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How should gender be defined in Olympic sports?

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posted on Aug, 7 2016 @ 11:34 PM
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There were no women athletes in the first modern Olympic games. The next time around, in the 1900 Paris games, out of 997 athletes there were 22 women, who competed in just five acceptably ladylike sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf. Over a century later, the introduction of women’s boxing meant that the 2012 Olympics were the first to feature women competing in all sports. But that moment of parity has been followed almost immediately by a drastic challenge to the very definition of women’s sport, as the International Olympic Committee brought out new rules last November on the inclusion of trans athletes.

The change of rules has been followed by news that two unnamed British athletes who were born male are now in contention to compete as women in the 2016 Games in Rio. However, although 2016 could be the first Olympics with transgender athletes, it’s not the first time they’ve been permitted: the 2003 Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sport confirmed that trans athletes could participate, provided they had undergone sex reassignment surgery, had been receiving hormone therapy for a minimum of two years, and had legal recognition of their new gender.

The 2015 Consensus scotches one of those stipulations, and limits the other two: now, trans competitors no longer need to have genital surgery, and female-to-male transitioners can compete as men without restriction. For male-to-female transitioners, the legal status requirement has been replaced with a declaration of gender that is binding for four years, and the hormone treatment rule is now that the ‘athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L [nanomoles/litre] for at least 12 months prior to her first competition’.

LINK


As far as I'm concerned, the Olympics isn't worth watching anymore in many sports. The only sports worth paying attention to in my mind are those where cheating via being transgender is naturally precluded.

How should gender be defined in Olympic sports?

In my opinion, we should have a transgender Olympics. Why not have transgenders compete against other transgenders only?

Imagine yourself as an Olympic athlete who spent your whole life training in a sport. You arrive at the Olympics, and you see you're being forced to compete with transgenders. It's tragic to me. What are people thinking?




posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

One word

Anthropometry



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 01:20 AM
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I think the IOC has done a pretty fair job with the current regulations as genitals offer little competitive advantage in any sport. You are making a lot of assumptions too thinking that all MtF trans people are buff and muscular prior to transition and have some sort of default physical advantage nor do you have any knowledge about the significant physiological affects of cross-sex hormone replacement therapy. I also think you are also grossly overestimating the number of trans athletes there are so your "transgender Olympics" would be a pretty small event. Besides, that would kind of negate the whole inclusion thing of not being segregated that trans people are working for.

My impression is that most MtF's would rather be cheerleaders and prom queens than competitors anyway but that's kind of sexist of me and probably promotes false stereotypes? I will admit there may be complicated issues with trans athletes but believe that each case should be handled and evaluated on an individual basis.

As far as I know, there are only two transgender people competing in Rio although there have been around 40 gay and lesbian participants I have read about. Female-to-male transgender people are allowed to compete against natal males without any restrictions or qualifications which also makes a lot of assumptions about a person's body prior to transition.

Some additional reading on the subject:

Do Transgender Athletes Have an Unfair Advantage?

Do transgender athletes have an edge? I sure don’t.

A variety of resources and policies on this issue can be found at TRANSATHLETE.com

Transge nder British athletes born male set to make Olympic history by competing in the games as women

The IOC's guidelines:

1. Those who transition from female to male are eligible to compete in the male category without restriction.

2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:

2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.

2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women's competition).

2.3. The athlete's total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.

2.4. Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete's eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 01:38 AM
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I have a solution.

Remove the gender distinction and make all events open to all genders.

Perhaps this is a little off-topic, but I reckon this is also the answer to the drug problem that has, and will always trump those trying to keep sport clean. By that I mean, remove all restrictions on what an athlete can and cannot do to improve their performance.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 01:39 AM
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Real simple.

edit on 8-8-2016 by Kromlech because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 02:23 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

So...never mind the question of why it would matter in the first place...how exactly would you know if you were competing against a transgender athlete? Pregame pelvic exams for all? Notice your source quote says "unnamed" athletes. That's because it's none of anyone's business...and it shouldn't be.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 02:55 AM
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How about defining yourself and stopping trying to push off your responsibility onto others?

It's up to the individual. Define yourself.

Why there would be a separate games would be completely beyond me because that's just ridiculous.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 03:57 AM
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The article says the athletes are in "contention to compete as women". No indication as to whether they have been selected to compete.

Regardless, there is a degree of unfairness if the "woman" is built like a man in competition where a man's physique is superior to a woman's.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 05:17 AM
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I'd say let the sex chromosome a person has define what gender a person is.
edit on 8/8/2016 by Jeroenske because: spelling



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 06:16 AM
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a reply to: Jeroenske

That opens up a whole can of worms that was controversial in sports such as the Olympics some decades ago. 'Normal' chromosones for females is XX, male is XY but there are rare abnormal occurrences of an extra 1 or more chromosones leading to 'super' males (XYY, XXY) and 'super' females (XXX) in some cases. The controversy was about athletes who appeared to be female but were above average size and strength giving them a considerable advantage in certain events.

