Andrew Sullivan on women’s sports and the testosterone issue

I’m spending more time reading Andrew Sullivan’s Friday columns in New York Magazine than I used to, as he takes a refreshingly thoughtful and non-ideological approach to many topics. Once a conservative and frequent writer on things religious (he’s a gay Catholic), he seems to be getting more liberal and less religious. I’m hoping he’ll end up a centrist/liberal secular humanist, but maybe I’m dreaming.

Sullivan covers three issues a week, and this week’s topics are the dilemma of women athletes with high testosterone, big pharma and its expensive medicine, and extinction. The first topic occupies most of the article, and is something Sullivan has written about before, as have I (see some of the article here). Click on the screenshot to read this week’s column.

Let me first adduce two things that I believe. First, there is absolutely a connection between testosterone level and upper body strength when talking about the difference between men and women. This explains why we don’t have men and women competing together in sports. (Women’s sports are essential as a way to empower women and allow them to exercise a penchant for athletics.) Those who deny the influence of this hormone are being intellectually dishonest. Sullivan agrees with me here.

Second, “self identification” as a woman, if you’re a male, is not good enough to allow you to compete in women’s sports. In Connecticut, for instance, a biological male who self identifies as a woman, without any surgery, hormone treatment, or anything else save an assertion, can compete in women’s sports. The results are predictable—and a shambles. Two biological males who identify as women, without any surgery or hormone treatment, took first and second place in the state indoor track championships. Sixteen other states have the same regulation. That’s palpably unfair to women, and I have to say that the girls who were beaten in Connecticut were remarkably sportsmanlike (I guess I should say “sportswomanlike”).

Even with treatment it becomes a conundrum, as testosterone reduction therapy doesn’t completely reverse the strength acquired in biological males after puberty.

It’s even more dubious with intersexes like Caster Semenya, who is a biological male of sorts, having an XY chromosome and apparently internal testes that produce testosterone (she’s an “intersex” with levels of testosterone well outside the range of biological women). Ergo, she beats all the women. What do you do in a case like that? My provisional solution, offered a long time ago, was to have yet a third category of competition for athletes of intermediate sex, but that seems weird, too, as there would be few competitors.

Sullivan is also “torn,” as he says, but is on board with the new standards that designate “men” and “women” in sports using testosterone level, which shows no overlap between biological males and females. That’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than allowing just “self identification” as a criterion.

That’s all I’ll say for now before I give a few quotes from Sullivan, which are thoughtful:

I’m torn, to be perfectly honest. There is no satisfactory conclusion here: Semenya has done nothing wrong, and neither have her competitors. The CAS acknowledged that it was forced either to discriminate against Semenya or against all the other women in her sport. So they worked out a compromise that doesn’t really please anyone, but that’s designed to keep competition as fair as possible. It seems a reasonable balance to me, but it has been widely excoriated, especially in the mainstream media.

A bevy of arguments against the compromise have been provided. The first is that testosterone is no big deal when it comes to athletic ability. Men and women both have testosterone after all, and some in each sex have naturally higher levels than others. So why force someone to take meds — with side effects — when they are merely above average in one particular characteristic among the many that ultimately affect athletic performance? This appears to be the driving point behind a recent New York Times op-ed, “The Myth of Testosterone.” The authors — both professors who adhere to social-justice ideology — make some decent points. They usefully complicate the impact of testosterone on performance in differing sports, note that its effects are far more varied and subtle than mere physical strength. They then argue that “the International Association of Athletics Federations’ own analysis of testosterone and performance, involving more than 1,100 women competing in track and field events, shows that for six of the 11 running events, women with lower testosterone actually did better than those with higher levels.” Then this: “In other words, for most sports, testosterone levels do not correlate with superior performance.”

To put it mildly, this is bonkers. Women have a range of 0.3–2.4 npl, and we know that Semenya must have more than 5 npl, or the regulations would not apply to her. Men, in contrast, have a range from 10–38 npl. There’s not even an overlap. The range among women is tiny compared with the difference between men and women. Of course testosterone correlates with superior performance! That’s the entire reason we have separate contests for the two sexes. And the entire reason we forbid doping. How the New York Times could publish this deeply misleading sentence (to be polite) is beyond me.

