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Posts posted by J.C.MacSwell

  1. On 8/16/2023 at 8:15 AM, swansont said:

    Less than 1% also identify as transgender. 

    Just making it clear what my context was in that post. The less than 1% I referred to are the intersex and the transgenders therefore almost exclusively included in the 99+%.

    On 8/16/2023 at 8:15 AM, swansont said:

    And only are readily categorized if you only recognize a subset of the sexual characteristics, i.e. you look at the most visible differences but ignore secondary ones. But that leads us into the circular reasoning that plagues this discussion, that there are two categories because we’ve postulated that there are two categories. 

    Right. One way out of this is to start adding categories. Just keep in mind that at elite level many female sports are struggling to find the level of support they would like to have...

    ...yet nothing prohibits anyone that can find the means to sponsor any number of events for any number of categories...and write their own rules... 

    39 minutes ago, iNow said:


    This is all an awful lot of handwringing and panty twisting for all 11 of those trans athletes out there actually trying to compete. 


  2. On 8/18/2023 at 11:42 AM, swansont said:

    And the fairness has the be decided/agreed to by all groups. It can’t be just a majority, much like the four wolves and a sheep deciding on what’s for supper.

    No. It's quite probable that the fairness won't be agreed upon, and someone or committee will be left to make a decision. In fact his seems most common at this point in time. Particularly where it's fairly clear no compromise is currently available that would be acceptable to everyone, and nothing of the sort is on the horizon.

    Having said that, Zapatos mentioned a weight handicap that might work for weightlifting. So if you took the World Record (or 10 best lifts) lifts for XX athletes and compared them to the World Record for XY athletes then that would be a reasonable starting point as long as none used any performance enhancing drugs, and the elite level could be assumed to be comparable. Of course any use of drugs should only be approved by physician, be considered non performance enhancing (or non masking of same) or over the counter drugs not on the list of not allowed.

    So take the difference, or difference as a percentage...and that's the handicap.

    Would most transgender athletes consider that fair? I can't speak for Caitlyn Jenner, but I think she might. I also can't speak for any transgenders females currently wanting to compete in the female elite categories, but I suspect they would consider that not fair at all, given they believe themselves female.

    But if you want to compare humans being the best they can be (without performance enhancing intervention), how is that not fair?

    ...and this is a sport that lends itself to this type of handicap. Most would be much more difficult.


    Say for soccer, how much bigger a net would be required to allow an XY goaltender? If the teams were all XX vs all XY the XY net  requiring the complete width of the field would not be enough, you would need to increase net height as well and/or reduce number of players allowed on the field for the all XY team.

    Or how many goals head start would the XX team require, given they will no doubt score none without the above or similar changes of unknown severity?


  3. 13 hours ago, swansont said:

    By the same token, the fact that you can fit ~99% into two categories, based on some limited set of criteria, does not mean that everyone in a category is identical...

    No one is suggesting that everyone in each of the predominate categories are identical.


    13 hours ago, swansont said:

    ... nor does it mean that there is no overlap between these categories if you consider more criteria.

    Of course not. Despite men being taller than average, many women are taller than the average man. Not sure why you feel the need to point this out, given that everyone here understands that it is the top performances of each group that needs to be considered and for many sports there is such a persistent gap that World records are significantly different.


    13 hours ago, swansont said:

    Further, the admission that less than 1% aren’t covered by this (erroneous though that number is*) belies the argument that there are huge numbers of transgender individuals waiting to descend on athletics, if only some circumstances would change. You can’t have both be true. Either their numbers are small, or they are not.

    * less than 1% considering themselves to be transgender does not mean that this is the percentage of people who have characteristics from the other category. It only means that having such characteristics is not compelling enough to feel as if they are mislabeled.

    The less than 1% refers to the intersex, most of whom do not transgender.

    Less than 1% of humanity is intersex.

    Most transgenders, the vast majority, have natural biologies that the science of biology can readily categorize as male or female. Most make up part of the 99+%, and the more athletic ones could dominate some female sports if not burdened by any medical interventions. 