Rigid application of XX or XY for gender assignment would rule out any genetic mutations and transgender athletes would be forced to compete against the gender they were born as, not their 'adopted' gender.
edit on 8/8/2016 by Pilgrum because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 06:24 AM
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They blood test for blood doping and steroids? Just add a chromosome test. Physical events? Use physical evidence. I would think your athletic ability is independent of your sexual identity?



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 06:49 AM
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originally posted by: paraphi
Regardless, there is a degree of unfairness if the "woman" is built like a man in competition where a man's physique is superior to a woman's.


On the late night/early morning 4:00 something AM wine patrol again posting in an altered state when I told myself I wouldn't do that but let's look at this statement for a minute.

First. a disclaimer: I am not advocating that male-to-female transgender persons should be given carte blanche to compete against natal females as I could see how that could lead to a mismatch of abilities or advantages but there are a lot of things to consider. People that participate in athletics tend to have athletic body types. In some events, it is beneficial for a woman to be bulked up and muscular and many of them born female are and have a lot of masculine physicality. Who hasn't seen a natal female they wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley? With that picture in mind, what precisely might be the advantages of the transgender woman?

I'm sure most are going to assume the transgender athlete is going to be bigger and stronger than their natal female counterparts but this is not necessarily true particularly for those that were on the puberty blocking protocols and/or started cross-sex hormone therapy early before their bodies had become particularly masculinized. This generation is at the peak age for athletic competition - young people. They are not going to have one single bit of physical advantage over a natal female because as far as development of male secondary sex characteristics, i.e. muscular and skeletal advantages, upper body strength, bone density, etc., they are going to be comparable to their natal competitors in every way.

For others that may be older and may have developed natal male physical characteristics, the use of testosterone inhibiting drugs with the addition of the cross-sex female hormone, estrogen, is a mighty damn powerful drug cocktail. Although all bodies respond differently, within months, usually three to six, muscle mass, density and strength are the first thing to go. Boy muscles turn into girl muscles. Fat accumulates in the thighs, butt and hips shifting the center of gravity as well as breast development which brings a whole new dynamic to physicality and balance. Bone density decreases and transgender women on this drug regime typically have lower levels of serum testosterone than even natal females. This is especially true for those that have undergone an orchiectomy or sex change surgery. (Info note: both male and female bodies naturally produce testosterone and estrogen but the ratios are different)

Where the grey area comes in for me is for those that have gone through full male puberty with bodies developed or been trained under the influence of testosterone. Keep in mind though that it is young people, teens and those in their 20's that we're most likely to see in athletic competition and the fact that a person doesn't transition to a different gender or sex overnight. One also does not qualify for the Olympics overnight. Not so sure about Russia but I'm going to say I think that those that are at an Olympic level of competition have been brought up as and been trained at a level commensurate with their natal peers.

If we look at the IOC's rule:


2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women's competition).


This means a transgender person would have to be on androgen antagonists (and probably estrogen to reach those levels) for a minimum of one year prior to competition. Again, everyone responds differently to hormone treatment but as noted, a determination will be made "whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women's competition." Any sporting authority would be criticized without due diligence to insure parity of the competitors. We're unlikely to see a 6' 4" transgender woman on the girls volleyball team unless there are other 6'4" natal females on the team.

Beyond possible skeletal advantages such as height, shoulder width and arm length ratios, I'm not sure what a competitive transgender person might have?

Share your thoughts on this to help me understand. Can someone else elaborate or share their thinking about what they think it is that would give transgender people some inherent magic powers?

Final disclaimer/caveat: I went through the medical process of physically changing sex as an adolescent/young adult so do know a bit about this. I had socially transitioned and started hormones by age 18 and will be 62 in January. I'm 5' 7" and a pinch (~171cm) and have never at any point in my life had any physical advantage over natal females other than height and I'm not even all that tall.


originally posted by: Jeroenske
I'd say let the sex chromosome a person has define what gender a person is.


The Olympics hasn't used chromosome testing for years. It's a lot more complicated than that and sex and gender aren't the same thing. For example, I have XY chromosomes, a vagina, breasts and an otherwise female body but have never been or lived as a man and people would have a very hard time categorizing me as such on any level. Invisible chromosomes are hardly accurate designators when it comes to achieving parity in athletic competition. (or much else for that matter)



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:23 AM
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originally posted by: Freija
Beyond possible skeletal advantages such as height, shoulder width and arm length ratios, I'm not sure what a competitive transgender person might have?


Why discount those advantages?



