Following the Tokyo Summer Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to revise “outdated” rules governing transgender athletes. During a roundtable discussion with reporters, the IOC invoked numerous references to science that indicate it has no clue on what sound science even looks like pertaining to gender.
Richard Budgett, the IOC’s medical and scientific director, said it’s important to remember that “transgender women are women. So you’ll include all women, if you possibly can.” Surely, he must have skipped biology classes.
Yahoo’s Henry Bushnell editorialized that “many experts” are downplaying the idea that the inclusion of trans women is a broad threat to women’s sports. Budgett is one of them, calling it “overstated.”
Additionally, the IOC said – with no apparent irony – that it had consulted with Joanna Harper, a transgender runner-turned-scientist. She’s got no dog in the fight? Nah.
Harper did concede that male strength advantages persisted after three years of hormone therapy. “How much is retained is still largely in doubt,” she says, “oblivious to the hulking New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.
The IOC’s grasp on science slips further away with this concession reported by Yahoo. Budgett said the future new IOC guidelines on transgender athletes will be a “balance between safety, inclusion and fairness.” It’s certainly news to the scientific community that “inclusion” is now going to be a part of scientific equations. Check LGBT pressure off the threat assessment list.
Experts who spoke with Yahoo Sports also identified two major shortcomings in IOC policy. (That’s all? Really?) Testosterone-related rules need revising, and one set of guidelines should not by applied to numerous Olympic sports.
Current guidelines require a so-called “transgender woman” to undergo hormone therapy and suppress her testosterone below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.”
Two scientists who’ve consulted with the IOC think that’s too high. One of them is, not surprisingly, transgender-turned-scientist Harper. She and Myron Genel, a Yale endocrinologist, think it should only be 5 nanomoles per liter. They called it a “reasonable threshold” to lower the barriers for what constitutes a woman in the judgment of the IOC.
Hemoglobin levels are also taken into consideration by these gender benders. Go-to-trans-scientist Harper says so-called “transgender women” can arrive at female levels of hemoglobin within four months. Hemoglobin is a crucial physiological factor in an athlete’s endurance.
So now, enabling a male’s gender confusion and reducing his endurance just so he can compete in female sports is supposed to be honoring and inclusive? In the upside down world of the IOC, our old, outdated determinants of gender need to be set aside. We should no longer look at Hubbard and see Gavin (his birth name) or his brawn. It’s the hidden things we cannot see, like testosterone and hemoglobin levels, that make a man a woman.
The IOC also stressed the need for more science. To which we will add its need for objective scientists.