    When I say burdened I am referring to their potential for sports performance...it could be advantageous (or not in some cases) for their well being, depending on the competence of their medical care providers and fit of their medical treatments. These would of course be tailored to the individual and protocols would differ...making any group comparisons fairly useless for accurately assessing effect on sports performance for the purpose of any handicapping individuals for inclusion in a different group.

    11 hours ago, iNow said:

    Affirmative (even just within the intersex bucket, there are at least 4 different categories which brings us to a minimum value of 6 biological sexes), but we're talking about gender here anyway. 

    We are talking about biological sex with regard to the significant gap in sports potentials of the top biological males vs biological females.

    No similar gap is known to persist in the same manner for genders.

    Bruce Jenner could have become Caitlyn Jenner back in 1976. This would not have changed his/her potential in the decathlon without medical intervention. Obviously this potential could readily be changed by medical intervention, positively or negatively.


  4. 51 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    Oh FFS, just answer the question, why do you care?

    The reason I care is, what if I found myself in a situation where I wouldn't be allowed to play in a game that disallows my webed feet...

    Over to you... 🧐

    FFS I've told you many times. Others have explained it as well.

    Stop gaslighting the thread and try explaining how you think transgender inclusion can work successfully in elite competitively fair and healthy female sports...if you can think of any practical way it can be done. So far no one has for most sports.

  5. 32 minutes ago, swansont said:

    No comprehensive definition is a far cry from no distinction.

    Exactly. The science of biology isn't quite as useless and some have implied here. Biologists reading the thread might want to take heart and drag their degrees back out of the waste basket. Creationists reading it and rubbing their hands with glee while reading some of the arguments for transgender inclusion should not get as emboldened as the arguments might suggest.

    The science of biology is sufficient to divide 99+% of humanity into biologically male or female and the existence of the less than 1% remaining does not change that.

    ...nor does any "spectrum", of secondary sex characteristics that includes the 99+%.

  6. 1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

    Oh, OK, Lord Coe confirms it; well he certainly has proved that he has no interest in money... where's the slap head emoji when I need it 😣


    1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Regardless of what may be motivating it, with regard to transgenders they certainly have:

    Maybe you need to slap your head and try reading that again...

  7. 15 minutes ago, dimreepr said:


     "International sports bodies have certainly moved in the direction of my position."

    No they haven't, they're just trying to maintain a political legitimacy to keep the sport financially viable; which leads us back to Cartman...

    Regardless of what may be motivating it, with regard to transgenders they certainly have:



  8. 6 hours ago, iNow said:


    ...But only because they won't be making the rules for elite sports based on inclusion over competitive fairness and there is a strong trend toward more fully protecting athlete health also.

    Since this thread started International sports bodies have certainly moved in the direction of my position. It's a shame their position on the intersex has been swept toward less inclusion and/or less health protection but it will be interesting to see what happens as Semenya's case is further resolved.

  9. 1 hour ago, mistermack said:

    So, just let men play the women, so long as they claim female gender? There's a lot of money at stake, it would be well worth it. Wimbledon, US open, women's events won by second grade men claiming female gender? I don't think it would go down too well. 

    Why the negative? Don't shoot the messenger.

    Do you really believe this won't happen at all if (hopefully as) transgenders are better accepted over time?

    If so Russian and French figure skating judges have some "beautiful" "waterfront" land they would like to sell you...

    Note that Mistermack is not claiming true transgenders will do this.

    Paraphrasing INow "Easy to cheap shots, hard to do the real work" (and no I'm not suggesting INow gave the negative)


    Of course if this was allowed to happen (it won't be) without sound rule changes the money in female sports would sadly shrink. Shouts of "equal pay" would be drowned out by "where's the gate receipts".

    But it won't happen because the hard work on the rules (and probably at least as much the financial considerations...greed for some) will prevent it or nip it in the bud.

    Hint to Democrats: voters will accept the greed over the threat of the collapse of elite female sports. 

    Am I overstating the concern? Yes, but only because the extremes won't get to make the rules...

    cue Dim to reply with that youtube again...

