Sex Matters: Why Transgender Athletes Must Not Compete Against Biological Females

lia-thomas-hogshead-controversy, transgender

Sex Matters: Why Transgender Athletes Must Not Compete Against Biological Females

Nancy Hogshead-Makar knows all about being a champion in the pool, and championing for the rights of female athletes. A four-time medalist at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Hogshead-Makar has long fought for equality in women’s sports and is the head of Champion Women, which advocates for girls and women in sports. Hogshead-Makar wrote the following editorial in response to the controversy surrounding transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

Inclusion and fairness are two vital values in the world of sports.

Transgender women should be allowed to compete in women’s athletics, so long as these individuals can show that they’ve mitigated the athletic advantages that come with male puberty.

lia-thomas-penn, transgender

Lia Thomas

As an Olympic champion and as a civil rights lawyer, I can assure you that there was nothing fair about transgender woman Lia Thomas competing for the University of Pennsylvania in NCAA swimming.

Worse, her domination of the ‘women’s sports’ category has done nothing to engender greater empathy for inclusive practices throughout society for the trans community.

I swam on the U.S. National Team for nine years, from 1976–1984, the same years that East German swimmers dominated women’s competitions by cheating with anabolic steroids.

I was able to win three Olympic gold medals and a silver medal because the East Germans boycotted the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

We all knew they were cheating. The boycott announcement was a relief; I knew I’d have a fair shot at winning.

My Olympic gold medals changed the trajectory of my life.

Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, permits sex-segregation in sport – which means that, for the most part, men compete against men, and women compete against women.

Title IX gave me a fair opportunity to win and set records, as well as access to money, accolades, and leadership opportunities.

If Congress and courts had forbidden sex-segregated sports, the way race and religious segregation is prohibited, I would have qualified for my high school team, but I’d never have been the Hall of Famer that I became.

I doubt I’d have competed past high school.

Now imagine if all schools were only responsible for sponsoring one sports team and they put their best students — regardless of gender — on that team.

How many girls and women would make it?

For sure, millions of girls and women would lose out on the educational experience that participation in sports provides. An experience which is also linked to economic success and life-long health.

nancyhogsheadmakar

Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Photo Courtesy: PlayTheGame

Trans women should compete with biological women, so long as they can demonstrate that they have lost their sex-linked, male-puberty advantage prior to competition in the women’s category.

Lia Thomas cannot make that demonstration.

While she has apparently been complying with NCAA rules requiring hormone therapy for over 2 ½ years now, she still competes with an unfair advantage.

How do we know Lia Thomas’ performances aren’t fair?

The average differential in the men’s and women’s ‘A’ standard times for NCAA championship qualification is 11.41%; meaning the women’s times are 11%+ slower than the men’s qualification times.

About the same differential occurs if you’re looking at almost any group of swimming records or qualification times between men and women, including regional or USA Swimming qualification times, American records, world records, NCAA records.

The gaps between men and women are generally larger in the sprints than they are in the long-distance events.

So, how big is that 11% advantage in swimming times for male swimmers?

Enormous.

To put it in perspective, Olympic superstar Michael Phelps held just a .08% of an advantage over his U.S. teammate and rival Ian Crocker in the 100 butterfly in the 2004 Olympics.

But Phelps held a 12.62% advantage over the women’s gold medalist, Australian Petria Thomas.

Phelps’ advantage over women equates to over 150 times more than the advantage that Phelps had over his male competitors.

If he had that same 12.62% advantage over his male competitors, he would have swam 6.47 seconds faster than he did to win the gold, or a time of 44.78 seconds.

Meanwhile, the gap between first and eighth in the men’s Olympic final was a tiny gap of just 1.31 seconds.

Lia Thomas, however, was not 11% slower. She was only 2.6% slower than she was pre-transition in the 200-yard freestyle, and just 5.76% slower in the 500-yard freestyle.

That is NOT mitigation. It is NOT fair.

I should add that it isn’t Lia’s fault.

The problem is with the NCAA’s rules that permitted Penn to keep her on their women’s team.

(Prior to the NCAA passing its transgender determination rules to USA Swimming, the governing body for college sports followed this rule).

“A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on the men’s team but may not compete on the women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment.”

But ‘one year of testosterone suppression treatment’ was not sufficient to level the playing field between Thomas and her female competitors.

If seven-time U.S. Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel transitioned and was somehow able to mitigate the advantage he gained during male puberty, including any legacy advantage, and then broke women’s swimming events, I’d think this outcome was fair.

Dressel is, after all, a once-in-a-generation athlete.

Thomas was never in that category of standout athlete for the many years she competed as a male.

Thomas proved that the advocates who assured the NCAA and their member schools that male puberty could be rolled back in a single year after consistent hormone treatment were wrong.

The rules should follow the evidence, and in this case it is clear: Thomas should not have been in head-to-head competition with biological females.

2020 research on transgender women athletes by Emma Hilton and Tommy Lundberg concluded that: “The biological advantage, most notably in terms of muscle mass and strength, conferred by male puberty and thus enjoyed by most transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed as per current sporting guidelines for transgender athletes.”

