports have no unseemly grinding but are are still sex segregated.  Golf.  Gymnastics.  Swimming.  Track and field events.  Skiing.  Volleyball. Luge and skeleton.  I very much doubt that this is the primary reason for sex segregation in sports that have no physical contact between participants.     

The idea of socialization being the reason for sex segregation in sports has merit, but only at the amateur level where people engage in sports as a simple pastime and look to it as a way to build friendships.  In a comment above, I even conceded that I am sympathetic to de-segregation of sports in casual leagues or local clubs.  But at elite level competitions, socialization is irrelevant.     

However, the types of differences that exist between male bodies and female bodies is a factor in nearly every Olympic event I can think of, with the exception of things like sailing or pistol shooting (which should be de-segregated if they are not already).  If those differences are relevant factors in all sports, why do you think they rank behind factors that exist in only a few sports?   

Edited by Stormin' Mormon
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7 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

CFR on this claim.  Not because I'm trying to win an argument, but I really want to understand reasoning that leads to different conclusions than my own.  To me, it is obvious that male bodies and female bodies are different and so should be treated categorically different in contexts where the physical biology of the body is the dominant factor (so, yes when it comes to sports and medicine, no when it comes to employment or education). 

I'll try to explain my thought process rather than provide external references.

Fundamentally, I disagree with the assertion that male body vs. female body is the dominant factor. Depending on the sport, important factors include strength, weight, speed, endurance, balance, coordination, reflexes, skill, teamwork, mental coolness, practice, preparation, etc. Some of these things are correlated with sex. Sure. But it is a relatively weak statistical correlation. Lots of women are stronger than lots of men, lots of women are faster than lots of men, etc.

The point is overlapping bell curves. If sex were the dominant factor, the bell curves wouldn't overlap. To illustrate how much they do overlap, 17-18 year old girls who are serious about swimming can do an IM in the range of 3:10.69 to 2:22.99. It's a range of 48 seconds. Yet, Boys of the same age range can trim that down by 12 seconds. 75% of the curve overlaps.

And at younger ages, there is almost complete overlap. In the 10 and under category, the difference between boys and girls is only one second.

It's true that sports becomes frustrating and demotivating when the level of competition isn't appropriate. But breaking the teams into boys vs. girls doesn't even begin to accomplish an appropriate level of competition. Competitive swim teams will have several different levels of teams, with different levels practicing at different times. Then within each level, swimmers will be divided into different practice lanes lanes according to how fast each individual is.

Then when its time to compete, different swimmers attend different meets depending upon how fast you are. Furthermore, each event is broken down into different heats, and they carefully put comparable swimmers in the same heat. This makes each heat more competitive (and speeds up the entire event).

My point is that sex isn't the dominate factor in how fast you swim. Everybody who is really fast has freakishly good genes and has worked incredibly hard. That's true for both boys and girls. Furthermore, everybody who is really fast can swim much faster than normal human beings, regardless of sex.

In competitive swimming, there is more disparity depending upon the individual within a sex than across the two sexes. The reality is that it isn't "fair" for somebody with inferior swimming genes to compete with somebody with superior swimming genes. Many girls have swimming genes that are superior to the swimming genes of many boys. 

7 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

A quick Google turned up this article from the Sports Journal on the History of Women's Sports Prior to Title IX

Thanks for sharing that. Quoting from the second paragraph, "Women engaged in sport three millennia ago. Homer, c 800 B.C., relates the story of Princess Nausicaa playing ball with her handmaidens next to a riverbank on the island of Scheria. “When she and her handmaids were satisfied with their delightful food, each set aside the veil she wore: the young girls now played ball; and as they tossed the ball…” (Homer, lines 98-102)."

The girls didn't say, "Girl bodies are inherently different than boy bodies, therefore in order to promote fairness we should play with other girls rather than with boys." Rather, they played with each other because they were friends who socialized together.

7 minutes ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

We have a better understanding of the science today.  And that science indeed tells us that male bodies and female bodies have different capacities in competitive edges like musculature and lung capacity.  

It depends upon the individual. It isn't fair for me to run long distance against the vast majority of people of any sex, because their bodies have more lung capacity than my body. It isn't fair for me to play basketball with my friend's little sister, because she is fast and coordinated, and I am slow and clumsy. Yes, some of these factors are statistically correlated, but it's just a correlation. In general, it is intrinsically unfair for people endowed with better bodies for a sport to compete with people with inferior bodies for that sport. Dividing males and females into different groups doesn't fix this.

It seems to me that Title IX is the real source of your belief that out of all the ways we could subgroup people into different leagues, dividing by sex is paramount. 

One final difference in our thinking. It seems you focus on the tiny handful of athletes who compete for Olympic medals. In contrast, I focus on the millions of people who play sports but don't compete for Olympic medals.

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1 hour ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

I understand and am sympathetic to arguments for non-segregated sports at the amateur level, such as for community leagues and local clubs. 

I hope we can agree on the need for sex-segregated events at elite levels such as the Olympics.  If all Olympic events were combined into single-sex events, very few female-bodied athletes would even make the cut for their nation's Olympic team.  If we want to provide elite venues for female-bodied athletes to compete, we need to maintain sex-segregation at that level.   

