On February 29, Megan Youngren made sports history. Not by breaking a world record, or by overcoming a particularly devastating injury. No, Youngren became the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.
As is almost always the case with athletes competing across gender lines, Youngren is a biological male who attempted to make the U. S. Olympics women’s team. And even though Youngren didn’t make the cut, no doubt he is just the first of many men who will try to seek Olympic glory by competing against women.
And that means there’s more than a good chance we’ll find ourselves in conversations about the fairness of biological men in women’s sports.
The latest in our “What Would You Say?” video series tackles this question. Each video offers clear, articulate, and useable answers to tough cultural issues like this one. Here’s just part of the latest video, with Joseph Backholm’s response to the question of men competing as women:
First, allowing biological males to compete with girls ignores real physical differences.
Men have, on average, 36% more muscle mass than women. Men tend to be taller, and their bones are thicker and denser. Conversely, women have lower lung volume and lower airflow capacity because they have smaller lungs and airway diameter.
The fastest men are faster than the fastest women. Likewise, the strongest men are stronger than the strongest women, even if they are in the same weight class. These biological realities are the reason men’s and women’s sports have long been separated.
Which leads us to the second point.
Allowing boys to compete with girls denies girls the chance to compete on a level playing field.
In just the last two years, two biological males have won 15 girls track and field championships in Connecticut. These same two male athletes have participating in 40 qualifying events, filling slots that otherwise would have been filled by girls who are biologically female. Over their two remaining years of high school career, they are likely to erase many more females from the high school record books as well.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera