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Transgender runners in HS

Discussion in 'General Sports' started by fiskful of dollars, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. fiskful of dollars

    fiskful of dollars Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    What do you guys think about this?



    Earlier this week when Connecticut held its CIAC Track & Field Championships, the previous records for girls were broken in both the 100 and 200-meter runs. A transgender, won the events. Another transgender, was the runner up in the 100 meter dash. According to the Connecticut Post, the results are causing some controversy. “A lot of people have asked, can you run a separate race, can you put an asterisk next to their name, do something that shows there is a standard that is different from that?” said CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff. “When you get into that playing out, you have got civil rights issues. “Then within the same gender, you are taking one population of the gender and you’re separating them and creating another class. That’s what Title IX speaks to. That’s what Office of Civil Rights guidelines speak to. You cannot discriminate based on gender. And in our case in Connecticut, gender is gender identity.” Yet what about the two girls who worked for years who got knocked out of the finals by Miller and Yearwood? And what about the two girls who finished seventh and eighth in the finals who were denied a chance to compete in the New England championships? “We do feel for them,” Niehoff said. “Fully agree it doesn’t feel good. The optic isn’t good. But we really do have to look at the bigger issues that speak to civil rights and the fact this is high school sports.”


    Mods - feel free to move to more appropriate thread. Please delete if already discussed.
     
  2. DennyDoyle'sBoil

    DennyDoyle'sBoil Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill SoSH Member

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    I don't have an opinion on the race issue. Just a question.

    Is that proper usage in the article? "A transgender"? Seems reductive.
     
  3. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I've never heard of The Connecticut Post
     
  4. TheYaz67

    TheYaz67 Member SoSH Member

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    I guess at the more "competitive levels" (aka college and above) they have to be taking hormone therapy & undergo testing to qualify to race in the gender other than the one they were born, but not at the high school level in most states (like CT), so indeed the results can be quite lopsided as a result....
     
  5. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I noticed that too, and the weird comma splice.

    I saw this issue raised last year from a wrestling match. I wonder if people feel differently about track than contact sports.
     
  6. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    How do you feel about it as it could pertain to boxing, if I might ask?
     
  7. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I honestly don’t have an opinion. I don’t know how to balance one human’s desire to live and be treated according to the gender they identify with against another’s physical safety.
     
  8. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    I believe that was slightly different. I dont know all the proper terminology so lm just stating from what I recall trying to be as clear as possible. The wrestling situation was a roided up female(birth) beating other girls. They (Texas) would not let him (preferred pronoun) wrestle against boys.
     
  9. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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    I know you didn’t ask me directly but for MMA and biological males fighting biological females, I am against it.
     
  10. sittingstill

    sittingstill Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  11. Fred not Lynn

    Fred not Lynn Dick Button Jr. SoSH Member

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    The intersection of gender identity and sport has no easy answers...
     
  12. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    Our entire society was built more or less on the idea of man and woman. It's more than just sports that are lacking answers here.
     
  13. Plantiers Wart

    Plantiers Wart Member SoSH Member

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    The top two finishers in the race are both transgender. The girl who finished second won last year, but has since begun hormone therapy and seen her times diminish this season. The winner has not started therapy, and the times are simply dominant.

    Not sure that a requirement to have begun hormone therapy would fly.
     
  14. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Yes it does. A biological girl who identifies as a boy should not be allowed to compete against other girls in high school track and field. There is a reason boys and girls do not compete against each other, and that reason is backed up by a mountain of empirical evidence. The top girls will never, ever, ever beat the top boys, and in most instances the top girls won't even beat the boys who are merely good. When I ran XC in high school, on my best day I might have been about the 50th best kid in the state, and yet I was better than the best girl in the country. I don't think this is being done with the intent of gaining an advantage but that doesn't change the fact that it is indeed an advantage, and an enormous one. There is not a person on this board who would think it was fair if their daughter lost a state title in the manner.
     