Well, we all know that the new New York Times is woke, edging slowly toward HuffPost ideology. This isn’t the first misleading stuff they’ve published on the topic, or on other topics.

Two more quotes. The first calls out the ACLU for intellectual dishonesty (check out their quote):

The deeper question for me is why anyone would try to insist that biology is largely irrelevant in, of all arenas, sports. I can see trying to minimize biological sex differences in many, many areas where the distinction is trivial — but something as obviously physically rooted as athletics? It’s almost perverse. An ACLU blog post defending the participation of trans girls in school sports states that there is “ample evidence that girls can compete and win against boys,” but somehow avoids the conclusion that there should therefore be all-sexes leagues or contests, where men, women, and intersex people can all compete together. Or you can have an article in Deadspin which ridicules any idea of a testosterone advantage for trans women:

And, finally, this referring to philosophy professor Rachel McKinnon’s claim (in Deadspin) that the “unfair advantages of male puberty” are based not on science but on “social perceptions of gender.”

The idea that there is “absolutely no scientific evidence” that male puberty dramatically increases the physical strength of boys compared with girls is, well, unhinged. It’s the left’s version of climate change denial.

And for what? Why are the differences between men and women on average so offensive? Why is it problematic that men are physically stronger on average than women? Why should strength have some kind of normative value? I honestly cannot understand.

I suspect it’s related to postmodernism’s attempt to turn everything in the world into something humans have created and can therefore control. “Nature” is outside that rubric and so must be interrogated and deconstructed until it has been whittled away to nothing. Even science is a social construction, the argument goes, and so any advantage conferred by testosterone must be entirely a function of patriarchy. “Gender” absorbs “sex” altogether. But even if you end patriarchy, you are never going to end sex difference.

Well, the “bonkers” claims may reflect an influence of postmodernism, but also the influence of a new blank-slate-ism: an aversion to and denial of biological differences that, think the Authoritarian Leftists, would somehow justify sexism, racism, and bigotry. But, as I’ve said a gazillion times before, they don’t have to, and we should keep emphasizing that. It’s better to explain the science and integrate it into a liberal morality than to deny the science and integrate your denialism into an ideology resting on how you’d like the world to be.

61 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    “he seems to be getting more liberal and less religious”

    [ apologies for the off-topic comment ]

    I wonder if observing religion for what it is requires ditching it entirely – nothing extra need be embraced. I think the recent chatter about the Aslan/Dennett/Schweiker discussion prompted it.

  2. Posted May 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Many folks seem not to understand that sex is usually defined in three distinct ways – chromosomal sex, gonadal sex, and phenotypic sex. Only phenotypic sex is fluid.

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      There is also orientation sex. Cis- and transgender, plus a spectrum of orientations in between. But perhaps I am referring to gender. The terms get confusing.

      • Posted May 12, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes it does get confusing. Defining sex is fairly straightforward when compared to defining sexual orientation and gender.

  3. Christopher
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Is there anything wrong with having a third (or fourth) category for competitions? Why not have men’s, women’s, and intersex categories? Either expand the categories or eliminate them completely and see who dominates the records and medal winnings.

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      An intersex category would not work: sport with only a handful of entrants is not interesting.

      The sensible solution is two categories: “Open”, and “unambiguously women” (so that intersex people and trans people compete in the “open” category).

      • Christopher
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        A sport with only a handful of entrants not interesting? In an age where people watch other people play poker and video games? Don’t underestimate the power of stupid people and sporting events. Need further proof? Curling. Or how about fantasy sports leagues. People are interested in plenty of uninteresting things. Why else would slack jawed yokels get into fist fights over little league games?

        As for intersex vs open, whatever you call it I don’t care. Have masculine female and feminine male categories, whatever.

      • Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        At professional level I don’t see a functional difference between ‘open’ and simply ‘male’. It sounds inclusive but it just means they’ll be excluded by their performance instead of by a rule. There are no intersex conditions that are going to make women compete at professional male levels. Caster Semenya would not qualify in male competitions.

        As to transwomen, lowering testosterone will make them uncompetitive compared with other biological males, while transmen taking male hormones are biologically indistinguishable from women that are doping.

        • Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          True, intersex people would not be competitive in an “open” category, but transwomen who don’t want to lower their testosterone could be.

          • Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Transwomen who don’t want to lower their testosterone can compete against men anyway – by virtue of being biologically male.

            Transwomen competing against men has never been an issue for male competitors. It has only been an issue for transwomen who insist on competing against women.

            • Posted May 13, 2019 at 1:31 am | Permalink

              Yes, that’s the issue, transwomen with male bodies who don’t want to take testosterone-suppression drugs and who want to compete against women. (Rachel McKinnon is in this category.)

              The advantage of an “open” category over a “male” category is that such people can be invited to compete in the “open” category without thereby implying that they are “men”.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        “An intersex category would not work: sport with only a handful of entrants is not interesting.”

        Seems to work for the paralympics. But I agree, it’s not interesting (except for those directly involved).

        But this is why you have ‘classes’ in many competitions. Generally, the public isn’t interested in ‘class’ winners, but it’s great for the competitors themselves, who have people of roughly equal ability to compete with.

        And why the women’s ‘class’ shouldn’t be nullified by letting intersex/transwomen in.

        cr

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      There’s no such thing as being merely ‘intersex’.

      ‘Intersex’ is an umbrella term for wildly varying conditions.

      Should a man with Klinefelter’s Syndrome compete with a woman with Turner’s Syndrome?

      How about a man with diphallia (two penises) vs a man with 5 alpha reductase deficiency?

      How about micropenises vs cliteromagaly?

      Do you have different leagues depending on how partial an athlete’s partial androgen insensitivity syndrome is?

      • Christopher
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I want a micropenis vs cliteromegaly category. Who wouldn’t want to see who enters that race?
        You’re being absurd, I never said “merely intersex”, but fine, blow my rather simple statement all out of proportion. Maybe we need thousands of categories like in the Paralympic Games, frankly I don’t care. Or better yet, anyone who wants to compete in any sport wins just for showing up. Everyone gets a Gaylord Focker 9th place ribbon!

        • Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t say you said ‘merely intersex’. I was pointing out that a separate category for ‘intersex’ would be absurd. It’s not a solution. It’s the kind of thing proposed by people who want to be nice. The fact is there isn’t a solution that is going to work for everyone. What is currently at stake is sport for half the world’s population. We just might have to face the fact that certain people’s biology means that they can’t compete professionally. I’ve come to terms with the fact that being a couch potato means I don’t get to compete in the Olympics either.

  4. Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    And, finally, this referring to philosophy professor Rachel McKinnon’s claim (in Deadspin) that the “unfair advantages of male puberty” are based not on science but on “social perceptions of gender.”

    The proof that McKinnon is talking carp is… McKinnon. Nobody had heard of McKinnon till they changed their pronouns. There was no male McKinnon competing in professional cycling competitions who then transitioned to female sport at the same level.

    McKinnon has also apparently become a record breaking female weight lifter. What are the chances of being a champion in both sports? How many male cyclists are also world class male weight-lifters?

    • Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Incidentally, McKinnon is the author of The Norms of Assertion: Truth, Lies, and Warrant

      From the publisher’s own description:

      When we make claims to each other, we’re asserting. But what does it take to assert well? Do we need to know what we’re talking about? This book argues that we don’t. In fact, it argues that in some special contexts, we can lie.

      https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137521712

  5. FB
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that what Authoritarian Leftists really hate is feminine beauty -the greatest of all unearned privileges, IMO.

    • yazikus
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that what Authoritarian Leftists really hate is feminine beauty

      Do you have any evidence of this? Suggesting that athleticism decreases feminine beauty is something we’ve long heard from the patriarchal right, but not as a thing to be celebrated on the left, as far as I am aware.

