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Transgender athletes


Curious layman
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This whole issue  seems to me to be intractable so I offer no solutions.

I am mindful of the recent David Attenborough Blue Planet series and the video sequences of clownfish.

These are interesting because one particular sequence showed the clownfish, with the intermediate one showing a 'male' side to one fish and a 'female' side to the other. Male and female sides being quite distinctive amongst clownfish.

I understand several other marine species have variations of the sex, sex change and hemaphrodite theme.

Part of the problem appears to me to be that there are a number of different issues tangled up and these isuues are pulling in different directions.

For example, but not an exhaustive list.

1) There is a biological input which we are now discovering is far more copmplex than was once realised.

2) There is a mechanical input since many sports rely on the quality of the equipment and staging or venue.

3) There is a question of 'what is a sport?'  and more specifically does the gender/sex make a difference to the stated aims of that sport ? Are male jockeys, F1 drivers, village bowls players, orienteers, ............ any better than female or any other or does it make no difference? The most popular sport in the UK is fishing.

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4 minutes ago, studiot said:

These are interesting because one particular sequence showed the clownfish, with the intermediate one showing a 'male' side to one fish and a 'female' side to the other. Male and female sides being quite distinctive amongst clownfish.

@Holmes

Thanks @studiot for bringing this interesting information.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/facts/clownfish

"Changing Sex"

"Surprisingly, all clownfish are born male. They have the ability to switch their sex, but will do so only to become the dominant female of a group. The change is irreversible."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequential_hermaphroditism

"Sequential hermaphroditism (called dichogamy in botany) is a type of hermaphroditism that occurs in many fish, gastropods, and plants. Sequential hermaphroditism occurs when the individual changes its sex at some point in its life.[1] In particular, a sequential hermaphrodite produces eggs (female gametes) and sperm (male gametes) at different stages in life.[2] Species that can undergo these changes from one sex to another do so as a normal event within their reproductive cycle that is usually cued by either social structure or the achievement of a certain age or size.[3]"

 

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36 minutes ago, studiot said:

Part of the problem appears to me to be that there are a number of different issues tangled up and these isuues are pulling in different directions.

For example, but not an exhaustive list.

1) There is a biological input which we are now discovering is far more copmplex than was once realised.

2) There is a mechanical input since many sports rely on the quality of the equipment and staging or venue.

3) There is a question of 'what is a sport?'  and more specifically does the gender/sex make a difference to the stated aims of that sport ? Are male jockeys, F1 drivers, village bowls players, orienteers, ............ any better than female or any other or does it make no difference? The most popular sport in the UK is fishing.

These are good points. Especially with regard to sports I find it laughable that folks are so hung up on some objective measure, whereas literally everything in a sport is based on the creative design of a game. Fundamentally, I have not heard any argument that addresses why performance differences cannot be used to create competition categories, whereas almost everything in sports is (e.g. different leagues, or competition levels).

Taking F1, for example, from what I understand it is actually open but few women qualified. This is perhaps not terribly surprising as only few women compete in it, so there it is unclear whether gender influences performance. But here essentially again a measure (i.e. time) is used to gate who gets to compete in a Grand Prix. I was curious about jockeys and I found a recent study (https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1527002520975839) indicating that there is no difference in performance between men and women, though women rarely get to participate. I.e. it appears that women just have fewer opportunities to compete in the first place.

 

It is still puzzling to me (and I am repeating myself here, but it does not seem to get addressed) that there is the assumption that any evaluation of transgender would be highly subjective, yet at the same time they maintain that the performance of female transgender athletes puts them categorically above a cisgender women. If they do, it should be easy enough to measure. And if you cannot measure, why would you need make a new category? And of course, with further understanding of the biology of sexes we now also know that the binary gender distinction is a categorization based on convenience, which covers the vast majority of cases. Yet clearly, the distinction ignores detailed biological realities and is therefore not inherently objective.

  

1 hour ago, Holmes said:

Very well so define "feminine" for me please.

I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion. Feminine is a group of traits that are traditionally associated with what we consider to be women. I.e. it is a collection of cultural traits that are part of the gender constructs in a given society.