  15. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    Ok, but why is “fairness” in a sporting event more important than respecting a person’s identity? That’s where I’m stuck. I think you’re argument is stronger in contact sports where we also have to consider risk of serious injury.
     
  16. Tangled Up In Red

    Tangled Up In Red Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, relative weight of importance should be the major factor. I lean strongly with gender identity.
    But still, very hard.
     
  17. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Because the basis for separating boys and girls in sport in the first place is biological/physical in nature, and to keep things fair.
     
  18. Joe Sixpack

    Joe Sixpack Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    How do you make the determination though? What do you do with athletes like Dutee Chand or Caster Semenya?
     
  19. PC Drunken Friar

    PC Drunken Friar Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    are the girls who came in 3rd and 4th going to suffer in their lives because of this?
     
  20. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Yes, there will always be grey areas. I don't know how to handle them all. But in the case of someone who is biologically male but identifies female, that's outside the grey area.
     
  21. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    That's a pretty cavalier attitude toward kids who have likely worked their asses off toward a goal. But to your question, not winning a state title can in fact cause you to drop off the radar of college coaches, who do not have the time to investigate the circumstances of every individual race. So...probably not, but maybe.
     
  22. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    This is a distraction as a point, but they look at times, not titles.
     
  23. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    In track, that's largely true. But in other sports like tennis and wrestling, not so much.
     
  24. PC Drunken Friar

    PC Drunken Friar Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It's high school sports. They have worked their asses off. And won't care a bit about it in 3 years. And if they do still care...they have separate issues. Not allowing these girls to compete and holding them as second class citizens can cause much more damage.

    But I'll concede that it is very much a difficult situation. As it becomes more and more accepted to be transgender, maybe it will get easier.
     
  25. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I think it comes down to compromises we make as a society. Same with the bathroom issue. Are some people going to be uncomfortable pooping in front of others who outwardly appear to be of a different gender? Yeah, for sure. Does their discomfort trump people’s ability to conform to their gender identity? I don’t think so.

    Sports is all a matter of genetics, anyways. If I could throw 95 with movement, I would’ve been a pitcher and gotten a scholarship and maybe a 200 million dollar contract. It seems silly to complain that some kids get to be better at sports than others for any old reason.
     
  26. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    If we're going to say it's just another genetic advantage on par with the ability to throw 95 MPH, why don't we get rid of the distinction between boys and girls altogether? Isn't that just another genetic advantage?

    I don't want to cause more pain for kids who are already struggling. But allowing this, among other things, flies in the face of the spirit of Title IX. For this relatively small stakes situation where the rights of two groups are in conflict, I'm siding with the right of the overwhelming majority to compete on a fair playing field. There can be another way for trans gendered kids to still compete but still recognize the inherent biological differences in play.
     
  27. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    Ok. What is it?
     
  28. splendid splinter

    splendid splinter Member SoSH Member

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    Maybe there isn’t one. It seems like the essence of sports is equitable competition between people of generally equivalent physical abilities (in the larger sense). That’s why we have men’s and women’s divisions, age groups for youth league sports, weight classes for boxing, judo, etc. Transgender athletes are enormously disruptive to that concept. There’s probably no easy solution to that, and you’re probably going to hurt someone with whatever one you choose. It’s a matter of who, unfortunately.
     
  29. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    It’s a matter of who, to what extent and in what way.

    I’m as competitive as anyone. I hate losing. It probably sucks less to come in second though than to be told that the world doesn’t accept your identity.

    I dunno though, never really faced either.
     
  30. Hendu for Kutch

    Hendu for Kutch Member SoSH Member

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    In the case where both a boy's team and a girl's team exists for the same sport, would a rule that states transgender athletes either born male or going/went through hormone therapy compete with the boys an unjust one? It seems reasonable to "round up" the competition level to ensure fairness across the board.

    It's a tricky situation for sure, but I don't inherantly see a conflict between respecting gender identity and ensuring fair competition. In much the same way a female Kicker on a football team would, they would have some special accommodations to respect the gender difference.
     
