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New Study: Transgender Athletes Retain Advantage Despite Testosterone Suppression

Photo credit goes to Ted Eytan on Flickr. License can be viewed here.

For the left, the last Olympic Games was a sign of progress. For those on the right, it was something indicative of the degeneration of rationality. The Olympics has allowed for transgender athletes to compete since 2004, though this quiet shift of sports policy became obvious to the masses when Laurel Hubbard made her weightlifting debut, becoming the first transgender biological male to compete on the Olympic stage in an individual event. Another transgender athlete joined in the BMX category by holding a reserve position. These athletes’ testosterone levels were required to be under a certain threshold before competition.

And yet the threshold rule, in a way, was brushed to the side after the International Olympic Committee issued a new set of recommendations regarding transgender athletes. The new recommendations suggest testosterone testing isn’t necessary for competing transgender athletes, and by consequence, thresholds, if there’s no demonstrable advantage. The IOC committee frames the matter as something relating to “privacy” guised in the malaise of tolerance.

The recommendations aren’t binding, and are only that–recommendations. Though they set a precedent that encourages a world where biological men can participate in female competition without physiological screening. In effect, destroying the sanctity of women’s sports altogether and the historical, civil efforts that underpin female competition. This is if sports federations decide to follow the recommendations. History and the current state of Western sports submits they likely will.

Blue checkmarks and Wokeists claim transgender biological males don’t have a sports advantage over female peers. Camps from this side argue testosterone doesn’t provide any inherent advantage, or, they’ll submit testosterone levels do provide some sort of advantage, but it’s controlled for after cross-sex hormone therapy. This idea is dunked when considering the permanent physiological and morphological impact a-priori testosterone has on the male body. For example, proliferated myonuclei accretion and changes the pulmonary system morphology.

Reality continues to surface despite leftist arguments. A new study published in Sports Medicine concluded transgender biological men still retain a sports advantage over women even after they fully transition. “Thus, the muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed. Sports organizations should consider this evidence when reassessing current policies regarding participation of transgender women in the female category of sport.” the authors state.

The authors admit there’s lean body mass and strength drop after cross-sex hormone treatment, but in the 13 studies they reviewed, none of them were found to report a decrease of over 10% in those parameters. This loss isn’t enough to counterbalance the canyon-sized performance gap between the male and female bodies. In fact, after reviewing statistics across various sporting events, the authors found junior boys out performed elite females in many cases. Those who argue transgender biological men lose the advantage afforded to them from testosterone must be able to show that the performance reduction is comparable. And, that simply isn’t the case. Per the authors, “The reductions observed in muscle mass, size, and strength are very small compared to the baseline differences between males and females in these variables, and thus, there are major performance and safety implications in sports where these attributes are competitively significant.”

Alas, we should expect leftists to only special plead for “the science” when it’s comforting. “Science” is only a tool used to further postmodern tolerance, and is ignored when data paint a picture unhelpful to the ideology.


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