Thomas qualified and could have competed in the men’s category, or could have competed in an exhibition race (where her results would not count) until the evidence and science catches up with sports practices.

Carrie Steinseifer and Nancy Hogshead at the 1984 Olympics – Photo Courtesy – Swimming World Magazine

In all my years competing with East German women who were doped to the gills, they were only slightly better than the best biological women; not one of them were competitive with men.

Moreover, if I had tested positive for testosterone, I probably would have suffered a four-year suspension from international competition.

But if I tested positive twice? I’d be banned for life.

Because the World Anti-Doping (Agency) knows that long-term testosterone use produces legacy effects that last much longer than just during the time it is used.

Critics of mine will likely ask: what about the goals of transgender inclusion in sport?

We know that transgender students are subject to bullying and high rates of suicide.

The argument is that girls and women should step aside and make way for transgender athletes to compete in the ‘girls’ and women’s’ sports categories, considering the blatant discrimination they face.

I say — no.

Girls and women shouldn’t give up their hard-won sports opportunities, no matter how real the harms suffered by transgender athletes.

Allowing transgender women to change the meaning of the women’s category makes as much sense as allowing 180-pound athletes into the 120-pound weight category, because larger athletes were subject to awful bullying and harassment.

Or allowing adults to compete against children, or only permitting impoverished nations compete in the Olympics.

Sport has been set up as binary with males and females, and sport needs to adapt by adding new events and classifications, rather than throwing out the meaning of the ‘girls’ and women’s’ categories.

Rather than trying to squeeze transgender athletes into one-of-two categories, male or female, sport needs to adapt.

I’ve now been an advocate for Title IX, the federal law requiring schools to prohibit sex discrimination, since the 1984 Olympics when I won my medals.

As a civil rights lawyer, I run Champion Women, a non-profit that provides legal advocacy for girls and women in sports. We produce data — for athletes, families, alumni and donors – which demonstrates just how badly 90% of colleges and universities are discriminating against women.

In total, women are denied over 183,000 opportunities to play collegiate sports, they’re denied over a billion dollars in athletic scholarships, and hundreds and millions of dollars in treatment, meaning women aren’t being given equal facilities, locker rooms, medical care, publicity, travel, and so forth.

I’ve never met a single female athlete that couldn’t list the ways they’re getting second-class treatment as compared to their male football or basketball players.

In those 38 years, I’ve never heard a single man say, ‘Oh you women face such overwhelming sex discrimination throughout society, particularly in sexual harassment and violence. Here, take our athletic facilities and scholarships.’

Quite the opposite.

The unwritten rule is that women’s sports can exist, so long as not a single male is harmed by women’s inclusion.

And yet, notice that women are expected to graciously move over and let trans athlete-inclusion change the meaning of the ‘women’s sports’ category.

It is sexist; we’d never allow the meaning of NCAA ‘men’s sports’ category to change so that current NFL and NBA teams could be included.

We’d never allow 25-year-old men to compete in boy’s high school events. And we would never tell those boys to just ‘work harder’ if they wanted to win.

I am ready to hear men’s outrage. I am ready for men to step up and make sports equality happen for women’s sports.

Lia Thomas showed all of us that the current rules are not fair and forcing her into the women’s category only engenders resentment.

That doesn’t mean, however, that transgender athletes should be excluded from the many benefits of sport.

Instead, sport must adapt in creative ways that are not harmful to the women’s category.

If you agree with me and the Women’s Sports Policy Working Group, please sign in support here, and share!

128 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
avatar
SETH
4 months ago

Where are the statistics on discrimination against trans women? It’s quite apparent that they are a more marginalized and discriminated against community, when will the swimming community embrace diversity and inclusion for all?

avatar
Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Wearing a dress does not make one a female athlete.

avatar
Randall Whitaker
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

You use men’s athletics as the Golden Calf that doesn’t have to endure the gender du jour clown show faced by women’s athletics , all the while neglecting to mention that without men’s athletics, as apparently spoiled as we are, bankrolls all of women’s athletic categories.
We’re nothing special…we just pay our own way and the way of our female athletes which in our eyes gives us the right to keep our competition pure and away from the woke culture of college administrators.

avatar
David Dutra
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I’m sorry if it hurts any feelings but, rearranging body parts makes not the opposite sex make !!! When mankind interferes with what is “NATURAL” to the point that it changes the status e, “THE END RESULT WILL ALWAYS (WITH NO EXCEPTION) BE “UN-NATURAL…

avatar
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

I agree !

avatar
Constantine Newcastle
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

In the meet with Harvard, Thomas beat her nearest competitor by .96 seconds in the 100m. In the 200m she beat her nearest competitor by 1.4 seconds. That was a meet with one school. At the Zippy she beat a bunch of ladies none of whom were in the top 100 times in any event in 2021-22. No one should be surprised she blew them out of the water because they were slow.
The author seems to think cis women should have a right to win sports not to simply participate. As soon as the doors are fully open for trans women to participate in women’s sports, hordes of men and boys are going to lop their balls off and don dresses to join the softball team! This is the real secret of the boys’ club!