Depending on society the certain traits can be either feminine or masculine. In the Mosuo society, for example, making business decisions is considered a feminine activity, whereas in most others it is more associated with men. But again, other than to complicate matters I am not sure how that helps in any way. 

Edit: However, if you think feminine is an objective indicator of sorts, then I think that could be the root of the issue. Perhaps read the link I provided earlier and see how that relates to your thinking on that issue.

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6 hours ago, iNow said:

It strongly implied to me that the author had an agenda and needed to be read with a grain of salt.

Of course it's biased, INow; the article is written by a woman, who feels women are disadvantaged by that particular situation.
Are you, a man, going to tell her she's wrong ?
Are you going to tell her not to get so worked up, and go in the kitchen and bake something ?
( this comment  is similar to what your comments about gay marriage dring to the discussion )

Even sports that require mostly co-ordination and not too much physical strength, have different accomodations for men and women.
I played a round of golf this morning, and was reminded of the different tee-off for women.
In 'our' haste to make things equitable for trans women, we are disadvantaging women ... again.

And fishing might be a sport, Studiot, but it's not a competitive sport, where you have to compete against someone who may now be physiologically mostly male, but competing as a female

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1 minute ago, MigL said:

And fishing might be a sport, Studiot, but it's not a competitive sport

Maybe not where YOU live 🙄

;) 

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I live in Ontario, Canada, and I cannot count the number of fresh water lakes we have.
You live in Iowa.
Where the heck do you fish ?
🙂😃😆

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7 minutes ago, MigL said:

I live in Ontario, Canada, and I cannot count the number of fresh water lakes we have.
You live in Iowa.
Where the heck do you fish ?
🙂😃😆

In Missouri we fish at the Lake of the Ozarks. Fishing can be very competitive there!

 

Quote
 

• The lake runs 92 miles end to end.

• At roughly 1,150 miles, the total shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks is longer than the coastline of California.

• The lake was the largest man-made lake in the United States, when it was completed in 1931 by the Union Electric Co. of St. Louis.

 

• Lake of the Ozarks covers 61,000 acres and contains 617 billion gallons of fresh water, what the city of St. Louis typically uses over a decade.

• Roughly 3.5 million tourists visit Lake of the Ozarks from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

https://www.stltoday.com/travel/lake-of-the-ozarks-fun-facts/article_a8250cc2-7110-11e0-a9c8-001a4bcf6878.html

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10 minutes ago, MigL said:

I live in Ontario, Canada, and I cannot count the number of fresh water lakes we have.
You live in Iowa.
Where the heck do you fish ?
🙂😃😆

None of us are going to admit it's here...if that's what you're thinking...😛

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Posted (edited)

If you are competing against someone in  rubber waders and mackinaw and a Devon hat and do you care what category they fall into?

Fishing is a fiercely competitive sport in the UK and one of the few that as far as I know has no gender based categories.

Many of the record catches you see displayed (especially in Scottish castles and museums) were caught by Lady ....

🙂

 

Edited by studiot
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How competitive ?
Do you use a male fishfinder, the less accurate female fishfinder, or do you cheat and modify your male fishfinder to look like a female one ?
( I never miss an opportunity to hammer a point home, Zap 😄😄 )

I must admit, I ( and some others ) feel somewhat like J K Rawlings.
Mentioning that, some of the steps being taken to ensure 'equality' for trans women are detrimental to the equalty  of cis women, is immediately shouted down with accusations of transphobia.
( we never did discuss this, but it seems to tie in )

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Tying all this talk back to the thread, I feel that issues like transgendered athletes are lures cast into social media by bad actors and bottom feeders to bait us all into choppy waters. They’re basically chumming and dredging with small insignificant issues so we become distracted and don’t focus on more important things or focus on their wrongdoings and the way they rig the system. Too often we oblige and get reeled in and fall for it hook, line, and sinker. I don’t think it needs to be this hard, though. Letting the trans athletes compete may feel like swimming against the current, but the tributaries are likely to be fertile and the lakes well stocked if we allow it. 