    (probably a few pages early for Vat to again add his astute observation on this thread)

  10. 2 hours ago, swansont said:

    Don’t ignore the possibility that women might prefer to not have to deal with sexual harassment, and that might be a contributing motivation for segregated divisions.

    Or simply female camaraderie. One of the regrettable things about exclusion I think would be missing out on that. I don't think it's anything close to enough to tip the scales for trans inclusion at elite levels, but at recreational level I think it does.


  11. 2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    That's a question for another topic.

    ...unless there is some inherent link to potential sports performance. Swansont has suggested there may be.

    In that case it may be on topic, though obviously nothing sports organizations need consider at this time.


  12. 17 hours ago, CharonY said:

    How did you figure out someone's sexual orientation in the past? 


    16 hours ago, swansont said:

    What’s the scientific test for someone being attracted to another? For someone being an introvert or extrovert?

    None of this required answers for any sports inclusions or exclusions. For lesbian or gay pride sports or events I think you are just accepted, but that is more recreational level.

    You both asked, yet I have no idea why. Lesbian athletes are over represented in many sports, and gay men underrepresented. If biology finds an inherent reason why, perhaps a new division or two could be created but I don't see the need for it. I don't see a significant performance gap due to sexual orientation at top levels that compares to the well known XY and XX gaps. This is not something the IOC, say, should be addressing at this time.

    Clearly a very significant performance gap remains for XY and XX elite level athletes, regardless of their declared gender, medical interventions notwithstanding. If there is something inherent motivating gender declaration, it clearly doesn't show as being significant compared to XX vs XY.


    17 hours ago, CharonY said:

    How did you scientifically prove to yourself that you are a man? 

    I happened to be in the 99+ % of humans where basic level biology made it obvious. One of the many that don't need to point at the fraction of 1% to question any personal exclusion from  elite female sports.

    17 hours ago, CharonY said:

    How does it related to categorization in sports, and if that is so confusing how did folks do that for cis-folks?

    It was problematic for the less than 1% known as intersex, though only for females with regard to inclusion in elite sports.

    If you want to include non intersex XY athletes in elite female sports based on possible inherent biological disadvantage, science has a lot of work to do before it becomes useful in doing so.



  13. 9 minutes ago, swansont said:

    Gender identity refers to a person’s internal sense of being male, female or something else


    I don’t see “chooses” in that definition. That’s something that you have added.


    Obviously the way you understand choice differs from mine. Why do you choose to be right- or left-handed?



    What would be the scientific test for that? How should the rules be enforced, if not simply accepting an individual's claim?


    What was Bruce Jenner's gender identity back in 1976? Unknown?

    It seems most of the definitions I google  are trying more to justify rather than describe the working use of the term.

    With the definition you choose (seem motivated) to use, no one can prove their gender identity.


  14. 1 hour ago, swansont said:

    Is this based on your comprehensive knowledge of studies? Is this another opinion?

    And “caused by the choice”? Who is claiming that this “choice” is causing anything?

    There are biological differences between cis men and transgender women, so there could very well be differences that affect athletic performance.

    Differences in brain structure


    Differences in estrogen receptors 


    Something biological? Yes. see above.

    Estrogen? See above.


    see also


    I think you misunderstand what gender currently means.

    It means how an individual chooses to identify. There is no other test.

    You can argue whether anyone has a choice or free will, or not, but that can't be proven. We have decided to accept an individuals choice, as we understand choice.

    So you can take two identical twins, with essentially the same genes and hormone numbers and one can identify female and the other male and that is accepted as their respective genders.

    If you believe you can go further than that and find a physical something that might motivate the choice, that doesn't change the above and with respect to sports you still need to connect it to athletic potential for it to be meaningful to those that must make and put in practise rules for elite competition.


    Elite female sports has developed because of a clear and significant gap in the top performances of XY and XX athletes...not because of any clear or significant gap in choice of gender, or motivation for that choice.

    Bruce Jenner was at one time considered by many the best XY athlete in the World and clearly enjoyed XY advantage, however difficult to say exactly why. Caitlyn Jenner is now perhaps the best known transgender on the planet. Whether there was something innate driving her decision, or not, it seems unlikely to have given her as Bruce Jenner any substantial disadvantage...though who knows...it's pretty much impossible to ascertain just as it is even more impossible to prejudge athletic potential sufficiently for the purpose of elite sports any time soon.

