Transgender Swimmer - should she be allowed to compete

Should she be allowed to compete


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2blue

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Fad!!! you havent got a Flippin
clue! Do you actually know what it takes to indulge in this FAD? you risk losing everything in your life, you have no idea how people will react, you risk being assaulted and worse, some think suicide is a better option but yeah we just do it for a laugh as its the latest fad!
I think it was 1972 when a friend's daughter, Imogen, with 2 sisters became Steve & he started to ask me about the customs & procedures of 'men' when in the local Sports Hall changing rooms etc & taking great pleasure in getting to the bar first & ordering the drinks for the ladies.... little things like that he considered pretty important.
The Sunday gutter Press harassed him endlessly. However, the strength he drew from friends & family accepting the decision prevented the suicide he'd considered.
Yeah, the pretty early days of such... couldn't get his Passport changed as well as lots of other formal type stuff.... 'tis an experience I'll never forget having shared in a rather small way.
As regards the vote... I think I may have voted in an unintended way..... however it's been quite illuminating, so haven't bothered to change it
 

Foxholer

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...
Plenty of impressive women in the US right now including the first every Woman VP but no, USA today makes a transgender man one of the “Woman of the year” How insulting is that?
https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/6600134001
Indeed, truly insulting.....that it has taken so long!
Oh! And the 1st ever female VP is a step forward too - especially compared to the likes of Dan Quayle!
 

drdel

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Indeed, truly insulting.....that it has taken so long!
Oh! And the 1st ever female VP is a step forward too - especially compared to the likes of Dan Quayle!
She may be a lady but is she a competent VP in post through merit...
 

Ethan

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Again, just repeatedly showing your ignorance doesn't make you any less wrong.

I'm guessing it's not actually your fault you don't understand the science behind how people can be born into the wrong body - as opposed to the only other option, which is that you're just choosing to be bigoted? - but you really should try to learn more before you continue to display this ignorance. Using words like "fad", "insulting" just makes you sound a bit thick to be honest.

You might wish to believe it's "a mental thing" but the world's leading geneticists and biologists disagree with you. I wonder which of you knows more? 🤔🙄

Try starting with reading about the hormone changes that take place in the first trimester of a foetuses life. Or thinking for just one second about why men have nipples? Or the various other things that don't quite go 'to plan' during the development of a foetus, such as conjoined twins. It's really not that hard to understand how it happens that people are born into the wrong sex body.

If you are just ignorant because you don't know these things, fair enough, but go and read about them to make yourself less ignorant.
If, on the other hand, you are willfully ignorant because it suits your prejudices, then do one. This is a thread about whether trans athletes should be able to compete, not about whether they have the right to exist. 🙄
There is plenty of science that relates to the underlying point you seem to be trying to make, that most species, including humans, being with an ambiguous gender, usually female, and then gender emerges through various related biological processes, which in some cases do not end up quite as definitively binary as perhaps intended. I am not sure you can jump from that biology to say that some people are born into the wrong body. You need to be careful not to conflate several broad groups into one.

Hermaphrodites, intersex and people with hyperandrogenism have been well recognised for years. The basis for their situation is entirely and demonstrably biological. These people are generally not seeking to further alter the expression of their gender, that just fall into a non-binary category which leads to complications in various parts of everyday life.

Some of the currently controversial athletes do not seem to fall into this category, though, and instead fall into a category sometimes seen in medical circles with perfectly normal (for their presumed gender) hormone levels and normal genetics but a desire to be assigned to another gender. This sometimes occurs quite late in life, e.g. Frank Warren and Bruce Jenner. The basis for their situation is much less clearly biological and has elements, perhaps substantial, of psychological origin. That doesn't mean they are less important or need less intervention.

Moving from male to female is much more common, and involves receiving female sex hormones to soften the masculine appearance, and usually living "as a woman" for a period of time, before any surgery will be considered. It is not uncommon for such people to regret their change and want to go back, which is tricky if they have had surgery.