      • FB
        Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think I’m suggesting that athleticism decreases feminine beauty? Nothing beats feminine athletic beauty, IMO.

        • yazikus
          Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Then I misunderstood & my apologies – where does the left hating ‘feminine beauty’ come in to this conversation?

          • FB
            Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            They hate inequality. The problem is that the greatest of all inequalities -female beauty, IMO- is natural. Do you think they want Caster Semenya in the 800s because they care about fairness and inclusivity? Of course not, they hate something. I believe they hate female beauty.

            • yazikus
              Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

              The problem is that the greatest of all inequalities -female beauty,

              I think I’m going to have to just disagree on this one.

              • Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

                I have seen pro-Semenya pundits accuse their interlocutors of clinging to backwards/traditional/white-centric ideals of feminine beauty.

  6. yazikus
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    was to have yet a third category of competition for athletes of intermediate sex, but that seems weird, too, as there would be few competitors.

    I like the idea of a third category – not just limited to intersex folks, but anyone who wants to compete outside of gender categories.

  7. Jimbo
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I wish those engaging in this argument would not simply lump testosterone in with other performance-enhancing drugs (the unfair advantage in sport argument) because there are many types and mechanisms-of-action. The argument is not whether some women can beat men, it is whether testosterone itself (and synthetic, anabolic steroids) substantially enhance an individual’s performance beyond their normal ability is a scientific fact. That women (e.g. bodybuilders) build greater muscle, perform better, and heal faster after taking testosterone/steroids than they otherwise would is beyond debate. In other words, “masculinizing” a woman with testosterone supplements alone makes her perform better is unimpeachable. Hell, it improves men’s performance too and they already make a lot of it. Thus, invoking male puberty, culture, society, the patriarchy, etc. as the reason for women underperforming men is demonstrably false.

  8. loren russell
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    “..there is absolutely a connection between testosterone level and upper body strength when talking about the difference between men and women..”

    The advantage for biological males may be more visually evident above the waist, but leg power is unequal as well. There is a 10-12% time differential for bio-males over bio-females at the elite level in running events all the way from 100m to the marathon.

    • Jimbo
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      This must be true for all sports. Of all the Olympic games, is there any instance of a woman’s time, speed, height, distance, etc. beating that of a man from the same era? I doubt it but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

      • Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        The only sports women have an advantage in are those relying on flexibility rather than speed or strength, such as gymnastics – and it doesn’t seem like transwomen are sweeping the boards in those competitions. It’s specifically the strength and speed categories that they are dominating. It’s almost like they know these are the sports they have an advantage in.

        • loren russell
          Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Even in gymnastics, women would not be able to compete in the men’s power events [tho Flo happens to be better on the rings than I am.]

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted May 12, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          “Almost like they know’ hehehe, 😁😁😁

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Since women are fatter than men, I guess they should be better at long distance swimming, but I’m not sure they actually are, nor is it an Olympic sport .

  9. JezGrove
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    All highly successful athletes are outliers, almost by definition. (Just look at the average height and shoe size of professional basketball players.) I struggle to see how someone with one kind of natural physical advantage is accepted, but another – like Caster Semenya – isn’t. And when it comes to mental attributes that are more difficult to measure – such as the ability to push yourself beyond limits in training that would have most of us calling it a day – where do we even begin to draw a line? And should we?

    • aljones909
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Caster Semenya isn’t a female “outlier”. “She” is fundamentally a biological male (XY chromosone) with a developmental problem which stopped the male genitalia forming.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

    • Dewo Vasid
      Posted May 13, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      I think the difference between testosterone and the other advantages is that this advantage is basically the reason for the separate category. Meaning, if there was a long-limbed and a short-limbed basketball league, then having someone that was born short-armed but developed long arms should not be allowed to play in the long-limbed league.