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2 hours ago, iNow said:

Tying all this talk back to the thread, I feel that issues like transgendered athletes are lures cast into social media by bad actors and bottom feeders to bait us all into choppy waters. They’re basically chumming and dredging with small insignificant issues so we become distracted and don’t focus on more important things or focus on their wrongdoings and the way they rig the system. Too often we oblige and get reeled in and fall for it hook, line, and sinker. I don’t think it needs to be this hard, though. Letting the trans athletes compete may feel like swimming against the current, but the tributaries are likely to be fertile and the lakes well stocked if we allow it. 

I do have to admit there's more than a bit of fertilizer in there...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, iNow said:

I wasn’t exactly fishing for compliments, but there’s no need to cast me aside like that 

No worries, I'm sure some will find it's reel good...

Edited by J.C.MacSwell
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There has been a lot made of trisomy (and monosomy) here but I wonder if it is a particular issue for binary gender sports?

In each case they are considered genetic disorder (according to my 1st year Biology text anyway). I would think that XO (Turners syndrome) would be considered female. Other monosomies in humans don't survive (as I understand it). Klinefelter's syndrome (XXY) would normally be considered male, but if a female gender designation was chosen I'm not sure this would have any major impact on elite sports.

Paternal non-disjunction (XXX and XYY) would surely be easily enough designated male or female, both may give a form a physical advantage (height anyway) but I wouldn't think a male or female designation challenge would apply.

Happy to be corrected on the above.

Allele cross over on the X and Y chromosomes would probably be a different matter, is this common?

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2 minutes ago, druS said:

There has been a lot made of trisomy (and monosomy) here but I wonder if it is a particular issue for binary gender sports?

Not really, or at least it shouldn’t be. These have only been mentioned to show in simplest terms the rather remedial flaws in the position of those here falsely arguing that XX and XY are all there is and that “science says there’s only TWO sexes!!!1!12!one!!”

If fairness is the goal, why not rid ourselves of gender distinctions entirely and set our class systems in the various strength-based sports based on measurable things like testosterone levels and amount of weight that can be lifted/pushed/pulled as appropriate for the sport? Then qualification is based on something more fair for everyone, and not the mere absence of testicles or chest hair.

Any person can compete in any division of their choosing. They self select where to compete and in which class, and they just need to meet the requirements of that class. 

We can no longer care about which plumbing they happen to have in the nether regions or whether they can pee standing up. Instead, we could look at threshold skill levels and other things like hormone concentrations. 

After that, doesn’t matter if we call the athlete male or female or other. They’re simply “qualified for this class / division” or they are not. Done!

I don’t understand why people think this has to be so hard or intractable. 

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19 minutes ago, iNow said:

If fairness is the goal, why not rid ourselves of gender distinctions entirely and set our class systems in the various strength-based sports based on measurable things like testosterone levels and amount of weight that can be lifted/pushed/pulled as appropriate for the sport?

While testosterone levels are of some benefit to classifications, basing weightlifting classes on the amount that can be pushed or pulled, or sprinting classes on how fast you can run, simply ensures everyone is equal and training/effort doesn't matter.
I realize I've been complaining and offering little in terms of solutions, but it is a really complicated issue. It is not just testosterone that affects strength/speed performance; all sorts of other hormones control general differences between males and females ( like lean body mass, ribcage/lung capacity size in relation to body, ratio/location of 'fast twitch' and 'slow twitch' muscle cells, etc ).
There is no simple solution.
I just don't agree with disadvantaging one group ( cis women ) to equalize another ( trans women ).

And no, I'm not going fishing with any of you guys !
 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, MigL said:

I just don't agree with disadvantaging one group ( cis women ) to equalize another ( trans women ).

I understand your position, and I imagine you’ll eventually come around when the rest of the world finally accepts trans humans as equally deserving and finally treats these assertions of disadvantage as the relics and well intentioned examples of misguided thinking that they are. 

Note also I’m not much of a fisherman either, and for the same reasons. You and I may have to stay behind to sip some whiskey and laugh together while everyone else puts their lines into the water, competitively or otherwise ✌️

Edited by iNow
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, iNow said:

Not really, or at least it shouldn’t be. These have only been mentioned to show in simplest terms the rather remedial flaws in the position of those here falsely arguing that XX and XY are all there is and that “science says there’s only TWO sexes!!!1!12!one!!”