As far as trans athletes are concerned, I think not is fairly clear that gender reassignment does not reverse all the effects of earlier development, so male to female athletes still retain some muscle mass, height or other biomechanics advantages. Suppressing testosterone is not enough to negate the previous gender advantage.
 

phillarrow

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There is plenty of science that relates to the underlying point you seem to be trying to make, that most species, including humans, being with an ambiguous gender, usually female, and then gender emerges through various related biological processes, which in some cases do not end up quite as definitively binary as perhaps intended. I am not sure you can jump from that biology to say that some people are born into the wrong body. You need to be careful not to conflate several broad groups into one.

Hermaphrodites, intersex and people with hyperandrogenism have been well recognised for years. The basis for their situation is entirely and demonstrably biological. These people are generally not seeking to further alter the expression of their gender, that just fall into a non-binary category which leads to complications in various parts of everyday life.

Some of the currently controversial athletes do not seem to fall into this category, though, and instead fall into a category sometimes seen in medical circles with perfectly normal (for their presumed gender) hormone levels and normal genetics but a desire to be assigned to another gender. This sometimes occurs quite late in life, e.g. Frank Warren and Bruce Jenner. The basis for their situation is much less clearly biological and has elements, perhaps substantial, of psychological origin. That doesn't mean they are less important or need less intervention.

Moving from male to female is much more common, and involves receiving female sex hormones to soften the masculine appearance, and usually living "as a woman" for a period of time, before any surgery will be considered. It is not uncommon for such people to regret their change and want to go back, which is tricky if they have had surgery.

As far as trans athletes are concerned, I think not is fairly clear that gender reassignment does not reverse all the effects of earlier development, so male to female athletes still retain some muscle mass, height or other biomechanics advantages. Suppressing testosterone is not enough to negate the previous gender advantage.
I agree with almost everything you've written here, apart from the bit I've highlighted in bold.

There's research going back almost a decade now that suggests our sex is defined both by our reproductive organs and our brain structure and function. That same research - repeated several times in different parts of the world - has provided evidence that pre-treatment transexuals have brain structures and functioning that are more aligned to their chosen identity than their reproductive parts.
In these cases, I would say that the evidence would strongly suggest that those people were born into the wrong body.
Maybe it's a phrase that oversimplifies the complexity of the issue, but I can't think of a better one?
 

Ethan

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I agree with almost everything you've written here, apart from the bit I've highlighted in bold.

There's research going back almost a decade now that suggests our sex is defined both by our reproductive organs and our brain structure and function. That same research - repeated several times in different parts of the world - has provided evidence that pre-treatment transexuals have brain structures and functioning that are more aligned to their chosen identity than their reproductive parts.
In these cases, I would say that the evidence would strongly suggest that those people were born into the wrong body.
Maybe it's a phrase that oversimplifies the complexity of the issue, but I can't think of a better one?
Can you cite an example of this evidence?

It would not be surprising if there was evidence of an association between a characteristic and some physiological or anatomical feature, but it is very likely that precisely the same feature can be observed in many people who have no desire to change their gender. are they also in the wrong bodies? By looking at pre-treatment transexuals, you may get a very narrow perspective. The evidence would be more useful if it could predict who would want to be a transexual, and what if pre-treatment transexuals do not exhibit this feature? Are they rejected for treatment because they are in the right bodies already?
 

phillarrow

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Can you cite an example of this evidence?

It would not be surprising if there was evidence of an association between a characteristic and some physiological or anatomical feature, but it is very likely that precisely the same feature can be observed in many people who have no desire to change their gender. are they also in the wrong bodies? By looking at pre-treatment transexuals, you may get a very narrow perspective. The evidence would be more useful if it could predict who would want to be a transexual, and what if pre-treatment transexuals do not exhibit this feature? Are they rejected for treatment because they are in the right bodies already?
Like most things, the reality of the situation is far more complex than could ever be managed by simply saying - "Have this scan and it will tell you who you are." You know that, I know that, and we both know that each other knows that.

