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    Transgender Athletes Focus of Debate on Women’s Sports Participants

    Some experts say inclusion and competitive fairness conflict as leaders consider how to regulate the athletic participation of transgender women.

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    Transgender Athletes Essay

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    Transgender Athletes Essay

    Decent Essays 939 Words 4 Pages Open Document

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    Being transgender in America has become more prevalent in recent years. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of transgender is, “of relating to, or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.” Famous former Olympian Bruce Jenner, more recently known as Caitlyn Jenner, has emerged as a popular transgender activist. Issues surrounding transgender athletes’ dates back to 1932 with Babe Didrikson who was known for her masculine appearance. The issue most people have with transgender athletes is the advantage they may have either through the use of hormones or male-to-female athletes who compete against females. I believe that it is probable

    This is turn creates a disadvantage to female athletes. The same holds true for a transgender male who was born female because of the use of hormones such as testosterone which may exceed the normal levels of men. This poses an issue of fairness for all players regardless if they are transgender or not. For example, Keelin Godsey who is a U.S. Hammer Thrower, identifies as male but competes as a female. Some may find this to be unfair because Godsey is displaying a contradiction while using the fact that she is still genetically female to her advantage. Some may argue that athletes should not be allowed to identify as one sex and play sports as another. Keelin Godsey had not begun hormone therapy which made it legitimate to compete as female. Controversial cases like Godsey’s exposes the need for clear standards for transgender athletes. With a larger transgender demographic at the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee created guidelines they deemed fair. The International Olympic Committee’s guidelines states: transition surgery is not required, female-to-male transgender athletes can compete amongst men without restriction, and male-to-female transgender athletes’ must undergo hormone therapy and have a specific testosterone level before they are allowed to compete. Although these guidelines do not provide a solution for every possible scenario involving a transgender athlete, it is a plausible solution to create a world of sports without

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    How should transgender athletes participate in women’s sports? These Title IX pioneers want a say.

    A group of influential women’s sports advocates say their proposals are about fairness. But LGBT activists say their plans would endanger transgender rights — and transgender lives.

    High School Sports

    The fight for the future of transgender athletes

    The fight for the future of transgender athletes A group of influential women’s sports advocates say their proposals are about fairness. But LGBT activists say their plans would endanger transgender rights — and transgender lives.

    By Will Hobson

    April 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

    @[email protected]#=img=#

    (Jarred Briggs for The Washington Post)

    The women timed their announcement carefully, holding it the day before National Girls and Women in Sports Day, created three decades ago to promote female athletes.

    Among them were trailblazers: Donna de Varona, the Olympic swimmer who lobbied for Title IX’s passage in 1972; Donna Lopiano, the former chief executive of the Women’s Sports Foundation; and Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Olympic swimmer and law professor who wrote a book on Title IX.

    Before that day in early February, they were universally respected as pioneers in the long fight for women’s equality in sports. Then they unveiled their project: changing the way transgender girls and women participate in women’s sports. Almost immediately, their proposal drew bitter criticism in the fraught debate over transgender rights.

    For starters, they said, they planned to lobby for federal legislation requiring transgender girls and women, in high school sports and above, to suppress testosterone for at least one year before competing against other girls and women, making universal a policy already in place in some states and some higher levels of sports. For transgender girls in high school who do not suppress testosterone, they suggested “accommodations,” such as separate races, podiums or teams.

    They called themselves the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group.

    @[email protected]#=img=#

    The Women's Sports Policy Working Group consists of Nancy Hogshead-Makar, top center, Tracy Sundlun, top right, Donna de Varona, center left, Donna Lopiano, center, Doriane Lambelet Coleman, center right, and Martina Navratilova, bottom. (Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post)

    “To give girls and women an equal opportunity to participate in sports, they need their own team. Why? Because of the biological differences between males and females,” said Hogshead-Makar, CEO of Champion Women, a women’s sports advocacy organization.

    They portrayed their proposals as a science-based compromise between two extremes: right-wing politicians seeking wholesale bans of transgender athletes and transgender activists who argue for full inclusion — and who even dispute what some view as settled science about the relationship between testosterone and athleticism. They quickly drew fierce backlash, illustrating how the issue of transgender athletes has become the most vexing, emotionally charged debate in global sports and why it may prove impossible for schools and sports organizations to craft policies that are both fair to all female athletes and fully inclusive of transgender girls and women.

    Transgender and women’s equality activists denounced their proposals as transphobic and accused the women of having a myopic focus on sports at a critical time for the transgender equality movement — as the Biden administration fights to expand federal anti-discrimination protections for transgender people and as conservative lawmakers push bills in more than 20 states seeking to ban transgender athletes and criminalize gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender youth.

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    Critics also pointed to members of the working group with reputations of engaging in anti-trans rhetoric, including Martina Navratilova, the tennis champion whose commentary on transgender athletes has stoked outrage, and a Duke law professor whose work calling transgender girls and women “biological males” is cited in anti-transgender legislation.

    Inside the world of sports — where careers are built on split-second wins and governed by rules that measure testosterone by the nanomole — these women’s proposals have gained some surprising voices of support. They have drawn endorsements from the first openly transgender Division I cross-country runner in NCAA history as well as a leading transgender scientist researching the effects of hormone therapy on athleticism. With enduring credibility in the sports world and on Capitol Hill, they have begun meeting with state and federal lawmakers grappling with this issue.

    @[email protected]#=img=#

    Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova speaks during the virtual news conference to officially launch the Women's Sports Policy Working Group. (Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post)

    But even advocates who view their proposed policies as sensible for collegiate and professional athletes wonder whether these women have truly grappled with the impact their policies would have on the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of transgender girls across the country.

    “The folks who are pushing these anti-trans bills … they don’t believe transgender people exist. They think they’re faking it for an advantage in sports,” said Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director at the Human Rights Campaign. “I don’t know how you find a middle ground between a hate group and people pushing for equality.”

    A patchwork of policies

    Before 2010, few college or high school athletic associations had policies on transgender athletes, according to a report published that year by the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

    Source : www.washingtonpost.com

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