A Major New THIRD Argument Against “Female” Transgender Athletes

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A Major New THIRD Argument Against “Female” Transgender Athletes; Serious Injuries Joins Unfair Competition and Sexual/Bodily Privacy

A New Argument Against M2F Transgender Athletes

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 25, 2022) – Most of the arguments to date about not allowing M2F transgender athletes – biological males who want to compete as females – has centered around the unfairness of allowing those to whom major changes during puberty has given much greater size, muscular strength, and other advantages in many sports to complete against those without those huge athletic advantages.

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Story after story about M2F runners and swimmers who easily beat their biological female competitors - including some who indeed had originally done poorly competing in the same sport as males on men's teams - has stressed the unfairness of the competition.

And, more seriously, the lost opportunities for sports scholarships and other benefits for biological female athletes which typically go only to those who are the best.

Indeed, some critics go even further, stressing that in many sports the competition between biological males and biological females is not just unfair but inherently unequal.

Would a 20-year-old be permitted to compete in the Senior Olympics (> 50) simply because he feels like - or believes himself to be - 55 years of age, and even if he claims that many senior citizens can outperform some 20-year olds?

Similarly, would a boxer or wrestler who weighs 240 pounds ever be allowed to even step into the ring or onto the mat in matches for lightweights simply because he sees himself as much lighter, and even if he can show that a few heavyweights might lose to a much lighter but more highly skilled opponent?

The reason that the answer to both questions is obviously a resounding "NO" is demonstrated by the Army's standards to be considered for acceptance. Based upon extensive testing and experience with thousands of applicants, the Army has determined that the standards must be very different based upon both age and gender to be fair and not create unfair comparisons and equivalences.

Here are the minimum number of pushups applicants in each category must be able to perform to be considered even minimally physically fit:

MALES: 17-21 of age = 31 and MALES: 37-41 = 19 In stark and dramatic contrast, FEMALES: 17-21 = 11 and FEMALES: 37-41 = 3

In other words, the difference in this one standard criteria for comparing upper-body strength - which, along with greater height and arm length are key determinants of how hard a volleyball player can spike a ball - is far greater between men and women of the same age than between young and middle-age men.

Although most would agree that having 40-year-old men competing against men who are 20 would generally be quite unfair (31 - 19 = 12 pushup difference or a 65% advantage), the difference between males and females is much greater:

20-YEAR OLDS: Male vs Female 31-11 = 20 pushup difference or an 180% advantage 40-YEAR OLDS: Male vs Female 19-3 = 16 pushup advantage or a 530% advantage.

New - Risk Of Serious Injury

But a recent incident in which a biological male playing as a "female" in a girl's volleyball tournament was able to spike the ball so forcefully that it caused "severe" and possibly permanent injuries to his biological female opponent, who was knocked to the ground and suffered a concussion, raises a new and possibly even more serious argument against permitting biological males to compete as females on girls' and women's sports teams.

As a result of his hard-hit spike, the injured girl is experiencing long-term concussion symptoms, such as vision problems,

Indeed, her injuries are so severe that she has not yet been medically cleared to return to play, and her school has been forced to forfeit all its games against the school with the biological male volleyball player in order to protect its own girls against similar serious injuries.

This adds an entirely new dimension and argument to the controversy over biological males being permitted to play as females, says a law professor who has championed transgender rights, and who also was knocked to the floor while playing competitive volleyball.

Swimming and track are non-contact sports where being a biological male usually gives an athlete a major competitive advantage over female athletes, but creates virtually no risk to their health and safety.

But in contact sports in which female athletes now compete on girl's and women's teams - such as football, wrestling, boxing, and even basketball - there is also a major risk of serious injury to female players, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

"I also was knocked on my ass by a hard hit spike, but it took a 6 foot 4 inch Olympic contender to accomplish it, and we were playing with a volleyball set at men's height," says Banzhaf, who notes that the official height of the net in female volleyball competition is a full 7 and 1/2 inches lower (and therefore much easier to hit over) than it is for males [7 feet, 11+ 5/8 inches for boys and 7 feet, 4+ 1/8 inches for girls].

