Instigator / Pro

THBT Transgender People Should be Allowed to Compete in Sports


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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Better arguments
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After 1 vote and with the same amount of points on both sides...

It's a tie!
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Contender / Con

Transgender: denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex

Sports: an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Burden of proof is shared.

Round 1
I have very little time left, but I have an undefeatable argument:
  • Transgender people are also people and deserve to have similar rights to non-transgender persons
  • Sports is merely another choice that gives people entertainment and allowing transgender means more potential for a variety of entertainment
  • Disallowing transgender to compete in sports means arbitrary discrimination, violating the terms of freedom and equality which democracy is founded upon
  • Transgender people may hold their own sports league in order to avoid any views of "unfair competition"
  • If we continue arbitrarily separating transgender people, we perpetuate biases. For example, that women are always weaker, are supposed to be weaker, and will be inferior to men. [Crux point]
  • We value all people equally and we should not encourage sexism
Pre-emptive expert source that supports crux point, which I will analyze in further detail next round:
Thank you Undefeatable for instigating this debate. I hope we will have a good time and I wish you good luck.


I am not here to argue against transgenders competing in any hypothetical "transgender league". Transgender people can at any time organize themself, whether it be to create a religion, spread their opinion, compete in sports or literally anything else they want to do. Transgender people ARE already allowed to create their own sports divisions and compete there. Since the government isn't preventing transgenders from competing, then it is the sports organizations themselves. THAT IS OUR TOPIC. The question we are asking is whether or not established sports organizations should include transgender people in their respective gender divisions. PRO arguing for anything else would be one big moving the goalpost fallacy.

Here are the definitions PRO missed:

COMPETE: to try to get or win something (such as a prize or reward) that someone else is also trying to win :

ALLOWto permit to regard or treat as acceptable

SHOULD: used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency ought to

With the applicable definitions in mind, this is the most accurate version of the resolution:
Sports organizations have an obligation to treat and regard as acceptable transgender people trying to win prizes and rewards in physical competition 

Here is a list of reasons for which you can be denied the right to compete in sports:
Competition as a concept inherently includes the notion of fairness. Your training, determination and skill should grant you the victory, not the number of drugs you take or the quality of your gear. If somebody has an unfair advantage then their victory would not be fair, ruining the entire point of competition altogether. Sports organizations have every right to ensure that competition stays fair. They SHOULD NOT let cheaters and others with unfair advantages compete simply because those people have human rights. 


Running. Swimming. Rowing. Kayaking. Short distance, long distance. Accomplished in teams or attempted alone.These are such diverse events, requiring different parts of the body and diverse types of talent. And yet they all share something: Their women's speed world records are all about 90 percent of their men's speed world records, in both short, middle and long distances. []

Not only did hundreds and thousands of males outperform the best results of the elite females, they did so thousands and tens of thousands of times.  (Yes, again, that’s the right number of zeros.) The results make clear that sex determines win share. []
Males outperform females across the board with regards to sports. Thousands of men, and hundreds of boys, have personal records that are better than that of the best female athletes in the world. Check out to get a visual and numerical comparison between female elites and high-school boys. The facts are shocking. The best 15-year-old boy in high school was able to run 100m quicker than the world-record-holding female athlete (data from 2016). 

If you know sport, you know this beyond a reasonable doubt: there is an average 10-12% performance gap between elite males and elite females.  The gap is smaller between elite females and non-elite males, but it’s still insurmountable and that’s ultimately what matters.  []
Feel free to check out my sources, learn about the biological reasons for this gap in performance and study the facts and tables for yourself. This is reliable information, not some cherry-picked Onion news article. Men do have an overwhelming physical advantage over women, and this is true in nearly all sports. That's why we have to leagues of sports.


According to Healthline, testosterone is responsible for muscle and bone growth and a lot of other factors contributing to physical capacity. The article goes on to explain how anabolic steroids, the consumption of which would get you banned for cheating in any fair sports league, is actually a synthetic version of testosterone. However, any male body is naturally being exposed to extreme amounts of it during puberty. Many of the advantages gained during male puberty, like a superior bone structure, are irreversible.

Any attempt at levelling the playing field between women and trans-women includes hormonal treatment. What is being done is threatening to one's career as an athlete unless they reduce their bodily capacity. I cannot see how this nearly direct control of a trans person's choices regarding one's body can be morally justified. Even if you were willing to put fairness over morality, hormonal treatment doesn't remove those irreversible advantages gained during puberty.

