Wednesday, June 06, 2018

More Pushback, This Time In Sports

Boys and girls are pretty much the same until the hormones kick in during Tanner Stage II*. Until then there is not much difference between us.
Coaches, Parents Question Policy For High School Transgender Athletes
Hartford Courant
By Lori Riley
June 5, 2018

The success of transgender female athletes participating in high school track and field events has parents, athletes and coaches in some communities calling for a change in the current rules, as they question a possible competitive advantage.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which governs high school sports in the state, allows athletes to compete in the gender specific sport in which they identify. Continued success by transgender athletes has prompted two petitions — one started in Glastonbury and another in Plainville — from critics who say transgender athletes have an advantage. Together, the petitions have about 150 signatures, though neither has been submitted to CIAC officials.

“I think it’s unfair to the girls who work really hard to do well and qualify for Opens and New Englands,” said Glastonbury sophomore sprinter Selina Soule, who finished sixth in the 100-meter State Open final Monday. “These girls, they’re just coming in and beating everyone. I have no problem with them wanting to be a girl.”
My question is where is the data?

They have made some allegations without any data, just because one trans person won doesn’t mean that trans girls have an advantage. As far as I know this is all observational data.

I am not an expert on sports medicine but the athletic associations have including the IOC and I imagine also the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, have done research on trans athletes.
Biological advantage can also vary, according to Dr. Myron Genel, a Yale professor emeritus of pediatric endocrinology and a consultant to the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission on issues relating to gender identity in elite athletic competition. Because young males, in general, mature later than females, a natal male (a person born a biological male) may not necessarily have an advantage over a natal female depending on the age of the person and their development.

“There is no such thing as a level playing field,” Genel said. “Athletes succeed because in part of special traits they have or traits that others may not share. Or they had the good fortune of having good training facilities and a good training program.

“You cannot necessarily assume any one of these girls is succeeding because they have not fully converted their gender. I say this without knowing these kids but it may have nothing to do with it.”
I have to wonder if parental bias isn’t present here… my child lost and there must be a reason why she lost and we happen to be a handy scapegoat.

In an Editorial note, the editor said,
Last, there are those who argue we are ignoring the fact that a transgender girl may have an “unfair” advantage. But what is fair or unfair in sports is, to a degree, subjective. Tall people have an advantage on the basketball court. Athletes whose parents can afford to send them to year-round training have a clear-cut advantage in soccer, tennis and other sports. Our notions of what is fair and unfair are often driven by our own frames of reference.
*Tanner Stage II is when secondary sexual characteristics begin such as puberty hairs, breasts in girls begin to develop in girls and beards in boys.

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