NPR caused a bit of a stir over the weekend when it tweeted that there was “limited scientific evidence of physical advantage” of male athletes over female athletes in response to the World Athletic Council’s decision to ban trans women – i.e., biological males – from elite women’s competitions.
After a boatload of pushback, NPR issued a correction acknowledging that “existing research shows that higher levels of testosterone do impact athletic performance,” but then went on to qualify that by noting “there’s limited research involving elite trans athletes in competition.”
This got me to wondering about a few things in relation to athletics and gender and I have some questions for NPR:
- Why was Title IX enacted – what was its purpose?
- Why do we even have men’s and women’s sports?
- Why do we have age and weight divisions in sporting competitions?
- Why were the East German women’s Olympic competitors given testosterone?
- Why are we not running into issues with trans men – i.e., biological females – competing in men’s sports?
I get that this is a touchy subject and there aren’t necessarily easy answers, but denying objective, scientific distinctions between biological males and biological females isn’t one of them. Might as well deny that fire’s hot and water’s wet.
This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Wednesday, March 29th. Audio included below.
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