I'm not for one second suggesting that all men have a brain like X and all women have a brain like Y, whereas all trans people have a brain like....
Of course it's far more complex than that. However, the fact that differences have been observed suggests that there is more to being a man than simply having a willy, and, in my opinion, I think we just need to accept the evidence that we are far less binary than we used to believe.
Why should sex be so different from something like handedness, for example?

In terms of citations, I don't have the exact articles I've read to hand, but just googling "The difference between the trans and cis brain" brings up lots of articles from Scientifica America and Nature. These give reference to the research they are based upon.
 

Lord Tyrion

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@Ethan Mrs Warren took to the bottle quite heavily upon reading your post. Thankfully Frank was able to convince her with decent speed that it was his competitor, Frank Maloney, who had transitioned to Kellie Maloney, not himself 😄
 

Foxholer

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She may be a lady but is she a competent VP in post through merit...
I seriously doubt any VP is in the post purely through 'merit' as defined elsewhere, though she seems an entirely capable choice - certainly a better choice than Sarah Palin was by McCain. And as I mentioned earlier, the bar is pretty low, given the choice of Dan Quayle by 'Dubya'!
 

Fade and Die

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Like most things, the reality of the situation is far more complex than could ever be managed by simply saying - "Have this scan and it will tell you who you are." You know that, I know that, and we both know that each other knows that.

I'm not for one second suggesting that all men have a brain like X and all women have a brain like Y, whereas all trans people have a brain like....
Of course it's far more complex than that. However, the fact that differences have been observed suggests that there is more to being a man than simply having a willy, and, in my opinion, I think we just need to accept the evidence that we are far less binary than we used to believe.
Why should sex be so different from something like handedness, for example?

In terms of citations, I don't have the exact articles I've read to hand, but just googling "The difference between the trans and cis brain" brings up lots of articles from Scientifica America and Nature. These give reference to the research they are based upon.
😂😂😂
Don’t you love it when a googling internet expert meets a real expert? 😆
 

Ethan

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@Ethan Mrs Warren took to the bottle quite heavily upon reading your post. Thankfully Frank was able to convince her with decent speed that it was his competitor, Frank Maloney, who had transitioned to Kellie Maloney, not himself 😄
Indeed. Not a boxing fan, so apologies to anyone offended or put into a state of apoplexy.
 

phillarrow

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😂😂😂
Don’t you love it when a googling internet expert meets a real expert? 😆
How are you getting on with that suggestion that we should discuss things like grown ups? 🙄

You have no idea who I am, what I do for a living, or why I have needed to learn so much about this issue. But carry on making your ignorant assumptions, they are very revealing. 👍

P.S. You can take the word "ignorant" in that sentence in whatever way you wish. 😉
 

Ethan

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Like most things, the reality of the situation is far more complex than could ever be managed by simply saying - "Have this scan and it will tell you who you are." You know that, I know that, and we both know that each other knows that.

I'm not for one second suggesting that all men have a brain like X and all women have a brain like Y, whereas all trans people have a brain like....
Of course it's far more complex than that. However, the fact that differences have been observed suggests that there is more to being a man than simply having a willy, and, in my opinion, I think we just need to accept the evidence that we are far less binary than we used to believe.
Why should sex be so different from something like handedness, for example?

In terms of citations, I don't have the exact articles I've read to hand, but just googling "The difference between the trans and cis brain" brings up lots of articles from Scientifica America and Nature. These give reference to the research they are based upon.
I will take a look later, but I wonder if starting with pre-identified candidates for transgender is the right approach. It would be interesting to blindly look at brain and identify characteristics, then latterly attempt to associate them with transgender intent. I suspect that would be a wash, though.

Handedness is a very different characteristic, though, and is largely hard wired in a reasonably simple way. People can learn to use the other hand, but the hard wiring element will stick. There is some debate that some of the perceived brain differences result from cultural adaptation rather than being primary aetiological factors. Brain plasticity and brain changes are well recognised.
 

IanM

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Post #203 is just stating facts.
The final part is important. It's about participation in sport.