At age 16, boys are also typically more than 4 inches taller than girls, in addition to their additional upper-body strength, longer arms, and stronger leg muscles which enable them to leap higher.

If I could play with a 7-inch lower net as the women do, even I could hit a hard spike, quipped Banzhaf, who reminds us that volleyball is generally not considered to be a contact sport. The risk of a concussion or similar serious injury to a female athlete forced to compete with a biological male is obviously much greater in contact sports where muscular strength is even more important, such as football, boxing, wrestling, and even basketball.

At his George Washington University, like many other colleges and universities, there is a women's varsity volleyball team but no corresponding men's varsity volleyball team.

Male students who may have played and even excelled in high school volleyball, and spent countless hours in conditioning and practice, cannot continue their athletic careers, simply because of their gender.

Thus there is a strong incentive for males who want to play varsity volleyball - as well as to be eligible for substantial monetary scholarships - to be able to play as a female, suggests the law professor.

Indeed, those biological male students who do not claim to be female will suffer in exactly the same way that biological males claiming to be female will if they are likewise unable to play on a women's varsity team

Invasion Of Sexual/Bodily Privacy

There's also a third important problem, he suggests. In many situations, biological boys playing on girls' teams are permitted if not required to shower and share locker rooms with female teammates; a situation which arguably violates the sexual and bodily privacy of the remainder of the team.

But a federal appeals court recently ruled that a biological man's privacy is invaded if he is required to expose his nude body to a search by a F2M transgender person, and presumable the same would be at least as true if a biological girl or woman were required to expose her body to a M2F student. As the court explained;

'[W]hile all forced observations or inspections of the naked body implicate a privacy concern, it is generally considered a greater invasion to have one's naked body viewed by a member of the opposite sex. . . . 'The desire to shield one's unclothed figure from [the] view of strangers, and particularly strangers of the opposite sex is impelled by elementary self-respect and personal dignity." [emphasis added]

Thus requiring an entire team of biological girls to undress and be viewed by a biological M2F biological boy would be even more embarrassing and a much greater invasion of privacy because there are many victims, and because they are both much younger and also female, argues Banzhaf.

Fortunately, this problem can easily be eliminated by having the biological male shower and change in a separate area; which is exactly what occurs when a girl joins a boys' football team (e.g., as a kicker).

But this logical solution is too often not the procedure which has been adopted, since many schools require the girls to undress in a locker room with a biological boy.

For example, most members of a high school girl's volleyball team in Vermont have been barred from their own locker room - and also placed under investigation - because they refuse to change in the presence of their biological male teammate.

The school’s solution was to tell all the girls who feel uncomfortable to change in the single stall in the restroom, but that reportedly requires some 30 minutes for all the biological girls to change one-by-one in a tiny toilet stall - compared with only a minute or two if all the girls could change at the same time; as they did in the past, and as girls’ volleyball team members at other high schools typically do.

Those who oppose this embarrassing arrangement explain that the problem isn’t the transgender athlete’s presence on the team, but in the locker room where the girl's sexual and bodily privacy is being invaded.

Banzhaf notes a recent trend to permit biological females to play as members of all-male teams (e.g., as kickers on men's football teams), In such cases, the girl on the teams do not get to shower and change clothing with the boys as M2F athletes often demand, but rather have separate locker room and shower facilities provided for them.

Some commentators have suggested that the same procedure should apply whenever a M2F athlete wants to play on a girl's or women's team, since the advantages of all members of a team being able to shower and change (and therefore bond as a team) together is clearly outweighed in both situations by the invasion of sexual privacy.

In summary, says Banzhaf, there are now at least three strong arguments against permitting M2F transgender athletes to play and compete on girls' and women's teams:

  • In most sports, biological males have a very significant size and strength advantage over their female competitors which can rob girls and women of opportunities to compete fairly and win, obtain scholarships, and other advantages
  • In contact sports such as football, boxing, wrestling and even basketball, there is a very real danger of serious and possibly permanent physical injuries to biological girls and women
  • Forcing biological girls and women to shower and change clothing with a M2F biological male violates their right to sexual and bodily privacy