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Transgender athletes


Curious layman
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2 hours ago, pears said:

You're right. You can never make sport truly fair. Then let's remove all attempts to level the playing field. We shouldn't discriminate older ages from children's sports and men competing with women.

If you are going to resort to hyperbole please start reading the thread from the beginning. This is a serious discussion and we are treating it as such.

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5 minutes ago, zapatos said:

If you are going to resort to hyperbole please start reading the thread from the beginning. This is a serious discussion and we are treating it as such.

It is so weird. Folks agree that there should be a women's league as there are physically different and therefore have disadvantages in many sports. Yet if one wants to target those differences as a criterion to create different leagues, suddenly it is impossible to classify those differences. Apparently only the classifiers used in the past, are the only ones we can use forever. 

Well, it would explain why Americans still use imperial units, I assume.

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

Folks agree that there should be a women's league as there are physically different and therefore have disadvantages in many sports.

Not all folks agree.

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3 minutes ago, CharonY said:

It is so weird. Folks agree that there should be a women's league as there are physically different and therefore have disadvantages in many sports. Yet if one wants to target those differences as a criterion to create different leagues, suddenly it is impossible to classify those differences. Apparently only the classifiers used in the past, are the only ones we can use forever. 

I accept that change is difficult for many people. I just wish they wouldn't throw up their hands in defeat without even trying. 

7 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Not all folks agree.

For example?

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3 hours ago, iNow said:

You're absolutely right. We should do exactly that, and we've already discussed this in the thread you acknowledged you haven't read.

Categorize based on ability, size, strength, or other relevant criteria. Ignore gender and genital plumbing. Problem solved. 

Ah ok, thanks for the summary :-)

Down with women's sports!!

1 hour ago, zapatos said:

If you are going to resort to hyperbole please start reading the thread from the beginning. This is a serious discussion and we are treating it as such.

Apologies. You're right I shouldn't jump in on the end of an old thread without reading it all. I did read a fair chunk, then got tired and just posted. I find the whole subject a bit depressing sometimes and just vented.

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20 minutes ago, pears said:

Down with women's sports!!

Can you explain why gender should remain in any way relevant when grouping and classifying sports by size and ability seems much more appropriate?

Consider it similar to the difference between junior varsity versus varsity, or Division 1 versus Division 2. There's really no need to keep the distinction between male and female (as classified at birth) other than "that's how we've always done it."

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4 minutes ago, iNow said:

Can you explain why gender should remain in any way relevant when grouping and classifying sports by size and ability seems much more appropriate?

Consider it similar to the difference between junior varsity versus varsity, or Division 1 versus Division 2. There's really no need to keep the distinction between male and female (as classified at birth) other than "that's how we've always done it."

Grouping by sex you mean? Well I guess you could argue it's simpler. Men who've been through puberty generally have more muscle mass than women as well as being simply bigger.

Absolute fairness in sports sounds incredibly hard to achieve. Seems like you could end up with a lot of categories.

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2 minutes ago, pears said:

Men who've been through puberty generally have more muscle mass than women as well as being simply bigger.

Unsure how this is a problem since one of the classification mechanisms I offered was to group athletes based on size and strength. Will you help clarify why you believe gender assigned at birth is relevant under such a system?

3 minutes ago, pears said:

Absolute fairness in sports sounds incredibly hard to achieve.

I agree, which is why it's such a good thing I've never proposed anything even remotely similar to this. 

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

Unsure how this is a problem since one of the classification mechanisms I offered was to group athletes based on size and strength. Will you help clarify why you believe gender assigned at birth is relevant under such a system?

I agree, which is why it's such a good thing I've never proposed anything even remotely similar to this. 

If size, strength and muscle mass is taken into account then I don't have a problem with that. 

Going by sex (not gender) assigned at birth is another, simpler way of achieving a similar outcome.

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9 minutes ago, pears said:

Seems like you could end up with a lot of categories.

Possibly. Boxing for example has 17 weight classes with two categories (amateur or professional) and additionally split by gender. That's a total of possibly 68 breakdowns in an attempt to keep things fair. 