avatar
Scott jones
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Agreed.

avatar
Carla Price
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Medicine & surgery DOES NOT make you another gender. PERIOD. This is not fair, this is not right & should not be permitted. I don’t care what marginalization is going on. That should not dictate common sense. No male, with a penis or one that’s been surgically removed is a woman in biology it in my eyes. We have nothing in common. I’m a woman, a female, that’s given birth and share nothing with a male who chooses to consider themselves as something other than what they were born as. No. I’m not sorry.

avatar
Alfreda
4 months ago
Reply to  Michael

Constantine Newcastle–they are not going to bother to lop off their balls–it seems that is not required. Nope–just say you are a woman, and you’re gold.

avatar
Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

A dress does not make an athlete female.

avatar
Joshua
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

AFAIK, that dude still has a package. Not a woman, even by your screwed up standards.

avatar
Carson
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshua

Right. I’m sure your standards hold so much weight over peer-reviewed biology from worldwide organizations.

avatar
Bz
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshua

I fully agree with you! Got a full package and doesn’t look like a female.

avatar
Brent Tharp
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshua

Yep. She needs to show a little commitment.

avatar
Laura Richardson
4 months ago
Reply to  Joshua

Correct

avatar
Elroy
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

They are. men and should be competing against men. Of course they are not good e enough to do that.

avatar
Graye
4 months ago
Reply to  Elroy

Put cotton in a special place and kick him in his package four times and let it swim. Then he will know how it feels every month. Try and swim after that everytime you get in the water.

avatar
Spedrunr
4 months ago
Reply to  Elroy

😂

avatar
Kathy
4 months ago
Reply to  Elroy

I think that every woman that competes against a Transgender should step down off the starting blocks and refuse to swim against him. Also, maybe they can start up a league where these transgender can compete against each other. Leave women sports to real women.

avatar
DAn
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Break it down to XX and XY. And compete by that standard

avatar
Jerry
4 months ago
Reply to  DAn

Fun Fact: Some people, even at the DNA level, have a different situation than simply XX or XY. Just a thing that happens sometimes, and people with differing DNA like that are still normal people and if they’d like to participate in sports, I think it would be cool if they were still allowed.

avatar
Gene
4 months ago
Reply to  DAn

Bingo! Break it down to fundamental genetics and call it a day.

avatar
Georgy Mazeppa
4 months ago
Reply to  DAn

There are XY females with biological insensitivity to testosterone. Since the default developmental pathway is female, and the male pathway is switched on by an in utero burst of testosterone, these individuals develop phenotypically as female. Most of them make large amounts of testosterone all through their lives, but their bodies don’t respond to it. I’m not sure what percentage of the population is born that way, but it is enough that you can’t segregation on XY alone. In many instances, they don’t know their genotype until puberty when certain things don’t happen and they get tested. For every phenotypically male XY male, they should compete among themselves.

avatar
Nikko
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Whats the matter with you, did you not read the statistics do not understand science, have you been locked in a cave for your whole life? use your head this is a no-brainer…quit letting men compete against women, its bush-leauge crap,it’s terrible, & it’s ruining womens sports

avatar
Ms. T
4 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

No you are the one that does not understand the science.

avatar
Alfreda
4 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

Seth–there is no hard science behind a completely subjective decision about gender regardless of biology that transforms a male into a female biologically. Tell us, please the ‘science’ you are referring to. If you need drugs and surgery to conform to what’s in your head, it’s not ‘real.’

avatar
Mike Arata
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Suppose that Seth was a Masters Swimming competitor in the 55-59 age group who still swims a 2:02+ in the 200 free.

Suppose further that a Masters swimmer in the 25-29 age group — still in pretty good shape compared with his high school days as a 1:42 competitor in the 200 free, who can still go 1:49 — declares that he’s actually 55. Should he be permitted to enter 55-59 competition on his say-so?

Were a very tall but sexually dysphoric “entitled” NBA star to claim he was actually a woman, and be permitted thereby to play in the WNBA, would that be acceptable in order to embrace “diversity and inclusivity”?

Should any and all performance-enhancement drugs be permitted in athletics?

Are there any limits to such incongruities, such lack of basic standards, in Seth’s world?

avatar
SETH
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Arata

Fantasy fiction.

avatar
Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

When they make a transgender category. Until then, stop discriminating women with this woke nonsense.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Those stats I I’m sure are not nice to look at. So we should let any trans woman compete and literally kill the competition! As payback. Women athletes you just need to shut up and take it. I mean that’s what women have been told for generations anyway, they are used to it.

avatar
Linda
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

I’m sure the mistreatment statistics on transgender women is not pretty to look at. Therefore all transgender women should be free to compete in any female athletic sport. As payback. Female athletes need to shut up and take it. After all women have been told this for centuries, when will they learn.

avatar
Juan
4 months ago
Reply to  Linda

I agree, fair is fair. Men against men, women against women and trans against trans. Play it as it lays.

