Transgender Athletes

Good Essays
Research Paper
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, transgender means: of, relating to, or being a person who identifies with or expresses a gender identity with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth (“Transgender”). People who are transgender have multiple problems in society that they face everyday, particularly those who are athletes. There is controversy over which gender these athletes should compete as. Transgender athletes should be able to compete as the gender to which they identify because there are now new guidelines for these athletes, there is no unfair advantage, and many of the misconceptions about transgender athletes competing are myths.
There have recently
…show more content…
It is much harder and complicated to determine then one might think due to what meets the eye. It seems like a male that has transitioned to a female would definitely have a physical advantage right? Well, that’s not as true as you might think.The dilemma begins here, the “female” sex hormone oestrogen is generally found in higher levels in women, (Niesen), which is thought to be expected. So it wouldn’t seem any more peculiar that men tend to have higher levels of androgens, such as testosterone (Niesen). But here when the tricky part comes in, both oestrogens and androgens are found in both men and women. So making any cutoff point, such as trans women requiring a consistent testosterone level below 10nmol/L-the level set by the IOC, is pretty arbitrary, and ultimately useless, as said by Peter Niesen (Niesen). There are many more variations of sex chromosomes than simply XX and XY, including XXY, XXXY, XXXXY, XXYY, XXXYY. And chromosomes themselves also don’t have a direct impact on the body’s physical characteristics- they only do so when combined with certain hormones. This definitely throws a curveball to most theories. Given these conditions, the IOC has not considered being transgender an unfair advantage. This is important to note because this organization used to consider drinking too …show more content…
One of the most popular myths is that athletes that used to be male and are now female, are stronger and will have a competitive advantage. According to medical experts, the assumption a transgender woman has an advantage over natural born females in competition is not supported by evidence (Tannehill). In fact, up to 25% of circulating testosterone in females comes from their ovaries, transgender women who have had the gender reassignment surgery typically have less testosterone than their counterparts (Tannehill). Dr. Eric Villain, a medical geneticist and the director of the Institute for Society and Genetics at U.C.L.A., says hormone replacement therapy adjusts bone density, muscle mass, and negates many advantages transgender athletes supposedly have (Molloy). This idea is very hard to grasp because it makes sense that a transgender would have some type of competitive advantage, being that they used to be a male, but the medical evidence and research simply does not support the opposing issue on this topic. Also, it seems that in professional sports if there was a competitive advantage, you would see transgender athletes dominating in the top levels of their sports, but that is not happening

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    As aforementioned the fear of men competing in women’s sports initially forced female athletes to be tested to verify their gender. At the same time tests were carried to exclude intersex individuals who can neither be classified as males nor females. Most of the controversies arising due to gender tests are not from female athletes but are from intersex athletes. Since intersex individuals are naturally stronger than normal females, it is deemed that intersex individuals who exceed a certain level of “masculinity” to be exempted from women’s game, no matter what sex the athlete thinks she belongs to. While the participation of intersex individuals may not have much impact in men’s sports as it would in women’s sports, feminists consider it a discrimination to gender test only female athletes.…

    • 799 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This is turn creates a disadvantage to female athletes. The same holds true for a transgender male who was born female because of the use of hormones such as testosterone which may exceed the normal levels of men. This poses an issue of fairness for all players regardless if they are transgender or not. For example, Keelin Godsey who is a U.S. Hammer Thrower, identifies as male but competes as a female. Some may find this to be unfair because Godsey is displaying a contradiction while using the fact that she is still genetically female to her advantage.…

    • 939 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Transgender People

    • 774 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Many “western societies” expect that gender should still “correspond with one of two sexed bodies”, but scholars are starting to identify that “one 's genital sex may differ” from that of their “social and psychological gender” (Nuru 283). Laws are still in place, however, that “explicitly [ban] transsexuals from coverage” (Kirkland 105), based on a law imposed by Senator Jesse Helms. As we can see, there is progress being made towards the rights of the transgender populace, but there is still much that can be done to achieve parity. “Securing any trans rights” has proven to be “extremely difficult” (Kirkland 105), as there are not many people who are fully aware of what it means to be transgendered; many still believe it is just an “illness” (Johnson 153). We live in a society that does not easily change; but over time, we are starting to move towards a more accepting community of a society.…

    • 774 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Transgenderism And Gender

    • 2007 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The terms sex and gender are often used as interchangeable terms, but this is inaccurate. According to the World Health Organization, “Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women” (World Health Organization 2015). Although we are naturally given a sex based on our DNA, society determines our gender as we grow up. This can lead to someone’s gender identity or gender expression not matching their assigned sex, which is referred to as being transgender.…

    • 2007 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Transgender Issues In light of all the Caitlyn Jenner hysteria, I presumed it would be useful to touch on the barbaric manner people in the transgender community are treated. It appears as if many anti-transgender people are becoming more against the “unnatural” process of becoming a different sex than the one that was assigned at birth. God arguments are completely invalid on this subject, however. Not to burst the bubble of any conservatives out there, but if you find that the mere fact that someone transgender is gross your opinion does not deserve value or respect, and I’ll get there later. Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, admitted to always feeling as if being a man made her feel unhappy, explaining her brain is “much more female than male.” Recently, a Vanity Fair cover featured Caitlyn Jenner, with the caption “Call me Caitlyn.” This could be viewed as a step toward more transgender acceptance, which is a foreign concept in modern-day America.…

    • 1654 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The study found that female choice exerted positive directional selection on height and stabilising selection on girth, but did not have a strong effect on facial masculinity. Significantly, this study found that male competition has shaped sexually dimorphic traits in men more than female selection, contrary to previous research which predominately looks at female choices [1] [3]. The authors argue that men’s muscle mass, deeper voices and robust facial structure (as hypothesised in the target article) evolved to compete with other males, and that previous data showing masculine males who have more reproductive success may actually be due to them pushing out their more feminine competitors from the gene pool, rather than being more attractive to…

    • 1185 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This hormone starts the development of external male sex organs (David Myers, 2014). For women (XX) the absence of the master switch means the production of the ovaries that then produce estrogens and progesterone, as well as their sex organs. Gender vs Sex Gender and sex have been linked for as long as the idea of ancient Greeks, who believed that at the beginning of human creation, people had twice as many body parts as humans do today. These composites could be two men, two women, or a man and woman. Even though the idea would be considered a bit crazy by today’s standards people still use gender and sex as though they were synonyms.…

    • 758 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Similarly, gender identity is known to be a fluid spectrum, because people are often not completely fulfilling the norms of their gender role relating to their biological sex (Friedmen, 2015). However, many people believe that individuals should conform to the gender norms that are associated with one’s biological sex. Sexual orientation is how people identify whom they are sexually…

    • 1599 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In saying this, I hypothesize that men will have more transphobic tendencies compared to women. This is due to my knowledge of traditional gender roles, where men are presumed dominant over their female counterparts, and are thus concerned with protecting their masculinity. Transphobia is a phenomena of emotional disgust…

    • 836 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Female Gender Stereotypes

    • 1707 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Women who are menstruating, lactating, and pregnant often attribute physical changes and discomforts as a way to disconnect from sexual arousal. Because men do not experience these same factors, they experience sexual desire more frequently. From an evolutionary biological perspective, men have an instinctive role to “spread the seed” which is a main sexually driving factor in day to day life. Testosterone is also concluded to have a pivotal role as a hormone in maintaining a high sexual drive for men and…

    • 1707 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics