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Monday, July 26, 2021

What Do Medical Doctors Say About Transgender Athletes?

             My VIPs for this week are two medical doctors, Michelle Cretella and Quentin Van Meter. They published an article explaining why biological men cannot become women and should not be allowed to compete in women and girls’ sports. 

            Males who identify as females have infiltrated women and girls’ athletes at all levels, so it was only a matter of time before transgendered woman was selected to participate in the Olympics. Laurel Hubbard is a male athlete who thinks that he is female. He/she was selected to represent New Zealand on the women’s weightlifting team in the Tokyo Olympic games. Although the transgender movement celebrated it as a victory for “the power of inclusion,” most people can understand that it is unfair to both the sport and the athletes.

            Belgium female weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen hoped to qualify in the same event that Hubbard will compete. She claims that she “supports the transgender community.” However, she recognized that the benefits of steroids “give athletes unfair advantages” years after their use. She wants to know there is still a question about the effects of steroids.

            In 2015, the International Olympic Committee approved transgender athletes “who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category” IF their testosterone level falls below a certain level for the past twelve months. However, this rule has been challenged by two recent peer-reviewed studies, according to two medical doctors – Michelle Cretella and Quentin Van Meter.

            The doctor-authors explained that the first study, published in the Sports Medicine Journal, found “the muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women [men on estrogen] is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed” for twelve months. The “review article found the male strength advantage to remain even after three years of testosterone suppression.” They continued their explanation:

Even if the strength advantage could be eliminated, however, to reduce the definition of female human being to having a certain level of testosterone in your body for a certain amount of time completely ignores the scientific reality that genetics – not testosterone – is at the root of all that makes the two sexes different.

When males are allowed to compete in athletic leagues designed for females, they deprive female athletes of the opportunity to safe and fair participation in sports. As Vanbellinghen said, “Life-changing opportunities are missed for some athletes – medals and Olympic qualifications – and we are powerless.”

Vanbellinghen is not alone in feeling powerless. The authors discussed several instances where males took awards from female athletes: high school track, high school softball, college basketball, mixed martial arts, and state track and field championships. The authors continued their explanation.

The simple truth is that males outperform females in regard to speed and strength due to inborn genetics and sex hormones. This has consistently been proven by long-term research on elite athletes when matched for training.

The sex hormone testosterone plays an important role in regulating bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength, and the production of red blood cells leading to higher circulating hemoglobin. This is particularly true during puberty.

After puberty, male circulating testosterone concentrations are 15 times greater than those of females at any age. The result is a clear male advantage in regard to muscle mass, strength and circulating hemoglobin levels even after adjusting for sex differences in height and weight.

The authors continued by explaining that “Athletic differences are also due to genetics.” Referring to completed studies, the authors wrote that the studies “identified more than 3,000 genes that are differentially expressed in male and female skeletal muscle.” The studies found some interesting facts.

Obvious bone differences due to a combination of genetics and hormones even exist at birth; the average male is heavier and taller than the average female and this advantage continues, hen controlled for stage of puberty, throughout life.

Genetics is why a male who self-identifies as female remains male, and giving estrogen to a male does not transform him into a female.

While it is true that a male using estrogen will lose muscle strength and impair other aspects of his physiology, he does not alter his genetics; he remains male at the cellular level in all body systems.

Similarly, a female who self-identifies as male remains female, and giving her testosterone does not transform her into a male. In terms of genetics, she remains female at the cellular level.

These inherent sex-based differences also mean that females are at higher risk of athletic injuries….

            The doctors concluded that “these discrepancies render females, on average, unable to compete effectively against males in power-based or endurance-based sports.” Science and common sense agree that males should not be allowed to compete in female sports because “they deprive girls and women of the opportunity to safe and fair participation in sports.” The question is how many women and girls will be denied proper recognition for their skills because men cannot succeed in competing against men?

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