avatar
Paul Rodgers
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Transhypocrites

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

You are a man. Obviously you can afford to remain blinded by your own virtue signaling. You should be asking yourself this question: Why aren’t trans men breaking records in men’s sports? Why aren’t trans men clamoring to be included in competitive male sports? The answer is simple… Because they are at a disadvantage, having been women prior to their transition. We only see males who have decided to have surgeries that alter their appearance, not their biology, whining and demanding that they be allowed to take over women’s sports. Stop whining and start supporting biological women’s sports. It is not inclusion when you are asking half of the country’s population to step aside so that a handful of trans women..Who, at the end of the day, will FOREVER have the biological DNA profile of a male..to compete in the arena of female sports. That is blatant biased male entitlement, once again demanding that women step aside for the glory and the validation of men. Misogyny thrives in darkness.

avatar
Fernir
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Applegate

Ok look get over your misogyny bull. I’m against transgenender women in female sports blaming normal men for this isn’t right. This isn’t male entitlement lmao this is transgenders taking advantage of women sports. Don’t blame me for transgenders in female sports. I don’t agree with them unless they have 5 years transition or whatever they have to do to even the field. Watching women get destroyed isn’t fun.

avatar
Georgy Mazeppa
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Applegate

There’s one trans male boxer Patricio Manuel. He won his first fight, but last I read, he can’t get any more fights.

avatar
ElleL
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Applegate

Your statement is the best and truest encapsulation of the problem of transgender women competing in women’s athletics. Biological women are damn tired of stepping aside, being marginalized. Trans women, I support and encourage you but not at the expense of biological females who have worked so hard to get any type of inclusion in competitive sports.

avatar
Denise Negrillo
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ Applegate

100% facts!

avatar
River
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Seth, trying actually READING the article before you express an opinion. Then you won’t sound knee-jerk ignorant.

avatar
SETH
4 months ago
Reply to  River

Thank you for your kind words and the insight into what I have read and what I haven’t!

avatar
Anthony
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Stop it! This is not about inclusion! A man is a man . He couldn’t cut the mustard on the Mens swimming team , so he went to the ladies side. Create a trans division and let them fight it. He will never be a woman because he was born a man. He knows his wins are tainted and will never be taken seriously. It’s like taking steroids in pro sports. That’s his advantage as a man.

avatar
Sam
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

It’s simply not fair. Its okay to be whatever gender you
like but there’s obvious advantages in athletics.

Sam

avatar
Aly Julmiste
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

I do agree. Transgender do have an unfair advantage in women’s sports.

avatar
SETH
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Also, it is illogical to equate Ms. Thomas with athletes who have intentionally, or even unknowingly, cheated. She just wants the opportunity to compete as her authentic self.

avatar
Bodhi
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Her authentic self is a man!

avatar
June Visconti
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Just create a TRANSGENDER CATEGORY for Competitions.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

We’re talking about women’s sports and the fairness in letting trans women compete against women. Trans women are not women, they are trans, a completely different category. Let trans women complete against trans women. I don’t see trans men competing against men. Re-read the article, you obviously didn’t understand it, and only view the world through your myopic vision.

avatar
David
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

We’re talking about women’s sports and the fairness in letting trans women compete against women. Trans women are not women, they are trans, a completely different category. Let trans women complete against trans women. I don’t see trans men competing against men. Re-read the article, you obviously didn’t understand it, and only view the world through your myopic vision.

avatar
Jamie
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Sorry. XX=female, XY=male. Changing those facts into fallacy is being done to the point of obsession, but doesn’t change the fact that men and women are built different. We’re supposed to be built different. We serve two different purposes as human beings. Ok, create teams where transgendered people compete against other transgendered people. Bingo
Problem solved. There has to be a return to reality and the realization that everyone does not feel the same way others so and it’s time to stop trying to force the rights of some onto others while violating their rights.

avatar
Jeremy
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

Homeless people are marginalized. Why don’t you give them your house? Child predators and felons are marginalized. Why don’t you let them hang out with your children? Inclusion for all right? Or just the group that makes you sound virtuous? Put your money where your mouth is and quit your virtual signing BS

avatar
Kristi Buck
4 months ago

Well said. I agree. How about creating a Trans l gender Athlete category.

avatar
Michael
4 months ago
Reply to  Kristi Buck

Sounds reasonable.

avatar
Mal
4 months ago
Reply to  Kristi Buck

Karen’s have called open season on trans people living their lives after failing to call the cops on Black
people living their lives. They use made up stats that don’t reflect sex/gender diversity in performance and can’t wrap their heads around group statistics vs individual performance and prediction. Lots of people who studied Sport need to take a stats course it seems. There remains a complete overlap of forms between all sex/genders and attempts to regulate will always bar ciswomen from sport as some currently exist that are large, muscle-dense, even with t-signatures that would make it hard to differentiate them from transgirls etc. Also intersex people I guess have no place and we should just Show the World how spoiled we are by having a huge national conversation about children’s Sport in particular, not to mention upper echelons.

What we see is a bunch of people afraid of trans people and making up facts to support their fear. Transphobia is the word. Lia has gone through more bs than any other woman on her team, most of her team supports her in this as well.

avatar
Alfreda
4 months ago
Reply to  Mal

Mal–this entire comment is gaslighting to the nth degree. If trans want to be taken seriously, they need to stop making sh!t up, and accept the fact that everyone deals with being different in this culture in one way or another. This does not make you all so special that we have to give up our lives to accomodate you. Grow up, and stop shoving everyone else around.

avatar
MastersSwimmer
4 months ago

Yes! A considered and informative contribution to the debate, respectfully expressed.
The 11% statistic is a really useful factual indicator (and interesting how the margin between male/ female sex swimmers is wider for powerful sprinters than for distance/ endurance.)

avatar
Heather
4 months ago
Reply to  MastersSwimmer

The difference between sprinting and endurance can also be explained by differences in male and female bodies. It isn’t just hormones, males have more of their circulatory system in the skeletal muscle providing faster oxygen uptake and develop a higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers (sprinting) to slow twitch fingers (endurance) compared to females. Males develop different ratios of the three collagens than females do, and have better recoil in their joints. And generally being taller and longer limbed with higher bone density. These and many other physical features cannot be changed later on with hormones. Your bones aren’t going to shrink, even if you lose density, and your circulatory system isn’t going to reroute itself. You can’t change what is over 200 genes of differences between the two genders.

avatar
Tina B
4 months ago

Why does the NCAA and women’s sports not realize the differences as identified in the report? Are they more concerned about the few transgender over the millions of biological females who have worked to earn their rightful place in their sport?

avatar
Ms.t
4 months ago
Reply to  Tina B

Tina explai what a biological female is.

avatar
Laurie S
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.t

A biological female is a human conceived when an X carrying human sperm fertilizes a human egg, to produce a female with a 46XY chromosomal makeup. This is valid in 99.98% of humans. In the other 0.02%, there is a genetic disorder of sexual development that results in a binary male or female with sexual developmental differences.

avatar
Spedrunr
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.t

Google it

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Tina B

I think you already know the answer to that. Today’s it’s more important to scream to the world you’re inclusive rather than fair. I’m just glad my 4 girls are past this time of their lives.

avatar
Doug Broman
4 months ago
Reply to  Tina B

It seems they are only concerned with being “woke” and are cowtowing to the trans athletes.
It is amazing how quiet the feminists are on this subject. It is ironic that they are now sitting by quietly while allowing men to destroy womens sports.

avatar
Alfreda
4 months ago
Reply to  Doug Broman

AFAIK, feminists did not celebrate being a woman in my time. So of course they have nothing to say. Women supporting each other as community is not their thing. Becoming part of patriarchal power is what they were after, and if a man goes after power in any sphere they will not argue–it’s what they want also. Every person for themselves, and the devil take the hindmost.

avatar
Virginia Savage
4 months ago

So happy to hear the voice of experience on this subject. I knew in my gut that trans athletes competing in women’s sports was unfair. Thank you for quantifying that and for filling in the details with your story.

avatar
Fred c.
4 months ago

I personally think all sports should be open and not binary. There are girls on HS and college football and wrestling teams and they are competitive. Women in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and other major league sports, I’d support that in a heartbeat.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Fred c.

You are clueless! I wish you would have included some guesstimate’s in your ridiculous opinion on the matter. My opinion, not even one percent of women across the board would make the cut in your non binary sports world.

avatar
Fred c.
4 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

As stated with yours, mine was simply an opinion, not something to get bent out of shape about. Guess I’m part of the Star Trek generation, wanting to see people work and compete together without the division.

avatar
Georgy Mazeppa
4 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

There are women who hold world records, not women’s world records, but the world record, and women have won in integrated categories. Not saying we shouldn’t have separate categories, but they (women) are not as week as historically viewed. Gaps between competitive performance between genders has been closing in the last several years. In some sports, men may always have an advantage, but not all. Some sports allow an option for women to compete in men’s categories and I have seen women win local events.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Fred c.

You are kidding right? A 130# girl up against a 280# linebacker.

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Fred c.

Of course you would. You are a man. Your male sports competitive arena is not threatened. Your ability to garner placement, awards, the podium medals and scholarships as well as endorsements, is not threatened. Until they are you should just listen instead of giving another misogynistic, entitled male opinion. And should they ever become threatened, I’m quite certain you’ll be one of the first to stand up and cry foul.

avatar
Laurie S
4 months ago

Trans identified men are just that, men, males. They will never “become” women or female. Sex is determined at conception, and males are different than females and have a physical advantage from birth. Females are not a hormone level. A male taking hormones is still a male. Keep sports fair and sex based. Trans identified males can compete as males, or create a trans division. Inclusion of men into the women’s category is unfair to women. Being unfair to females is not diversity, it’s misogyny.