Transwomen treated with estrogens after completing male puberty experienced only minimal declines in physical performance over 12 months, substantially surpassing average female performance for up to 8 years. [
 This study studied airforce officials with the same training routine. In sports, slight undetectable advantages have big impacts not detectable in such a study.

For trans-men, taking hormonal treatment after puberty won't create the bone structure and other permanent advantages that cis men gained in puberty. Even worse, hormonal treatment for trans-men is nothing except performance-enhancing steroids (read: testosterone). Using these hormones is considered cheating if you are a cisgender person.

“Athletic performance among transgender men matches or exceeds athletic performance for male controls after 1 year on testosterone.” [ibid]
Transgender men actually superseded cis-men in some areas like the amount of sit-ups one could take. And this is only after one year. Nothing suggests your personal performance as a transgender man won't supersede that of an equally trained cisgender man. There is evidence, like this study, concluding that the opposite is true. Transgender men, due to their hormonal therapy, actually have an unfair advantage compared to cis men. 

Not only do trans athletes have unfair advantages compared to cis people, but attempts at removing these advantages are neither fully effective nor morally just. These advantages give transgender people an edge in competition. Essentially, having unfair advantages in sports competition amounts to stealing (consciously or unconsciously) prizes and medals from people that worked harder than you but didn't have those unfair advantages. Human rights don't justify this. In service of fairness, the fundamental requirement for competition in the first place, unfair advantages are totally unacceptable. Trans-people have unfair advantages, and thus should not be allowed to compete.


Transgender people are also people and deserve to have similar rights to non-transgender persons
Having human rights does not mean that you are entitled to participating in sports competition. The sports organizations have every right to ensure that competition stays fair, and they SHOULD NOT let cheaters and others with unfair advantages compete simply because those people have human rights. Competing in sports isn't a human right.

Transgender people may hold their own sports league in order to avoid any views of "unfair competition" 
Transgenders having their own sports league would be a direct result of the resolution being false. To create a separate sports division for transgender people, as PRO suggested, would be to deny transgender people normal treatment. Isn't the entire point of transgender people that they want to be treated as cis people? Why else would they use hormones and make-up and operations to change their appearance?

PRO arguing for a separate league for transgender people will most likely offend transgender people even more than disallowing them to compete. He is asserting that they are not to be treated as normal men and women. Normal men and women would never be allowed to compete with unfair advantages, nor would they get their own sports leagues. Yet PRO argues that trans people should get their own sports league, a direct insult to trans-people that want to be treated like a normal person. PRO's argument is also a moving the goalpost fallacy as I proved earlier.

If we continue arbitrarily separating transgender people, we perpetuate biases. For example, that women are always weaker, are supposed to be weaker, and will be inferior to men.
Contrary to PRO's claim, men being stronger and physically superior to women isn't a "bias" as much as it is a scientifically attested fact. Spreading this knowledge around the world would be equivalent to fighting ignorance, which is a good thing. The division between men and women in sports is already in place, and no policy regarding transgenders could ever reverse this. Men being more physically capable than women doesn't mean that women are any less important or capable in life. PRO's crux argument thus lacks any steam whatsoever. 

Furthermore, the same argument can be flipped in CON's favour. Let's assume that men being stronger is a dangerous bias that needs to be contained. We should not allow a trans woman to compete. What will happen when she beats the best woman in the world. She will make women think that a male body is physically superior to a female body because the male sex can beat the female body with the gender being equal. 

IF sexism is caused by believing that male bodies are strongest, THEN we should not take the chance of allowing trans-women to compete


  • Trans-women have unfair advantages over their cis-competition. Hormonal treatment doesn't effectively remove these advantages quickly nor fully.
    • It's immoral to essentially force trans-women to take hormonal treatment. It violates bodily autonomy. 
  • Trans-men use hormonal treatment (read: performance-enhancing steroids), and as a result, match or outperform cis-men
    • It's unfair to allow trans men to use steroids when no cis man is allowed to do it.
  • Unfair advantages SHOULD NOT be regarded and treated as acceptable, as they ruin the point of competition altogether
    • This disproves PRO's claim of "arbitrary discrimination". Disallowing trans people is neither arbitrary nor discrimination (the negative sense).
  • Sports competition is not a human right. Having standards in place for fairness sake isn't a violation of trans-peoples rights.
  • Making a new sports league for transgenders would be a result of the resolution being false, not a result of it being true.
    • Making a new sports league for transgenders would be far more offensive than disallowing them; since they would not be treated as normal people
      • PRO must prove that transgenders should be allowed to compete AS NORMAL MEN AND WOMEN WOULD. Nothing else fulfils his BoP.