If fairness is the goal, why not rid ourselves of gender distinctions entirely and set our class systems in the various strength-based sports based on measurable things like testosterone levels and amount of weight that can be lifted/pushed/pulled as appropriate for the sport? Then qualification is based on something more fair for everyone, and not the mere absence of testicles or chest hair.

Any person can compete in any division of their choosing. They self select where to compete and in which class, and they just need to meet the requirements of that class. 

We can no longer care about which plumbing they happen to have in the nether regions or whether they can pee standing up. Instead, we could look at threshold skill levels and other things like hormone concentrations. 

After that, doesn’t matter if we call the athlete male or female or other. They’re simply “qualified for this class / division” or they are not. Done!

I don’t understand why people think this has to be so hard or intractable. 

Fairness is one  that I omitted from my list of competing parameters.

Here we have the age old situation that it is impossible to be equal in all directions since one cannot have equality of opportunity and equality of result.
This applies to many situations besides sport.

When I was small I wanted to be a pilot, like my father.
Unfortunately my eyesight was never up to the job so I i had to accept that I could never become one.
When a make a plane journey, I really don't care whether the pilot is a she or a he or something in between but I really want them to have far better eyesight than I do.

More directly in sport, whilst at university my two favourite sports were rugby and table tennis. My eyesight was adequate for rugby but not really good enough for table tennis. However I never expected an special category for people with poorer eyesight, although I would point out that they far outnumber these currently vociferous groups.

A good example of why governing bodies can't be trusted to create 'fair' rules is this nonsense from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Quote

Soul Cap: Afro swimming cap Olympic rejection could be reconsidered after backlash

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-57687096

Edited by studiot
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7 hours ago, MigL said:

I just don't agree with disadvantaging one group ( cis women ) to equalize another ( trans women ).

Then accept that no one is equal, equally. 

20 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

You think anything suggested here is fair to trans athletes?

Yes, let them play... 😉

We're all playing our own game, at our own level; and we all know, that if it takes a cheat beats us, we won before the game starts, dispite the rules.

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39 minutes ago, studiot said:

Fairness is one  that I omitted from my list of competing parameters.

Here we have the age old situation that it is impossible to be equal in all directions since one cannot have equality of opportunity and equality of result.
This applies to many situations besides sport.

When I was small I wanted to be a pilot, like my father.
Unfortunately my eyesight was never up to the job so I i had to accept that I could never become one.
When a make a plane journey, I really don't care whether the pilot is a she or a he or something in between but I really want them to have far better eyesight than I do.

More directly in sport, whilst at university my two favourite sports were rugby and table tennis. My eyesight was adequate for rugby but not really good enough for table tennis. However I never expected an special category for people with poorer eyesight, although I would point out that they far outnumber these currently vociferous groups.

A good example of why governing bodies can't be trusted to create 'fair' rules is this nonsense from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-57687096

 "Here we have the age old situation that it is impossible to be equal in all directions since one cannot have equality of opportunity and equality of result"

I agree

I'm too short for basket ball, too weak for weightlifting, to slow for running... well at least in the male category.  

Maybe there is no requirement for a transgender category, maybe a male that has transgendered to female should have as much equality as any cisgender female in sports. I'm not an authority on the subject or ever claim to be. 

But I would somewhat sympathise with cisgender female athletes who may feel "done out of" a win IF there was clear scientific evidence that they were at a distinctive physical disadvantage, where they ( I mean all the cisgender females) had no chance of a fair competition.  But then, my sympathy would extend to the transgender competitors that may be labeled as cheats or discriminated against because of their gender identity, this would be very unfair and rather appalling. 

I really think its a difficult situation to resolve even though it may not be a bigger an issue as the media may often lead us to believe.

The purist in me wants to set a fair playing field across the board for all, with equal opportunity for all. This ideal is clearly non achievable and would never work. If all categories were scrapped and every person had an equal opportunity then we would be back to this - "Here we have the age old situation that it is impossible to be equal in all directions since one cannot have equality of opportunity and equality of result"

 

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10 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

But I would somewhat sympathise with cisgender female athletes who may feel "done out of" a win IF there was clear scientific evidence that they were at a distinctive physical disadvantage, where they ( I mean all the cisgender females) had no chance of a fair competition.

What do you imagine a win means?

And to whom?

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