avatar
Eduardo Jose
4 months ago
Reply to  Laurie S

I couldnt agree more. It is just not that simple to take away the phisical advantage that comes along with mens puberty. And being that so, any attemp to let transgender athletes compete with born women is gonna be unfair unless the transition took place at a really early stage. Besides any kind of social considerations – wich are damn important, no question, but should not be the focus when it come to sports fairness -, allowing biological men to take over womens sports is pretty much the opposit of inclusion.

avatar
Thomas
4 months ago

Some people are ignorant, without any brains to know that someone Born a Man always going to be a Man don’t matter what they change on they body period. Only in America you see things like this amazing how stupid people are,he should Not compete against Women, it’s not right it’s cheating it’s wrong.

avatar
Dinah
4 months ago

Funny. I havent heard of a single transgender male (born female) fighting to compete as a man. I wonder why?

avatar
Veritas
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinah

It has happened, but it’s not controversial because they don’t have an inherent biological advantage over their competitors.

avatar
Ms.T
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinah

They do and have won but folks like you could care less.

avatar
Alfred
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Perhaps, Mrs. T, we would appreciate what you think are some examples, if that would not take too much effort on your part.

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Ms T It’s clearly a trans woman. Go back to the Twitter sphere where people actually listen to your nonsense. At the end of the day you will always and forever have the biological DNA profile of a male. Biologically, you are a man. Get over it.

avatar
Jacob
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Are you able to give an example where a trans man has out competed there biological male counterparts? I’ve looked it up and could only find instances of trans men making college teams but not excelling in those sports. I know one instance of a trans woman who has won a world record

avatar
Kai
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinah

Schuyler Bailer is a transgender athlete f-m who made the mens Harvard swim team.

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Kai

One…one person. So we should ask ALL 150+ MILLION BIOLOGICAL WOMEN AND GIRLS LIVING IN THE US, TO JUST STEP ASIDE FOR THIS SINGLE ANOMALY? Your male entitlement is on clear display. THE MISOGYNY IS DESPICABLE.

avatar
Mac
4 months ago

Because of prostate cancer treatment, I have
had ALL testosterone out of my system for
29 years. I am still clearly a male and still compete in a number of sports as a male.
According to reports Lia still has male
“plumbing”, dates girls and enjoys all the
attention.
I went to Penn many years ago and have
given up on it as far as issues such as this.

avatar
Ms.T
4 months ago
Reply to  Mac

Mac as a Trans Woman I date both men and women. I will not eliminate a possible mate simply because their gender is the same as mine or any other silly excuse like the color of their skin, religion or hair style. I’m not a bigot dude.

avatar
Alfred
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

The “plumbing” and the dating women I think is the gist here. Swimming as a “woman” and, uh, “dating” like a man makes people wonder how serious Lia really feels about womanhood. When will she take the plunge into “womanhood” in terms of “plumbing” or is “having it all” the point?

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

This is the problem with trans trenders. Transgenderism and gender dysphoria among trans women has historically and in nearly all cases, they have been gay males. Not heterosexual. Could it be possible you’re actually an Autogynophile? Most likely. Transgenderism and debilitating gender dysphoria is not a choice. It is not a trend. It is not a fad and it is most definitely not a lifestyle.

avatar
Judy Mainord
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Nancy Hogsheads-maker’s article clarifies key issues in women’s sports and the inequity of allowing men, trans or not to compete. Women have fought long and hard for equity. Women’s sports should not be responsible for solving the transgender issue.

avatar
KW
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Mac’s point about his testosterone flew right over your head Ms. T… selective reading much?

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago

Drugs do not a woman make. If the penis is still attached, no way should they be competing with a female who has a vagina.

avatar
Ms. T
4 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Well you know women have a penis also. We just call it by a different name. Its the same kind of tissue but one is larger than the other yet both respond to stimulus in the same way.

I mean if you truly want fairness then I whose breasts are a natural E cup should not have to compete against another woman who may be an A or B cup.

For all we.know the other women Ms. Thomas raced against held back on purpose to make this an issue.

avatar
Alfred
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms. T

Now you are just descending into trollhood–is this the reflection of LBGTQ you want to spread around? I don’t think the LGBQs want the blowback from your BS, or trans people either. I’d think about that.

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms. T

Pathetic. We should not have to hear all about your huge “E” faux breast size in the comments. Thank you but TMI and unnecessary. You’re reaching here and you know it. Why are you trolling here of all places? Are you hoping to change someone’s mind with your rancid male entitlement and misogyny?

