Women’s Sports At Risk From Transgender Athletes

Katie Frost, Guest Contributor

The protection that Title IX provides for female athletes, which ensures that women’s sports receive proportional funding and scholarship opportunities to men’s programs, is currently at risk following pushes from the transgender community. It is necessary to hold separate athletic programs for girls and boys is due to the biological differences between the two sexes. 

According to Duke Law, which analyzed the performance disparity between biological male and female elite athletes in a variety of track events, “Female athletes — here defined as athletes with ovaries — are not competitive for the win against males.” Duke Law’s stats, which were collected from IAAF, showed that, “There is an average 10-12 percent performance gap between elite males and elite females.” High school sports show a similar sex performance disparity across the board, with the increase in the disparity correlating with the onset of puberty in men. If men and women were scored against each other on the same field, women would be consistently outperformed and be deprived of the opportunity of a chance to compete on a competitive level. Ultimately, women would be pushed out of sports altogether. 

Sophomore Leah Hoeppner stated, “Transgender girls should be allowed to compete in girls sports without restrictions such as hormone therapy or blockers. There are not enough people who are transgender to push women out of sports.” The claim that few biological girls lose their opportunity to transgender athletes to compete is an invalid. The fact that they are a minority should not exclude them from having their rights protected from discrimination.

The situation becomes a debate about whether to hold the rights of biological females over the rights of transgender women. The Washington Times states that in Connecticut, the schools are required to, “Allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions.” This deprives female athletes of their right to equal opportunity to sports and scholarships because of the biological advantage of males. 

Senior Zoe Guidry, a track athlete, stated, “I would be fine with transgender girls competing in girls sports teams, even if it affected me, but I don’t think it will. Competing against transgender girls would just be another challenge to overcome.” 

The problem with using hormone therapy to level the playing field is that, according to Joanna Harper from the The Washington Times, “Most transgender teens don’t begin hormone therapy until after puberty.” Hormone therapy takes a few years to lower testosterone levels to the female range and does not eliminate all gender advantages, such as height and bone density. Some suggest putting prepubescent children on hormone blockers, but this is not in the best interest of a developing child, as only 23 percent of prepubescent boys with gender dysphoria retain it into adulthood, stated NCBI. 

Altogether, transgender girls should not be allowed to compete in girls sports, even with hormone therapy, because doing so violates the goal of Title IX, which is to provide equal opportunities both genders in their sports and scholarship opportunities.