That's fair.

1 hour ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

But in order to have sex-segregated sports at the elite level there needs to be sex-segregated sports in whatever feeder or farm leagues develop that elite talent (usually that's college sports, but reasonable arguments exist that high school play is part of the development of elite talent). If female-bodied athletes aren't making the cut in the feeder leagues, then they won't have the chance to develop their talents.  

Such is the argument for sex segregation in sports, and I think it is a valid, good-faith argument.

I'm not sure. See below.

1 hour ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

The next question, then is: Can the good that is accomplished in sex-segregated sports be accomplished with gender-segregated sports instead? 

And I think the answer to that is "no" because female bodies are far different than male bodies with regard to musculature, lung capacity, and skeletal frame.  

Again, it depends on the individual.

1 hour ago, Stormin' Mormon said:

This wasn't even an issue 10 years ago.  Very few trans individuals were attempting to compete in leagues for the gender they identify as in the late 1990's or early 2000's.  So it should come as no surprise that people are suddenly caring about it.  No hypocrisy need be imputed to either side.  The issue didn't exist, now it does, and people are now taking sides on the issue.   

In the entire state of Utah, there are two girls who are affected by the new law. Two. The fact of the matter is that very few trans individuals attempt to compete in sports now. That's why I think it is a fake issue. The two athletes the law affects are swimmers. If those two individuals are allowed to swim with the other girls, it doesn't affect the ability of the other girls to take their swimming careers as far as they want. 

USA Swimming is confident that their policy of inclusivity won't prevent it from fielding the best team possible that also complies with its goals of competitive equity.

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6 hours ago, Analytics said:
16 hours ago, Amulek said:

Then why have sex-segregated sports in the first place?

As I said, it is cultural. 

Whereas I think it's fairly obviously biological.

The sports science community is in wide agreement on the following three points, which they regard as the sport equivalent of judicially noticeable facts (e.g., here)

  • First, the main physical attributes that contribute to elite athletic performance are power generation (speed and strength), which is based on muscle mass, muscle fiber type, and biomechanics; aerobic power (VO2 max), which is based on hemoglobin concentration, total blood volume, maximal stroke volume, cardiac size/mass/compliance, skeletal muscle blood flow, capillary density, and mitochondrial content; body composition, i.e., lean body mass and fat mass; and economy of motion, which is related to body composition.
  • Second, biological males and biological females are materially different with respect to these attributes. Specifically, compared to biological females, biological males have greater lean body mass (more skeletal muscle and less fat), larger hearts (both in absolute terms and scaled to lean body mass), higher cardiac outputs, larger hemoglobin mass, larger VO2 max (also both in absolute terms and scaled to lean body mass), greater glycogen utilization, higher anaerobic capacity, and different economy of motion.
  • Third, the primary reason for these sex differences in the physical attributes that contribute to elite athletic performance is exposure in gonadal males with functional androgen receptors to much higher levels of testosterone during growth and development (puberty), and throughout the athletic career. No other endogenous physical or physiological factors have been identified as contributing substantially and predominantly to these differences.

And everybody who has ever competed in sports knows this is the case. It's not controversial at all. It's science!

 

6 hours ago, Analytics said:
16 hours ago, Amulek said:

While I think it's obvious that seeing transgendered athletes win competitions will inspire other transgendered individuals to enter and compete as well...

That's quite speculative.

Really? Do you similarly think it speculative to believe that Michael Jordan inspired other black youths to want to participate in basketball? How about Venus and Serena Williams, or maybe Simone Biles? No inspiration for young black females there?

Sorry, but in my opinion, it is plainly obvious that when people see athletes who they share an identity with (e.g., sex, race, religion, etc.) succeed in sports, they will want to emulate them.

When transgendered youth see other transgendered athletes competing and winning they will be inspired to do the same, and in the Connecticut case that I linked to previously that is exactly what happened. It started with one trans-athlete, and her success inspired other trans-students to want to compete as well.

 

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I'm not sure you are giving female athletes their fair credit here. My daughter swam in high school, and she swam about two miles every single morning before school. In contrast, boy scouts get a special badge for swimming just one mile, once.

You're comparing apples and oranges here. It doesn't matter that your daughter could out swim the fat kid at scout camp - he's not the one who is going to be showing up at swim meets.

 

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The very best biologically female runners can run a mile in about four minutes, fifteen seconds. Very few biological males are capable of doing that. 

According to this chart, the fastest time in recorded history for a female in the outdoor Women's Mile is 4:12.33.

Now, change the gender drop-down to Male and select the Men's Mile for the event and you should see the chart refresh with new data. Guess what happens? It cuts off at the 4 minute mark with over 1,400 men on the list with better times than a 4 minute mile. In other words, running the mile in 4:11 makes you either (1) the fastest woman in recorded history or (2) not even on the list of fastest men because you are not even remotely close to guy number 1414. Heck, even the fastest boys in High School last year are capable of beating that time.

 

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I appreciate you adding that. From the Tribune article:

If she is on hormone blockers during puberty then I see no reason why she should be barred from competing against other girls. I have no problem with recognizing transwomen as women and including them in competitions, so long as they aren't entering as superwomen.

 

Edited by Amulek
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