  31. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    Yes. It’s saying that your birth gender is how you’ll be classified and not how you identify yourself. It’s the same as the bathroom issue.
     
  32. splendid splinter

    splendid splinter Member SoSH Member

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    Well, there’s a difference in terms of stakes here that I think you have to acknowledge. It’s one thing to say you have to suck it up and recognize that someone has the right to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable with, and another to say that you have to accept that you have essentially no chance to win this HS race, or college nationals, or an Olympic gold, because you’re competing at a massive biological disadvantage. It’s a complex balancing act but to treat them all as equivalent would be disingenuous.
     
  33. Hendu for Kutch

    Hendu for Kutch Member SoSH Member

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    I don't think it is though. Bathrooms weren't separated because one gender is better at shitting.

    The sports are separated for purpose of providing an equal playing field to both genders. Saying it's the same as the bathroom issue oversimplifies it.

    My soon to be step-sister is transgender. I know it has been very hard for her and I also know I've only seen the tip of the iceberg of what she has gone through. I'm not unsympathetic and I know there isn't an easy answer here like there is in the bathroom case.

    I think there's a middle ground where we are respectful of gender identity while also acknowledging a competitively uneven playing field is being created. There's a difference between having a woman play with men vs. telling her she is really a man. They don't have to mean the same thing. It's messy though, I understand.
     
  34. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I appreciate what you’re saying. Frankly, I don’t think the bathroom issue was all that easy, either.
     
  35. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I do think this is a difficult issue. I think we should be careful of looking at the narrow issue only--as, perhaps, per our legalistic training as Americans--and miss the larger social fabric.

    Gender identity is one component of identity among many, and identity is one component of self-worth. I think any discussion of this issue needs to be embedded within the meaning of youth athletics to people, and youth athletics to women in particular.

    To the extent that we consider athletic competition to have value to women, how much of that value is obliterated by making it so that the vast majority who compete can't win?

    Well, maybe. Others have mentioned individualistic costs like losing a championship, but I'm thinking more holistically... like:

    Do we really want to ask women to dedicate themselves to a discipline and to try their hardest and give their all in an activity that has been socially constructed in a way such that they have no chance of reaching the pinnacle of achievement simply because they were born female?

    I mean, I guess it might be good life training...

    Since the Civil War, women have always been told to take a back seat to someone else's movement which was more important, somehow more pressing. I think we need to think long and hard before risking taking sports away from them out of concern for another group. I'm not saying in any way that we shouldn't be concerned with out new awareness of the new group, just that I think there has been too much looking at this issue in a narrow silo or vacuum from what the social meaning of the change is on women in general; letting trans people compete is not a neutral decision in substance, even if it might seem like a formally neutral rule on paper.
     
  36. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I know you mean well and you know I love you, but you either completely ignore or disregard the fact that these transgender runners are women. You’re fracturing the women’s movement and making a judgment that only cis women should be considered women or inheritors of the movement.
     
  37. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I was worried about this.

    I’m gonna have to get my Judith Butler out...

    There are serious concerns about the problems of gender essentialism reemerging and that’s bad for everyone. Nobody knows what to do, as far as I can tell... I’ll try to explain better later.


    Edit: I'm actually having trouble finding sources with an angle that doesn't include the thinker's, explicit or implied, desire to also tear down the structures of syndical-capitalism that lead us to place so much value on competitive athletics and do violence to our ability to grasp the collective good, thereby detracting from the necessary work of dismantling the hierarchy.

    I checked in with the most radical feminist I know and her response is none of the women should care and we should take a hammer to the whole system of competitive athletics in schools. She's also violently opposed to church bingo.
     
    #37 Reverend, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  38. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    I'm not sure these classifications necessarily have to do with fairness in competition. Our current way of dividing kids give those who are born in January a huge advantage over those born in December in youth sports, and that's not even taking into consideration "early bloomers" versus "late bloomers".