Sports organizations DO NOT have an obligation to treat and regard as acceptable transgender people trying to win prizes and rewards in physical competition 

The resolution is proven false when we apply the applicable definitions.


Round 2
Con's entire argument relies on the idea that we cannot support unfairness in sports, however, it's difficult to say for sure why "inherently unfair advantages" should be prohibited. Look at Olympic runners' bodies, especially someone like Usain Bolt. He defeats everyone else by a landslide, sure, with a bit of training, but also with a bit of bodily advantage too. With different heights, muscle ratio, fat ratio, and even training ability -- thinking about how mere money invested can make sports "unfair" or "fair", it hardly seems arbitrary to bar them merely for gender. I will admit that separate men's and women's league can seem necessary as otherwise men will always beat women, but transgender is an interesting case. 

The key quote from the expert article is that "transitioned women who are seeking to be included...discuss how they have become physically weaker after transitioning", countering Con's studies. (Page 381). I think Con is misinterpreting his article, because it's stating transgender women performed better *before* applying the hormones. Even though it's difficult to realize how severely we perpetuate the idea that women cannot be stronger than men in any way, we still continue the general discrimination and unfairness overall. Con preaches for fairness but precisely prevents for this fairness. By the contrary, my expert's counter plan with inclusive policies have powerful effects on equality and spreading pro-transgender messages. He notes that the "trans-inclusive teams can serve as valuable sites of support for transgender individuals". (page 382) He continues by noting that the supportive environment can also reduce prejudice against transgender in general.

Linking back to the beginning of the paper, the expert notices that leagues promote the idea that there are only two sexes, and has an inflexible binary status that discourages transgender rights. This had unintended effects beyond "fair play", in that "woman's accomplishments in sport conflict with dominant beliefs about female inferiority" (page 377). The ideals of sport contradict the motivation to play that sport. And the impossibility to unambiguously define sex means that it is very similar to the concept of gender, and my paper cites Schultz on this idea. The growth of anti-discrimination laws and inclusion of transgender athletes show that con's case is majorly against the tide and requires much more substance to back it up. 

Even if voters don't buy this, Con must also overturn the existing Stockholm Consensus, which already give guidelines about hormones to offset ideas about unbalance. Though my expert criticizes it is not open enough, it restricts so that transgenders may compete if given legal recognition and undertaken hormone therapy for at least two years -- breaking through Con's study limitation (which noted that the advantages went down after two years of treatment). (Page 378) 

As you can see, even if we accept that some level of unfairness has been brought to the sports field, it can be an acceptable sacrifice for entertainment and allowing people to think that all transgender should be accepted in sports. I also propose another potential counter-plan, where you separate by skill level and physical level (such as in boxing), so that if Con was truly correct about physical disadvantage, then this should be fixed. Just because the light weight has zero chance against the heavy weight champion does not mean the light weight should stop competing. Put him against his own weigh class. That ought to solve the problem.

In conclusion, Con valiantly tried to highlight the current case that basically supports the men-women sex separated sports league, which doesn't completely work, as he has very little support for the importance of "fairness", especially as it contradicts his own case. As current patterns are growing to support transgender competing in sports, and regulations preventing said "unfairness", it seems Con is contradicting his very ideals.

PRO did not rebut my interpretation of the resolution using the applicable definitions.

Resolution: Sports organizations have an obligation to treat and regard as acceptable transgender people trying to win prizes and rewards in physical competition 

Specifically, the question is about whether or not sports organizations ought to let transgender people compete against cisgender people in their normal sports leagues. As stated before, and not rebutted by PRO, transgender people being treated differently from cisgender people would defeat the resolution. This point stands unless PRO rebuts it.

PRO argues that by including transgenders in sports competition we are helping eradicate the belief that men are superior. Yet he admits himself that if we only had one league, men would always beat women. He thus denies the validity of his own argument. If PRO's argument is that we ought to eradicate truth solely to make people feel better, then I wish to hear his moral argument for such a course of action. Similarly, since there is already a divide between men and women in sports, there is literally nothing transgender-inclusion can do to eradicate sexism. On the contrary, though, I already provided a logical reason for why the effect will be the opposite. Transgenders competing in sports will either expose biological males as superior by trans-men dominating women's-sport, or it will expose biological males as superior because trans-women only match men in performance when they take performance-enhancing steroids. In fact, eradicating sexism and promoting LGBT messages aren't synonymous. While one could say that transgenders in sports might bring fame to transgenders, it would be dubious to say that regular transgenders would gain more respect. As a matter of fact, if people don't accept transgenders winning by taking steroids, the result could more likely be that transgenders get less respect from society. 

