As most know, there’s a contentious debate over whether it’s fair to let men who claim they’re female compete in women’s sports. It’s a debate driven more by emotion than reason, as so many things are.
If a fellow claiming female status trounces woman athletes in a fairly high profile competition — as University of Pennsylvania swimmer “Lia” Thomas (birth name “Will”) did recently — the story makes headlines and raises ire; if such a man falters, as Thomas did quite suspiciously and conveniently even more recently, the story disappears. And each side in the debate often claims vindication based on the most recent result. Yet there is a way to definitively and irrefutably (within the realm of reason) prove that one side is correct.
Sports governing bodies will generally say that a man claiming a Made-up Sexual Status (MUSS or, to use the misnomer, “transgender identity”) may compete with women if he reduces his testosterone levels to the normal female range and maintains this hormonal profile for a certain period of time, perhaps a year, prior to competition. This standard is based on the presupposition that current and recent levels of testosterone — the main male sex hormone and a “naturally occurring steroid” (performance enhancing substance) — constitute the only factor determining whether a man enjoys an athletic advantage.
Now, the number of MUSS men competing in women’s sports is perhaps too small to provide a scientifically meaningful set of data with which to test this hypothesis. Yet it still can be tested because there actually is a trove of data on the relative athletic performances of males and females with identical hormonal profiles. These people are called children.
As MedPage Today wrote last July reporting on a study, “Between the ages of 6 and 10, youths saw similar testosterone levels regardless of sex.” (Prepubescent boys and girls also both have low levels of estrogen.) Consequently, if the MUSS agenda testosterone-suppression theory is correct, young lads should not surpass their female age-mates in sports. But what do the data say?
Examining 10-and-under national records in the aforementioned Thomas’s sport, swimming, reveals that in every case but one, the boys’ individual times are faster. Admittedly, the gap is generally quite narrow at such ages — especially in swimming, which may have the smallest intersex performance disparity of any “physical” sport (e.g., not auto racing or target shooting). But it’s consistently there.
Some may point out here that the average age at which boys enter puberty is now 10 (yes, really; the age has been dropping) and that this may confuse the matter a bit. Yet reviewing eight-and-under swimming records, in this case from the Southern Arizona Aquatic Association, reveals a similar picture: The boys’ individual records are faster in every instance.
The story is the same with 10-and-under and 8-and-under track and field records, though the gap is somewhat greater. Despite prepubescent boys and girls having the same testosterone levels, the boys’ records are better without exception.
Prepubescent boys also have something interesting in common with MUSS men who’ve suppressed their testosterone production: Their bodies once produced high levels of the hormone — in young lads’ case in the womb — but do so no longer. But there’s a difference, too: A MUSS man might have lived with corresponding female-range testosterone levels for a year or less.
Eight-year-old boy athletes have lived with those levels for eight years.
Yet they still outperform their eight-year-old female counterparts. They obviously enjoy advantages either, A, relating to permanent changes induced by earlier testosterone exposure (pelvis width, etc.); and/or, B, relating to less well-known qualities bestowed by the male genotype (XY).
Given this, is it even remotely reasonable claiming that grown, low-T MUSS men don’t have an athletic advantage over their female counterparts?
There’s still more to consider. Relative to the two groups’ respective female counterparts, prepubescent boys lack some advantages that MUSS men enjoy and have some disadvantages MUSS men don’t. For example, not having experienced male adolescence — including exposure to high testosterone levels for those many years — they never developed the associated musculature and skeletal size, the latter of which changes not a whit with testosterone reduction. Moreover, since girls enter puberty approximately two years earlier and thus begin developing sooner, boys are generally shorter and slightly lighter than they are by middle childhood’s end.
Nonetheless, there’s still an athletic performance gap between the two groups, favoring the boys.
Given this, does it not follow that an intersex sports performance gap favoring MUSS men over women would not only exist, but be even greater?
Conclusion: Testosterone suppression surely does rob a male athlete of much of his sex-bestowed advantage. Yet it’s clear that it doesn’t rob him of all such advantages.
None of this will matter to emotion-driven people so in thrall to the sexual devolutionary agenda that rationality will seem risible. But to those who’ll yield to reason, it closes the case on the question of MUSS men in women’s sports perhaps as well as Columbo ever could.
Picture credit: The Philadelphia Citizen
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