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:39 AM
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originally posted by: Profusion

There were no women athletes in the first modern Olympic games. The next time around, in the 1900 Paris games, out of 997 athletes there were 22 women, who competed in just five acceptably ladylike sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf. Over a century later, the introduction of women’s boxing meant that the 2012 Olympics were the first to feature women competing in all sports. But that moment of parity has been followed almost immediately by a drastic challenge to the very definition of women’s sport, as the International Olympic Committee brought out new rules last November on the inclusion of trans athletes.

The change of rules has been followed by news that two unnamed British athletes who were born male are now in contention to compete as women in the 2016 Games in Rio. However, although 2016 could be the first Olympics with transgender athletes, it’s not the first time they’ve been permitted: the 2003 Stockholm Consensus on Sex Reassignment in Sport confirmed that trans athletes could participate, provided they had undergone sex reassignment surgery, had been receiving hormone therapy for a minimum of two years, and had legal recognition of their new gender.

The 2015 Consensus scotches one of those stipulations, and limits the other two: now, trans competitors no longer need to have genital surgery, and female-to-male transitioners can compete as men without restriction. For male-to-female transitioners, the legal status requirement has been replaced with a declaration of gender that is binding for four years, and the hormone treatment rule is now that the ‘athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L [nanomoles/litre] for at least 12 months prior to her first competition’.

LINK


As far as I'm concerned, the Olympics isn't worth watching anymore in many sports. The only sports worth paying attention to in my mind are those where cheating via being transgender is naturally precluded.

How should gender be defined in Olympic sports?

In my opinion, we should have a transgender Olympics. Why not have transgenders compete against other transgenders only?

Imagine yourself as an Olympic athlete who spent your whole life training in a sport. You arrive at the Olympics, and you see you're being forced to compete with transgenders. It's tragic to me. What are people thinking?


The only trad gender competeing in the olymics, isn't trans gender. She is a hermaphrdite.

So by banning her you are basically saying "no one with a genetic advantage can compete.... Well all Olympic level athletes have a biological advantage.....

I don't think actual surgically changed transgender people should be allowed to compete, As their post op sex At least.


But if some one is born with high testosterone levels, that's no different than having advantageous freakishly long arms.


I think deciding not to allow people who surgically or chemically change their body, play makes sense. But you can't do that to genetic stuff and be consistent.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:43 AM
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Ah, the left ... they fought so hard to give us women's sports and let women compete, but now in the interest of fairness to men who believe they are women, they are also working hard to abolish them again!

You can't make this stuff up.



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:51 AM
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originally posted by: Freija
I think the IOC has done a pretty fair job with the current regulations as genitals offer little competitive advantage in any sport. You are making a lot of assumptions too thinking that all MtF trans people are buff and muscular prior to transition and have some sort of default physical advantage nor do you have any knowledge about the significant physiological affects of cross-sex hormone replacement therapy. I also think you are also grossly overestimating the number of trans athletes there are so your "transgender Olympics" would be a pretty small event. Besides, that would kind of negate the whole inclusion thing of not being segregated that trans people are working for.

My impression is that most MtF's would rather be cheerleaders and prom queens than competitors anyway but that's kind of sexist of me and probably promotes false stereotypes? I will admit there may be complicated issues with trans athletes but believe that each case should be handled and evaluated on an individual basis.

As far as I know, there are only two transgender people competing in Rio although there have been around 40 gay and lesbian participants I have read about. Female-to-male transgender people are allowed to compete against natal males without any restrictions or qualifications which also makes a lot of assumptions about a person's body prior to transition.

Some additional reading on the subject:

Do Transgender Athletes Have an Unfair Advantage?

Do transgender athletes have an edge? I sure don’t.

A variety of resources and policies on this issue can be found at TRANSATHLETE.com

Transge nder British athletes born male set to make Olympic history by competing in the games as women

The IOC's guidelines:

1. Those who transition from female to male are eligible to compete in the male category without restriction.

2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:

2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.

2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women's competition).

2.3. The athlete's total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.

2.4. Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete's eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.


If you have ever gotten in really good shape, then stopped working out. Your bodies muscular will retain a chunk of the muscle mass.

Men have like a 30% advantage in that department and most of that will remain.

Your talking Olympic athletes, not highschool softball. These people are the best of the best and at that level the sexes cannot compete physically.

This isn't the military or buisness where it is not all physical. This is based solely on the physical.


The Olympic level women cannot compete with olymic men, I'm guessing but I bet the gold medal women's champ wouldn't have made the men's team



posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: Profusion




How should gender be defined in Olympic sports?


If you have a penis you compete against the guys. I mean wtf? We have male and female athletes in the olympics for a reason.

Bull CACA it gives you no advantage if your a man competing against women. NBA,NFL,MLB,NHL,. all men for a reason.

If there was even one woman that could compete against men at those levels in those sports she would be there.

Even in Golf, if the women could compete and win on the mens tour they would be there.

Its not sexist its just fact.




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