As I see it, if there were no inherent sporting physical advantages of starting life as a bloke, there'd be no discussion. Clearly there are, so there's a problem.

Its a bit like allowing a Major winner to play you in the summer knockout with no shots given. You'd stay home, unless you fancy going for 10 holes and a beer!
 

drdel

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I will take a look later, but I wonder if starting with pre-identified candidates for transgender is the right approach. It would be interesting to blindly look at brain and identify characteristics, then latterly attempt to associate them with transgender intent. I suspect that would be a wash, though.

Handedness is a very different characteristic, though, and is largely hard wired in a reasonably simple way. People can learn to use the other hand, but the hard wiring element will stick. There is some debate that some of the perceived brain differences result from cultural adaptation rather than being primary aetiological factors. Brain plasticity and brain changes are well recognised.
You've identified an area which has challenged analysts for decades. The classic "Post hoc ergo proctor hoc" is a dilemma in such a sensitive subject and many observers come with preconceived and beliefs about the results

By way of example and issues: take a look at the proportions of different gender representations in broadcasting it would give a false overstated impression of the real proportions in society and thus people's expectations for Schools and the potential impact on young impressionable kids.
 

Ethan

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The final part is important. It's about participation in sport.

As I see it, if there were no inherent sporting physical advantages of starting life as a bloke, there'd be no discussion. Clearly there are, so there's a problem.

Its a bit like allowing a Major winner to play you in the summer knockout with no shots given. You'd stay home, unless you fancy going for 10 holes and a beer!
Whether or not the brain anatomy or wiring is similar or different between trans and cis-gender people, and I think it is a bit more complicated than presented above, the physiology, muscle mass, height etc, are not, and do not regress (fully) with testosterone suppression.
 

Ethan

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You've identified an area which has challenged analysts for decades. The classic "Post hoc ergo proctor hoc" is a dilemma in such a sensitive subject and many observers come with preconceived and beliefs about the results

By way of example and issues: take a look at the proportions of different gender representations in broadcasting would give a false overstated impression of the real proportions in society and thus people's expectations for Schools and the potential impact on young impressionable kids.
There is a study type called case-control, where you (usually) look at people with a condition and compare them to people without, but who are matched to share as many relevant risk factors as possible (age, gender, smoking status, whatever). It is a useful technique but suffers from at least one big problem, that you must know the variables that matter and on which you match cases and controls. More than the odd study has turned up an interesting finding later explained away by an aetiological factor unknown (and therefore not matched for) at the time. For that reason, these studies are considered to be unable to prove anything but may generate hypotheses for later study in a prospective study.
 

drdel

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There is a study type called case-control, where you (usually) look at people with a condition and compare them to people without, but who are matched to share as many relevant risk factors as possible (age, gender, smoking status, whatever). It is a useful technique but suffers from at least one big problem, that you must know the variables that matter and on which you match cases and controls. More than the odd study has turned up an interesting finding later explained away by an aetiological factor unknown (and therefore not matched for) at the time. For that reason, these studies are considered to be unable to prove anything but may generate hypotheses for later study in a prospective study.
Agreed. Once published (in this subject area especially) the general media rarely grasps the complexity and further perpetuates the fallacy.
 

Ethan

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Many years ago (some pros were still playing persimmon woods), before terms like cis-gender existed, I worked in psychiatry, and for a while did sessions in a clinic which saw people with various complaints which included what would now be called gender dysfunction. Because gender reassignment is a big deal and may include risks and points of no return, one of the big priorities was to determine if the anxiety, distress and depression that some of the patients clearly had was really due to their perception of being in the wrong bodies, as it were. So some deep counselling/analysis was conducted and it often emerged that it really wasn't the core problem and something else was uncovered. Equally, sometimes people had reassignment and it didn't change their mindset, sometimes made it worse. On the other hand, I saw some people who had successful reassignment, usually male to female, and did well. Of course, this didn't include people with physical intersex conditions, whose issues are more endocrinological than psychological.
 
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