  10. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I think the IAAF ‘compromise” is generous, too generous even. They accept an arbitrary 5 nMole/L , about three times the normal female level (males have about 10-30 nMol/L).
    Of course it is not like cheating as East Germany did with their female athletes, pumping them full of anabolic steroids.
    On the other hand, it is cheating, Ms Semenya (only one of several) is a biological male with some female sex characteristics.
    (I mean she looks like a man, sounds like a man, runs like a man and is married to a woman).
    If women’s sport as a separate category is to be continued, we cannot allow biological males to compete. It is a lose-lose situation.
    If we look at the numbers, compare the injustice done to biological women (close to 50% of the population) to the injustice done to the ‘intersexuals’ (less than 1 % of the population), the choice should be clear.
    I’d ban any biological male (presence of a Y chromosome) from female competition (‘trans’- athletes should be banned from female competition without saying). Banning is not fair to the likes of Semenya, Pramanik, Wambui or Nyonsaba, but the unfairness to biological females should take precedence, immo.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 12, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Looking up on male ‘female’ athletes, I was struck by the nearly ubiquitous fallacy that sex is not binary, but completely fluid.

  11. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Whenever you establish ‘classes’ or restrictions in a sport, to try and give competitors of equal abilities the chance to compete against each other without being swamped by those of ‘superior’ ability or taking unconventional measures, there will be someone trying to push the limits.

    This happens with the definition of ‘women’, as in this thread. It happened with Oscar Pistorius (the ‘blade runner’), until he murdered his girlfriend – how big a ‘blades’ do you have before you have an unfair advantage? It happens with the definition of ‘professional’ versus ‘amateur’. It happens with allowable levels of certain drugs.

    There will always be aggrieved would-be competitors who fall outside the limits. It’s their bad luck, but their ‘rights’ do not extend to disadvantaging everyone else. It’s absurd to cast the problem in terms of discrimination as some SJW’s are doing in this case.

    cr

  12. Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    The advantage that Semenya has is that she is biologically male.

    Having testes instead of ovaries does not make her a statistical outlier on the female distribution curve.

    On what grounds would you include her but exclude other biological males?

    • Richard Sanderson🤴
      Posted May 13, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      “The advantage that Semenya has is that she is biologically male.”

      You would be amazed how many New Creationists don’t know this fact, or fail to mention it.

  13. Caldwell
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Rachel McKinnon is an XY male.

    When in doubt about female competitors, they should just test on chromosomes; if XX, then they can compete in women’s competitions, otherwise it’s “open”.

  14. Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    What about, trans genders have their own category. Sure compete with females as a way of improving and motivation but their performance is only recorded under that category. Because of numbers (competitors) in that category it would be left to build over time and that is their competition. It can be international or national, or more likely, both and this i think, provides the will to better the performance. There will always be new comers and records to compete against, athletes push themselves and if you want to be top dog for ever and a day, you can’t sit on your arse.
    They compete against times in that category or/and, except a time penalty e.g. say in a race worked out from the best times from the field on that day, some sort of average? and helps keep some sort of spontaneity, excitement for the athlete on the day’ Most athletes would have know best times and it’s not perfect but this doesn’t matter because of the variables of athletes (injuries, form) hungover ? smirk) on any given day. Not perfect and i’m not good at math so no idea how this would be done, just taking a stab.
    If you think this unfair, take a look at the duckworth lewis stern method developed for one day cricket. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duckworth%E2%80%93Lewis%E2%80%93Stern_method

  15. rickflick
    Posted May 12, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I am torn too, but I look at it from a pragmatic view. First women’s sports should be as fair as possible – a level playing field, but we shouldn’t worry too much about someone who does not fit a narrowly set standard definition. Someone who wants to be a women basketball player, but is only 4 feet tall, or lacks skill, shouldn’t be accepted on the team just because she want’s to play. Though he/she may be disappointment, millions of other people won’t qualify either. Why worry?

    A closer analogy would be boxing where weight divisions keep matches fair. Likewise, someone with abnormally high testosterone levels (or who have taken performance enhancing drugs) should not be included with those within a normal range. It’s just a fact that they disrupt the fairness of a level playing field. It’s as simple as that. Not everyone can be a competitive athlete. It may be sad for some that as adults, we don’t compete against children so we can win all the prizes. I don’t understand why anyone with an unfair advantage would want to defeat others who have a hand tied behind their back. Where’s the sense of pride in that? Discrimination is part of fairness in this situation.