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms. T

The clitoris is not a penis. That’s why we don’t call it a penis and we call it a clitoris. While you can stimulate it and orgasm by doing so they have two different functions. To start with, women do not pee out of their clitoris whereas men do. We cannot physically rape another woman or a man with our clitoris. The only thing they have in common is the fact that both contain numerous sensitive nerves which, when stimulated can lead to an orgasm. The male penis is much different from a clitoris. You’re claiming to be a woman and yet you have absolutely no clue that this is one of the most offensive comparisons that you could possibly make…Calling it a “female penis”? ugh. But, it’s not so surprising, considering it’s coming from a biological male.

avatar
Ms. T
4 months ago

Well Alfred I just deal with the facts. Now I may be a little rough at the moment but my estrogen shot is Wednesday and I’m experiencing PMS symptoms and I can get quite moody during these periods.

avatar
Alfred
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms. T

Oh, you must mean “PMS”, standing for Permanent Misogyny Syndrome, a factual ailment among men that does not occur just once a month.

avatar
KW
4 months ago
Reply to  Ms. T

Dear Mr. T,
Please don’t pretend like you have a uterus and periods. How offensive to real women could you be? If you want to be a woman so bad, how about you start respecting women who have had to actually deal with endometriosis, pregnancies, miscarriages, PMDD, etc. People like you and Lia are the reason transgender people have this bad reputation. You disgust me.

avatar
Jose
4 months ago

What if allowing transgender women to compete, with a 11% time discount? Call it a 89% handicap….

avatar
Jeff Johnson
4 months ago

Do the more recent results, where Thomas was defeated by a swimmer transitioning from female to male, but not taking hormones, affect your opinion?

Swimmer Iszak Henig, who is transitioning from female to male, beat swimmer Lia Thomas, who is transitioning from male to female, in two events at a meet. Henig decided not to take any male hormones so he could finish his fourth year with the women’s swim team.

“Henig defeated Thomas in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 49.57, more than three seconds ahead of Thomas, who finished sixth with a time of 52.84.”

“He then powered Yale’s 400-yard freestyle relay to victory, swimming his leg in 50.45 seconds, while Thomas finished her leg in 51.94.”

Henig also won the 50 yard freestyle. Thomas won two of the four races she entered, but her times were significantly slower than her previous events.

Throws a little popcorn in the transgender sports debate.

avatar
Laurie
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Johnson

Oh that makes it so much more valid! Lia got beat by a biological female! What is your point? The valid point is that males, slow or fast, should not be allowed in the female division! They are not biological females, and have a biological physical advantage from birth. Biological sex is determined at conception and immutable. Trans identified males should compete in the male division as they are, or create a separate trans division.

avatar
Jodi
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Johnson

Not really if you know swimming. There are huge skillset differences between 50/100 free swimmers and 500/1650 free swimmers. Lea is not a sprinter. Katie Ledecky impressed many when she got competitive in the 200 free distance, it was a stretch for her. She can NOT win the 50/100 free. Different skillset. Winning 50 free sprinters (like the Yale Swimmer) who couldn’t hold a candle a few laps in racing a distance swimmer with their lungs, heart, stamina, a machine trained and built for that distance or with natural talent at that distance. Apples to oranges. Had Yale and Penn raced in the 1650? Yale would have been lapped multiple times.

avatar
AJ Applegate
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Johnson

What part of transitioning female to male don’t you get? That would be the same as doping. Not to mention you are literally posting a singular example while asking more than 150 million American women to step aside for the single example. More blatant male entitlement on display.

avatar
lily
4 months ago

Lia Tomas never produce any children! Women nature of Production! Then, he still a man!

avatar
Charlie Richardson
4 months ago

We are who we are as we are born; we are not who we want to be in that respect.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago

Thank you, for many that is a very difficult statement to hear.

avatar
Swimmer
4 months ago

I started swim during Covid in an outdoor pool, that included Masters Swimmers. We were initially all allowed to reserve 1 hr of lane time. Most people train with a mile a day. Then about 16 months ago the club reduced the time to 45 minute blocks. None of the women in the club which includes several former NCAA swimmers in their 40-60 s can make a mile in 45 minutes. All the men, even non collegiate swimmers make the 45 minutes. They have let the Masters group keep their hour time frame. But the rest of us women continue to be out raged. I swim every single day and after 19 months am finallly right at 1 hr for a mile. I have recently swam 1750 meters right at an hour swimming next to a retired navy seal who swam a very sleath stroke with little turbulence. ( he did 2 miles). There is a clear difference in Male and female swimmers. Just look at wing span. I am 5’6 I swim next to an Auburn University swimmer that is 6’5 or so. I have long arms and legs but he has another foot on me. One of my friends was an NCAA swimmer at North Carolina although her back is still ripped at 53 it does not compare to the male Auburn swimmer. She was the more elite swimmer. He is faster.

avatar
Penni
4 months ago

Is it time for a peaceful protest? All women who play or have ever played a sport (of all ages) march on UPENN.

avatar
Scott
4 months ago

All I know is the very successful men’s swim team at my alma mater was shut down and the woman’s team still exists as a result of Title IX. I guess it’s OK to deny male athletic careers for the greater good.

avatar
Alfred
4 months ago
Reply to  Scott

And your alma mater is what? Be nice to know.

