Mississippi became the first state to sign legislation into law to protect sports for girls and women. Governor Tate Reeves signed SB 2536 into law to bar “transgender athletes in public schools and colleges from competing in women’s sports.” This law is similar to legislation in other states across the country. A similar bill was sent to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on March 8.
The legislation has both supporters and critics. The supporters claim that “such bills are necessary to ensure fairness in women’s sports” because “trans women have a physical advantage over biological women in athletics.” Critics argue that it is “discriminatory against transgender students.” They claim that conservatives are trying to push “trans people out of public life.”
I had an opportunity to attend a high school track meet last weekend. One race consisted of approximately eight young men and one young woman. I did not know at the time, but I learned later that the girl had cramps in her legs when the girls’ race was held. This was an opportunity to run even though she was running with the young men rather than against them.
The young men left the girl far behind. She was no competition to them at all. I do not know how the girl’s time did against other girls, but the event showed the vast physical difference between males and females as discussed in this quote.
Athletic differences between men and women have much to do with innate characteristics determined by genetics and hormones. These include height, weight, muscle mass, body fat and aerobic capacity. As a group, women do not run, jump or swim as fast as men….
The gender gap in athletic performance, as shown in records from Olympic competition, has remained stable since 1983. The mean difference has been about 10 percent between men and women for all events. The mean gap is 10.7 percent for running, 8.9 percent for swimming and 17.5 percent for jumping. When performances improve, the improvements are proportional for each gender. Still, in sports such as running, a woman who is fit and well-trained can outperform a man who is not. In shooting and equestrian competition, where physical balance and mental concentration are essential, women can compete on a par with men.
Olympic athletes are at the top of the competition, but men compete against men and women against women. Fitness determines how well either men or women do, and a woman in good condition can outperform a man in poor condition. That being said, boys and girls or men and women in similar condition should not be expected to compete against each other.