    For what it's worth, I tend to agree with much of Caitlyn Jenner's position on this topic.

  15. 1 minute ago, swansont said:

    It’s a mistake to frame this as a choice.

    Several times I’ve asked why someone has chosen to be right- or left-handed. Nobody has deigned to respond.

    You are suggesting there is something inherent driving the gender identification motivation? 

    Do you have a reason to believe there is a connection between that and sports potential?



  16. 31 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    It's not an athletic choice, it's a human one. 

    It's like asking what colour do you want in a game of risk or what avatar in monopoly?


    Right. The risk players know their choice of colour will have no effect on the game. No need to complain about a current lack of evidence.

  17. 15 minutes ago, swansont said:

    That’s the wrong approach, though, if you investigate the distinctions between cis men and cis women. The investigation should be the distinctions between trans women and cis women.

    That’s what one should investigate.

    There is no known difference in athletic potential, or reason to believe there is, caused by any XY athlete's choice to change gender.


  18. 10 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    Agreed. Things will change over time, and we should not assume that testosterone level is the only factor that can go into making competition equitable and ensuring XX athletes can remain competitive. Throughout this thread I have tried to envision a multifaceted approach evolving over time as we learn more.

    I think testosterone levels alone will have a limited ability to encompass all of women's sports. Testosterone probably have a larger impact where you have individual sports and reliance on muscle mass (e.g. weight lifting)  and less of an impact on team sports that rely less on muscle mass (e.g. synchronized swimming). You wouldn't even have to check testosterone levels (theoretically) for weight lifting if you introduced handicapping. For instance, add 'x' pounds to the bar for the transgender woman to accomplish the same lift as a cisgender woman.

    Right. Those are the types of solutions that could be used where possible, at least for the intersex, without requiring them to take unwanted treatments if they wish to compete.

    I wonder if Laurel Hubbard would have preferred that, in whole or in part, rather than being forced to conform (forced if she wished to compete as a female) to an arbitrary testosterone target.

    ...and if her only threat was to also get a medal without displacing anyone...how much more welcome might she have felt.

  19. 13 hours ago, zapatos said:

    You said XX cannot be competitive if they must compete with XY without serious restrictions on trans women. I disagreed and cited the ratio as my reasoning. As far as I can tell we were both looking at a snapshot in time. That is, we are talking about now. 

    I don't mind talking about how/if XX can remain competitive if that ratio changes. While that ratio may change in the future I am also sure in the future we'll be factoring in changes to the science of hormone levels, transitioning, muscle mass, competitive classes, development of handicapping systems, ratio of trans vs cis allowed on the field at once, equitable funding for training, and all the other ideas people come up with on how to allow everyone to compete equitably.

    As I have mentioned many times in this thread, right from the early on in it, you need to be able to anticipate the results of any rules you might make.

    I don't know how many times I have pointed this out to Swansont when he keeps asking "where are they?" while citing current low numbers and ignoring obvious evidence that XY athletes have known advantages.

    As they move away from testosterone targets, as they should, the numbers will surely go up... as society becomes more accepting of transgenders, as it should, the numbers surely will go up...

    ...unless of course there are other rules in place to prevent it.


  20. 3 hours ago, zapatos said:

    When did I say "questionable testosterone targets" is a healthy goal? When did I say "unfair social stigmas" was healthy?

    When did I say 2200 to 1 should be maintainable?

    Perhaps you can answer the questions I asked of you.

    You said my concerns were not justified citing the current ratio as 2200 to 1, did you not?




  21. 2 minutes ago, zapatos said:


    Even if the answer was 100%, the cisgenders outnumber the transgenders 2200 to 1. How is that one person stopping those 2200 from being competitive? If I'm competing in the Pac-10 and you are competing in the ACC, how have you stopped me from being competitive?

    ...with questionable testosterone targets in place to maintain that? With unfair social stigmas toward transgenders to maintain that?