 

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1 hour ago, pears said:

Going by sex (not gender) assigned at birth is another, simpler way of achieving a similar outcome.

Unless, of course, one is a non-binary athlete. 

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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

for instance, is it fair that England's women's rugby team wins because they're paid to train harder than Scotland's women?

They are supposedly all professional sportswomen, and are paid to play to the best of their ability, just as the coach is paid to coach to the best of his/her ability. Professional sportswomen and men are paid to all train to the best of their ability.

 

7 hours ago, pears said:

You're right. You can never make sport truly fair. Then let's remove all attempts to level the playing field. We shouldn't discriminate older ages from children's sports and men competing with women.

As far as Rugby goes, League or Union, you are either amateur or professsional, mens or womens. A big man or woman will use their size to advantage, just as a smaller, perhaps faster player can use his or her size and speed to advantage.

Junior RL in Australia is played based on ages and graded according to those ages, despite the fact that you can have a big lumping 12 year old, playing against a smaller, slimmer 12 year old.

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“Youth” sports or “high school” sports also have “age” or “school being attended” as the criteria.

Yet again, sex becomes an irrelevant holdover from a dying discriminatory past.

I know it’s hard to fathom, but better qualifications and classifications than “pees standing up” or “pees sitting down” really do exist when forming leagues and sports divisions!

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5 minutes ago, iNow said:

“Youth” sports or “high school” sports also have “age” or “school being attended” as the criteria.

Yet again, sex becomes an irrelevant holdover from a dying discriminatory past.

I know it’s hard to fathom, but better qualifications and classifications than “pees standing up” or “pees sitting down” really do exist when forming leagues and sports divisions!

Somewhat related to that, it should also be noted that sports is obviously not free from systemic biases. For example, in horse racing one would probably expect that jockeys should be smaller and lighter, which would, in theory, benefit women. However, in contrast to other equestrian sports, women are vastly underrepresented. There apparently is the perception that men for a given weight are stronger and therefore drive their horse harder (somehow, I am not really sure about the mechanism). Accordingly, the vast majority of jockeys are men, and obviously the top jockeys are therefore also men.

However, systematic analyses indicate that there a no significant advantages of men over women and the over-representation of men are driven by these biases. As a lot of money is involved folks hire whoever they think might win and looking at past winners (men) the obvious choice seems to hire men, which creates a self-reinforcing system. In other words, the way we look at and promote performance (as in hiring, training and promoting certain athletes) can actually distort at least some gender-based effects.

That being said, much of sports were designed for men to compete so quite a lot of it will benefit male physiology. But then we are in getting better in quantitative physiology and might be able to create sports-specifics cut-offs that are less crude.

 

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5 hours ago, CharonY said:

Well, I mostly meant folks that are very concerned about transgender involvement.

Oh, those kind of folks.

 

1 hour ago, CharonY said:

That being said, much of sports were designed for men to compete so quite a lot of it will benefit male physiology.

That should not matter in most sports - rugby and American football, maybe. Most sports have rules, which, if respected and enforced, are meant to keep players from injuring one another. And where body size and shape does matter, the physically less suited players - and if most of those are one sex or another, so be it - will simply not qualify for the A league and might for the B or C league. Maybe the top leagues will be predominantly male and the bottom leagues will be predominantly female, but at least small, slim men will finally get a chance to play. 

It certainly does not matter in horseback riding. All that the prejudice accomplished was that women had to be much better at handling horses in fox hunting or point-to-point , because the side-saddle position kept them at a disadvantage for six hundred years. Control of a horse is not about the rider's muscle-mass: relative to the horse's, the difference between humans is negligible; it's about timing and communication. 

 

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Somewhat related to that, it should also be noted that sports is obviously not free from systemic biases. For example, in horse racing one would probably expect that jockeys should be smaller and lighter, which would, in theory, benefit women. However, in contrast to other equestrian sports, women are vastly underrepresented. There apparently is the perception that men for a given weight are stronger and therefore drive their horse harder (somehow, I am not really sure about the mechanism). Accordingly, the vast majority of jockeys are men, and obviously the top jockeys are therefore also men.