  16. Posted May 13, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure there would be “few competitors”. At least three 800 meter gold medalists in th elast couple of decades were intersex and those are just the ones who were open about it. A radical solution would be a “third sexer” category of sports. This would establish, in many peoples minds, that third sexers were definitely a thing…

  17. Posted May 13, 2019 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    The BBC Inside Science with Adam Rutherford has covered this Semanya issue a bit recently – available as a podcast –
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004mfv

  18. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 13, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I was listening to Adam Rutherford’s take on this in last Thursday’s “Inside Science” broadcast (it’ll be podcast somewhere too) about the Somebody Somebody testosterone case. They seemed to be struggling to find some way out of the “this destroys separating sports into male and female categories” quandary, without ever explaining why it was a bad thing.
    So, re-classify sports either by body mass, leg length, or something relevant to the sport. What’s the loss?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        It’s predicated on the concept that “sport is worth preserving, immutable, unchanged, as it was in my granddaddy’s day”. I’ve never accepted that argument.
        If the natural variability of people undermines the basis of a long-established custom – say, marriage, or sport – then that custom will eventually have to change.

    • aljones909
      Posted May 13, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      The loss would be that you would end up with the equivalent of the Special Olympics. i.e. a multiplicity of categories. Say 20 different Gold Medals for the 800 metres. All because a tiny number of biological males wan’t to compete in women’s sport.
      Who’d want to watch?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        And the loss would be?

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted May 13, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Loss of interest.

        • aljones909
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

          Maybe you don’t watch sport much. I think a poll of paying customers would be massively against fragmenting all sports into a myriad of categories.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

            I don’t watch human sport at all. School sports cured me of that disease.

            • Filippo
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

              Same here, especially after I tore knee cartilage at basketball practice and had to have knee surgery.

              Considering the culture of sports, it costs a fan, sitting on his hind end in the stands and genuflecting before the altar of the religion of sports, nothing if a player incurs a permanent, debilitating and career-ending injury.

  19. Curtis
    Posted May 13, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    The best example of why transwomen should not be able to compete as women in athletics is the most famous Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner.

    At the 1976 Olympics, Jenner won the decathlon easily. By my calculation, Jenner would have been able to win 9 individual gold medals in the women’s events (100M, 200M, 400M, high jump, long jump, discus, shot put, javelin and heptathlon). I do not believe a woman has ever won three individual track and field medals in one Olympic game.

    If Jenner had competed as a woman, it would have been a travesty.

    • Richard Sanderson🤴
      Posted May 13, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      The argument the New Creationists respond with is that Jenner would have been given hormone reduction treatment, etc.

      That would magically erase any advantage…..

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted May 13, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        What down to less than 10 NMol/L for 1 year?
        That would have erased a lifetime of elite male physiology.

        No.

        Even less than 5?
        No.

  20. Richard Sanderson🤴
    Posted May 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This issue has really helped to weed out a few more “skeptics”, and exposed them as the equivalent of flat-earthers.

    The number of times I’ve heard nonsense arguments about Michael Phelps and lactic acid, and then had to explain to people that athletics is not divided by levels of lactic acid, height, arm length, power of flatulence, etc. has really being astonishing.

    Among the new group of flat-earthers are the likes of PZ Myers (we already knew) and Peter “Humanisticus” Ferguson.

  21. Filippo
    Posted May 13, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    ” . . . Caster Semenya, who is a biological male of sorts, having an XY chromosome and apparently internal testes that produce testosterone (she’s an “intersex” with levels of testosterone well outside the range of biological women). . . we all know that the new New York Times is woke . . . This isn’t the first misleading stuff they’ve published on the topic . . . .”

    In the last couple of months its seems I can’t get read any NYT article of some length to know. Regarding its Semenya article, did NYT (grudgingly) acknowledge Semenya’s above internal male gonadal status?


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