    I agree there aren't any easier answers but is this really all that different than my normal 6'0" child having to compete in basketball against this 6'7" kid who hit the genetic lottery?
     
  39. Clears Cleaver

    Clears Cleaver Lil' Bill SoSH Member

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    No. They’ll explain in their college essay how they were denied medals because a boy with a penis who identifies as a woman beat them. Depending on if they want to get into a liberal arts college in the northeast they’ll explain how it opened up their minds to how other people struggle with identity and how after the race they went and supported the winners and now march in protests over transgender rights. If they want to get into an SEC school they explain how they got fucked by the liberal state mindset and absurd way the CIAC bent over to appease some fucked up kids who clearly are seeking attention and couldn’t compete as boys.

    Win-win!
     
  40. moondog80

    moondog80 heart is two sizes two small SoSH Member

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    Yes. Society has already decided that the distinction between being biologically male/female is different than the variance that occurs with those two groups. That's why schools have boys leagues and girls leagues, instead of leagues for under/over 6 feet. If it really isn't any different, shouldn't we just put them all together, and get used to the fact that girls will never compete, save for the rare girl with exceptional talent who is good enough to be a bench player on a varsity team?
     
  41. luckiestman

    luckiestman Son of the Harpy SoSH Member

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  42. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    I'm not doing any research on this but I'm guessing this isn't historically accurate. Society decided many many moons ago that athletics were the purview of men and girls were too delicate to play sports, or that competition was not good for the maturation of women.

    According to this article, participation by girls in high school sports in 1970-71 was less than 10% (and looks to be less than 5%).

    In other words, the idea of separating girls and boys from playing sports had nothing to do with fair competition but had everything to do with not allowing girls to participate. Thankfully - and thanks in large parts to unintended consequences of Title IX - we've educated ourselves on this issue and we allow and encourage girls to play sports. There has been a long hard battle to figure out how best to do this - for example, similar to what Rev points out, many of the radical feminists of the 70s were very much opposed to a "separate but equal" model for girls and boys sporting participation - but we've grown. Have we reached an optimal solution for girls and boys? Probably not.

    But here's my point. We're at the very beginning stages of figuring all of this out but saying that athletes should participate based on their biological identity seems like a bad place to start.

    On a much larger note, our society's emphasis on the male and female dualism is going to have to be blown up in the next 100 years or so too.
     
  43. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    Yes. There will always be a Spud Webb or Allen Iverson while a woman would never compete at that level.
     
  44. bosox79

    bosox79 Member SoSH Member

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    And maybe it's already been addressed or even happened, but what happens if/when a transgender woman breaks a world record in a HS event?
     
  45. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

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    This is kind of the heart of the issue, no? Is Title IX good (I'd say yes) and if so, precisely why (harder to answer definitively) and how do trans rights play into that answer (which I can't address without knowing the answer to #2).

    There's also the possibility that the whole thing is in the big picture a distraction/talking point, and the number of trans people out there interested in sports isn't generally enough to really move the needle overall.
     
  46. PaulinMyrBch

    PaulinMyrBch Don't touch his dog food Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Simple solution. Divisions based on chromosomes.
    XY is an open division, anyone fast enough to qualify can win.
    XX is closed to athletes possessing two X’s.
    If one day the XX portion of the human race flips the script and become bigger, faster, stronger, then you can make that the open division and close the XY. But we should be good for a couple million years.
     
  47. southshoresoxfan

    southshoresoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Works for me. Compete in the sex you were born into or the harder one if you so choose. This isn’t rocket science.
     
  48. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

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    This won't work for transgender males that start taking testosterone to transition and then blow the XX division out of the water.
     
  49. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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  50. PaulinMyrBch

    PaulinMyrBch Don't touch his dog food Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I guess if I was an XX athlete and I had a choice of facing an XX athlete who has started testosterone to transition versus an XY who hasn't started hormone therapy, I'd choose to race against the XX one. But its complicated when the rules that govern these HS associations use gender instead of sex as defining language.
     

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