 

Although men are on average heavier they have a power to weight ratio advantage. There may be more lighter females than males; but it still requires exceptionally skilled females to overcome the power to weight required as a jockey at top level.

2 hours ago, CharonY said:

However, systematic analyses indicate that there a no significant advantages of men over women and the over-representation of men are driven by these biases.

Do you have a link?

Any analysis ignoring the advantage of males power to weight ratio are obviously flawed from the start, and any that conclude that it should be made up for at top level due to more women being in the ideal size range are rather suspect.

Like your ultamarathon example from months back, you seem to think the size advantage should hold at top level. It doesn't work that way.

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6 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Although men are on average heavier they have a power to weight ratio advantage. There may be more lighter females than males; but it still requires exceptionally skilled females to overcome the power to weight required as a jockey at top level.

Do you happen to know the difference between the power to weight ratio of 115lb man/1100lbhorse and the power to weight ratio of a 115lb woman/ 1100 lb. horse? I can't seem to find a comparison chart. Of course, jockeys' weight range from 108 to 118 lb, while thoroughbreds' weights have a slightly wider range of 900-1300lb. which makes the ratio calculations more complicated. 

A jockey's stirrups are so high that he can exert very little pressure on the horse's flank with his legs. He can kick and spur the horse, which can cause injury to the horse even if done by a 35lb girl, as can the pressure exerted on the horse's mouth through reins and bit. Of course, whipping hurts, no matter who does it. But will a more damaged $75,000 horse really perform better at the top level than a less damaged one?  

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34 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Do you happen to know the difference between the power to weight ratio of 115lb man/1100lbhorse and the power to weight ratio of a 115lb woman/ 1100 lb. horse? I can't seem to find a comparison chart. Of course, jockeys' weight range from 108 to 118 lb, while thoroughbreds' weights have a slightly wider range of 900-1300lb. which makes the ratio calculations more complicated. 

It would be exactly the same as the difference between the power to weight ratio of the 115lb man and the 115lb woman...but for some reason divided by 1000lbhorse. While your post may show some incite as to the importance of the power of the horse over that of the jockey, I don't think there is much of an effect to be considered when choosing a jockey for any given horse. I suppose there are relatively more females than males at 108lb than 118lb...and heavier horses can tend to allow for heavier jockeys, and lighter horses less so.

But that 108-118lb still needs movement to the stride of the horse. At the top level there are more men with the power to do it than there are women, and that's likely not due to bias. It's due to biology, IMO (but we'll wait for CY's systemic analyses)

Edited by J.C.MacSwell
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8 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

but we'll wait for CY's systemic analyses

Maybe I'm growing jaded and cynical, but I seriously doubt it actually matters what Charon shares. Won’t change anyones mind. 
 

 

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

Maybe I'm growing jaded and cynical, but I seriously doubt it actually matters what Charon shares. Won’t change anyones mind. 

All I can say in your defence is that I haven't noted any change...

Let's give CY a chance to produce his analyses before jumping to any conclusions about how they will be perceived.

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39 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It would be exactly the same as the difference between the power to weight ratio of the 115lb man and the 115lb woman...but for some reason divided by 1000lbhorse

The 'some reason' is, you can't have a horserace without them, and then all the jockeys would be obsolete. See, it's the horse has to do all the muscle work.  What, precisely, is the male jockey going to do with his power advantage? How, precisely, is it used to win races?

 

39 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I suppose there are relatively more females than males at 108lb than 118lb...and heavier horses can tend to allow for heavier jockeys, and lighter horses less so.

No. There is a weight-class allowance. If the jockey is too light, they put lead weights in pockets under the saddle. Owners prefer the lightest possible jockey, because the weights are distributed more evenly and don't shift when the rider is posting or leaning forward; standing up in the stirrup so they're not actually astride the horse at all.

 

39 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It's due to biology

As to that, women have two advantages.

Edited by Peterkin
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