    Explain exactly how either is a healthy goal if you believe 2200 to 1 should be maintainable.

  22. 4 minutes ago, zapatos said:

    I understand why you think there would need to be very serious restriction on XY athletes, but it feels to me as if you are overstating the impact on XX athletes. 

    After a short search I found that there were perhaps 100 trans women competing in NCAA sports, compared to about 226,000 women competing in NCAA Women's Championship Sports.



    Am I?

    How many of those (bolded) are competing without serious restrictions? (I'm fairly certain the answer is none, even if they've gone through HRT in the past, any requirement to which is a serious restriction in itself)

    Much of the debate is about whether the restrictions are enough (or overly onerous) to make for fair competition.

    There should be no debate as to whether the current restrictions are healthy. Many on the many sides of the debate don't believe they are healthy, and certainly none of the methods used to reduce testosterone to target levels are considered to be without risk.

    Many here would seem to be satisfied if testosterone targets were continued to be used and adjusted over time. Attempt to find some compromise between inclusion and athlete health. When transgender athletes succeed, or fail, what exactly will have been tested?

  23. 1 hour ago, CharonY said:

    Here, you are somewhat wrong. You should check back on JCM's post regarding the definition and binary nature of biological sex and perhaps also the link I provided that questions some of the tenets there. It is important to note that an evolutionary/biological system cannot be mapped exclusively to humans, it has to cover biology as we know it.

    Thus, in the evolutionary view, the common definition is based around anisogamy, which means the different in types of gametes produced in a population. Here, we have a binary distinction (large gametes like ova, small gametes like sperm). The physical build of the producers does not play into it, as there is no direct connection between types of ovaries and a particular build, for example. In fact, some species change over their lifetime whether and what kind of gametes are being produced (a specific example that was provided in the prior discussion). Therefore, although the Goymann et al claim that biological sex is binary, they do state that 

    In other words, if we use it as a condition to categorize each and every individual, we are in fact misusing the concept of biological sex.

    And this goes back to the issue that in the society we have learned to conflate concepts like gender and biological sex to a degree that the latter is often also applied outside of the precise valid scope. To some degree it is inevitable, as many areas (especially medical sciences) obviously have a human-centric view, which kinds of ignores the broader scope of biology. But if we want to talk about biology and especially evolution, we are forced to be more precise about it (it is a bit like trying to apply classical physics to quantum phenomena, at some point it becomes wildly inaccurate). The challenge here is that science here runs counter to intuition.

    Right. But at this point in the science of biology I believe that for the human species, 99+% of us can be clearly divided into biologically male or biologically female regardless of more overlap in secondary sex characteristics, and that division is so significant with regard to physical sports that there are demonstrable differences between the top performances of the two groups, in the range of 6-12% in many events.

    With gender, as we now define the term gender, no such clear division for top performers exists, notwithstanding medical science's ability to intervene.

    Essentially this means that unless XX athletes are given their own space, they cannot be competitive at elite level without very serious restrictions put on any inclusion of XY athletes.

  24. On 8/6/2023 at 9:16 AM, dimreepr said:

    Well for one, the elite levels are pushing the envelope within the chosen field of play, so that's where the best data is; let's not forget that the elite level is, by definition, designed to route out the outlier's of human physiology. (edit, which we're happy to celebrate, as long as the women don't look like men) 

    I hope you don't think this question in any way turns the tables, if anything it puts more pressure on you to come back with at least one reason why my reason/ing is wrong?


    No. This is a fair point. However, there is nothing to stop transgenders, or anyone else, competing against top level females. If the data is the goal it can be gained from experiments outside of and with no risk to standard top level competition.

  25. On 8/5/2023 at 12:18 PM, swansont said:

    I’m not sure why you think I didn’t understand the context. On the contrary, I think perhaps you don’t understand the context of transgender bans occurring in the US. It’s not just telling kids they can’t compete. Almost a third of transgender youth live in states that have banned gender-affirming care.

    I certainly don't understand how US states limiting access to access to health care justifies any XY inclusion in XX sports

    Why do you feel international sports organizations should take that into account?

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