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago

The LGBTQ+ Organization gets millions if not billions a year. They should have enough money to start their own leagues.

avatar
Thom Thumb
4 months ago

Men are men, boys are boys and girls and/or women they never will be – no matter how many surgeries or dope you pump in them. The opposite is true too. It isn’t about swimming and competing – it is science/biology and being too timid to say that being transgender is #$%@#. I can have gills surgically implanted, but that doesn’t make me a fish!

avatar
Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Thom Thumb

Amen to that!!

avatar
MK
4 months ago

Girls and Women’s sports should protest. All women and girls on teams that have transgender athletes should quit the team and let the school try to have a woman’s or girls team with one transgender athlete.

avatar
Kim
4 months ago

A man will always be a man and same for a woman. That cannot be changed. Trans women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports.

avatar
Charrise
4 months ago

Wonderful forum.It simply comes down to acknowledging what God created a person to be from the moment of conception.We know what we see…this is a man who still processes all the physical attributes of a man no matter what his mind and heart want to be.He might convince his own self but when does that mean that everyone around him has to agree that “the emperor has on a new suit of clothes…when in reality he as naked as a new born babe!”

avatar
Richard
4 months ago

If you extrapolate Scientific knowledge in developmental biology one can imagine in the not too distant future the equivalent of a genetically modified NBA team based on ,for example ,Steph Curry, who are from a young age carefully nurtured both nutritionally and psychologically as they undertake a lifelong training . One might also guess that These superbly engineered athletes will dominate their sport. The only solution seems to be segregation of genetically modified athletes from the others. This is the whole Gatica equation. So too,trans women and trans men should be allowed into competition with other trans women and trans men. That seems to restore the fairness of competition.

avatar
Georgy Mazeppa
4 months ago

I think she’s right, just have categories for all the recognized genders including the transitional ones. Women enjoy competition and sports, and they should have the opportunity to compete at collegiate and elite levels.

avatar
He-woman She-thing
4 months ago

If I was to add doses of chemicals, which aren’t naturally occurring, to my body can I label myself whatever I want? If I still have the genetic body parts of one sex and none of the other, can I flip-flop between sexes if it suits me, but hinders my competition? Where does the hypocrisy stop? What is the line? What if I added chemicals that altered my DNA and allowed me to breath underwater, is that too far? Webbed feet? Fins for hands? By acceptance of Frankenstein’s creations you open up Pandora’s Box of problems and create more heartbreak for the majority of natural competitors. Facts over Feelings! Science before Shemales.

avatar
S jones
4 months ago

Society cant have it both ways. You cant say a person can chg their gender and we are all forced to call a he a she, and then try and claim its not fair in sports. By claiming it is unfair you are also saying that gender is as much biological as mental. Sorry you cant have it both ways. Is a guy wants to wear a dress and take hormones, fine, its a free country. But there are consequences to your actions.

avatar
Theodore W Bratro
4 months ago

Have swum, not swam

avatar
Andrew
4 months ago

She shall compete against boys…final. she was born a male…is going to dye a male. What if in the future they creat human like robots ? They are going to compete against humans? Everybody okay with that?…so boys and girls are not the same…l dont them mixed in other sports…final

avatar
Stuart
4 months ago

“…Transgender women should be allowed to compete in women’s athletics…”
So what this statement says is that men should be allowed to compete against women since “transgender women” are men . And that is not fair and should never happen. Lia Thomas is man.

avatar
Samantha
4 months ago

Nancy Hogshead-Makar quit calling yourself an equal rights lawyer, you are a TERF queen and your services to the feminist movement are no longer required.

avatar
Amy
4 months ago
Reply to  Samantha

I don’t want men in my races and I don’t want men in my locker room, so if that makes me a TERF, bring it on.

avatar
Season
4 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Lia is a woman and not a man. It is rude to call her a man. If you don’t want her in the same locker room, you should leave that room. Transphobic.

avatar
Alfreda
4 months ago
Reply to  Amy

Season–this is exactly why trans are having acceptance problems. Thinking that your beliefs automatically supercede others and if someone doesn’t like them they have to leave is not only rude, it’s not really sane. It’s more than rude to expect someone to call a man a woman if they don’t believe it. What are you going to do? Sue everyone to force them to see you as you see yourself? Cancel them on social media? Try to ruin their lives? SMDH

avatar
Chris
4 months ago

Comparing Lia to the East Germans is not only ignorant it’s dangerous.

avatar
Sam's Hot Car Lot
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

How is it ignorant, let alone dangerous?

The East German women were given dangerous drugs that increased their testosterone to give them a significant advantage over other female competitors.

Lia has a significant advantage over female competitors because of the testosterone produced in puberty.

The only difference here is how the extra testosterone was produced.

avatar
OceanSpirit
4 months ago

These women athletes are racing against a man. Have you seen his shoulders? I’m so tired of people tap dancing around the words and grammar we use to explain what’s happening. Lia can decide in his mind that he wants to be a woman but he will never be one because he’s a MAN. When he competed on the men’s team he was ranked somewhere like 462. He transitions to be “called” a woman, joins the women’s team and is now ranked number 1. LIA THOMAS IS A CHEATER. End of story. All of his wins have a big fat asterisk next to them. They are not legitimate. If he were still racing against men, we wouldn’t even know his name.

avatar
Patti
4 months ago

I agree with you OceanSpirit. I couldn’t believe the size of his shoulders! Men are biologically different from women and gives men advantage!! This is not fair to the women athletes.