You’re in a conversation and someone says, “Transgender athletes should be able to participate on whatever sports teams they choose. Girls’ sports should be open to anyone who says they are female.” What would you say? Some people think that gender is determined by how you feel and identify, not by your biology. So, if someone feels and identifies as female, then they are female and should be allowed the same opportunities as every other female, including the right to compete on female sports teams. *Citations*
1. Two boys who identify as girls have recently won 15 girls track-and-field titles. (June 17, 2019), https://bit.ly/2Yg0S6A.
2. Mary Gregory stripped of 9 world records after entering female weightlifting competition: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/16/stripped-womens-records-transgender-powerlifter-asks-where-do-we-draw-line/
3. “There is a 10-12% difference between male and female athletic performance”. Tim Layden, Is it fair for Caster Semenya to compete against women at the Rio Olympics?, SI (Aug. 11, 2016)
4. Men have, on average, 36% greater skeletal muscle mass than women. Ian Jansen, Steven B. Heymsfiled, ZiMian Wang, and Robert Ross, Skeletal muscle mass and distribution in 468 men and women aged 18-88 yr, 89 J. Applied Physiology 81, 85-86 (July 2000), available at https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ jappl.2000.89.1.81. 11
5. Men are taller than women. Opening ‘the X-files’ helped researchers to understand why women and men differ in height, ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2014), https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140207083836. htm (discussing a study showing how the X chromosome may impact height in women).
6. Men have thicker and denser bones than women. Jeri W Nieves, Carmelo Formica, Jamie Ruffing, Marsha Zion, Patricia Garrett, Robert Lindsay, Felicia Cosman, Males Have Larger Skeletal Size and Bone Mass Than Females, Despite Comparable Body Size, 20 J. of Bone and Mineral Res. 529 (Dec. 4, 2009) (discussing how males have higher lean mass, bone mineral content, and bone mineral density than females).
7. Female athletes have lower lung volume and maximal expiratory airflow rates than their biologically male counter-parts on account of small lungs and airway diameter. See Anthony C. Hackney, ed., Sex Hormones, Exercise and Women: Scientific and Clinical Aspects, at 21-23 (Springer 2017).
8. The fastest men are faster than the fastest women. Olympic Game Records, IAAF, https://www.iaaf.org/records/ by-category/olympic-games-records (last visited Aug. 21, 2019).
9. The strongest men are stronger than the strongest women. Compare Olympic Records, IWF, https://www.iwf.net/results/olympic-records/ (reporting, for example, a total of 357 kg lifted in the 69 kg category), with Women’s Olympic Records, IWF, https://www.iwf.net/results/ olympicrecords/?ranking_curprog=current&ranking_gender=w &x=8&y=5&y=12 (last visited Aug. 21, 2019) (reporting a total of 286 kg lifted in the 69 kg category).
10. Prior to Title IX, only four percent of girls played organized sports. The She Network, https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/education/ title-ix-and-the-rise-of-female-athletes-in-america/ (last visited Aug. 21, 2019)
11. Today forty percent of girls participate in organized sports. The She Network, https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/education/ title-ix-and-the-rise-of-female-athletes-in-america/ (last visited Aug. 21, 2019)
12. In 1972, 295,000 girls competed in high school sports, compared with 3.67 million boys. Fred Bowen, Title IX has helped encourage many girls to play sports, Washington Post (June 20, 2012), https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/title-ix-hashelped-encourage-many-girls-to-playsports/2012/06/20/gJQAR xx3qV_story.html.
13. In 2010-2011, that number had risen to 3.2 million girls, compared with 4.5 million boys. Fred Bowen, Title IX has helped encourage many girls to play sports, Washington Post (June 20, 2012), https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/title-ix-hashelped-encourage-many-girls-to-playsports/2012/06/20/gJQAR xx3qV_story.html.
14. As of 2012, almost 200,000 women played college sports, many of them on scholarship. Bowen, supra n.22. The broader benefits of athletic participation for women are widely acknowledged. Female high school athletes are more likely to graduate from high school, get better grades, and be healthier, than girls who do not participate in sports and are less likely to get into trouble. Id. Athletic participation also creates life-long opportunities for women. See Haley Samsel, USA Today (June 23, 2017),https://www.usatoday.com/story/college/2017/06/23/title-ixturns-45-today-its-impact-goes-beyond-women-playing-sports/ 37433427/