With regards to PRO's argument, there is nothing to suggest that non-LGBT people would benefit that much if affected at all. At least, show me some evidence to the contrary.
I would also say that PRO kind of argues in circles:

 it can be an acceptable sacrifice for entertainment and allowing people to think that all transgender should be accepted in sports
PRO is literally arguing that a benefit of transgenders being allowed in sports is that people will think that transgenders should be allowed in sports. That argument is equivalent to saying that X is true because claiming that it is will make people think it is. This kind of circular reasoning is not at all a valid reason to allow transgenders in sports.

PRO argues that the men-women decision in sports is inherently promoting sexism. Yet the very idea of transgenderism is based upon the concept of male-female sexes. If you feel like your body doesn't fit your inner identity, aren't you basing that conclusion on societal norms regarding sex and identity? If sex isn't binary, then why are transgender people using hormonal treatment, make-up and other ways of getting "in line" with their perceived gender? I am afraid PRO is basing his argument on principles that are, if not directly false, at least very controversial and vague -- not as grounded and reliable as PRO claims. 

I am not against equal rights for all humans, but I do demand far more evidence for PRO's claim that sports organizations have a duty to spread LGBT messages. ESPECIALLY when those groups make demands that include special treatment, like transgender people demanding the right to use steroids that are otherwise considered cheating.

PRO challenges the need for fairness in sports. He argues that the necessary acceptance of funding inequity disqualifies fairness from being a considerable factor. The problem with this argument is that not only is funding plentiful in the higher ranks of professional sports, but money also isn't as all-important as he claims it is. Usain Bolt grew up in a poor village in Jamaica. If a person can become a world champion with the worst starting point economically, then money does not play as big a role as PRO claims. With regards to Usain Bolt being better than me and everyone else at running, I fail to see where his success is unfair. Apart from being Usain Bolt, he enjoys no advantage that I don't. If PRO intended to use as an argument that Usain Bolt had better genes, then he fails to realise that our genes (and experiences) literally is our identity. To say that Usain Bolt has an unfair advantage is literally to say that Usain Bolt is himself an unfair advantage. Doing so just makes no sense. PRO's attack on the standard of fairness fails.

Without fairness, sport is devoid of any meaning or purpose. Worse still, it can be a detrimental experience for its participants. []
My argument for fairness is based on philosophy. If the actual purpose of a sports competition is to let people prove their brilliance, then it only makes sense that everyone gets treated by the same standard. "Competing on equal terms is essential in sport. Otherwise, performance cannot be measured properly. [ibid]" If we treat people differently then those who are actually brilliant will be overshadowed by those who had unfair advantages. Neither side benefits. Not only is the brilliant people not getting what they deserve, but the lucky ones can't be fully credited for their success. The virtues of competition are ruined by unfairness in how people are treated. That's the problem.

I hope all voters would agree that fairness and equal treatment is the most important part of competitive sports. 

Equal treatment and fairness mean that everyone plays by the same rules.

PRO argues that hormonal treatment is fair if transgender athletes and cisgender athletes perform the same. While ensuring this proposed evenness might not even be possible, there is also a bigger problem at play. Transgender people are only a small minority of the world's population, so them giving rise to more than a few athletes that win tournaments is statistically implausible. Therefore, to regard even performance as fairness is misleading, except of course in the case of transgender people being overrepresented in sports -- a case that if existed would just go to show my analysis correct. While PRO thinks that I misread my article, he forgets that I quoted it directly:

By contrast, transwomen treated with estrogens after completing male puberty experienced only minimal declines in physical performance over 12 months, substantially surpassing average female performance for up to 8 years.
I also specifically stated that certain advantages of trans-women were permanent. Also, PRO didn't touch on transmen advantages nor the fact that competitive sport is far more sensitive to undetectable advantages than the physical exercises of the military. PRO mentions the Stockholm consensus. Of course, by regulating the number of hormones you can get any possible performance by transgenders. The problem with that though, apart from the fact that general balance doesn't safeguard against un-earned exceptions, is that this system is immoral. Not only do you violate the bodily autonomy of transgender people, but you are also ensuring that their performance stays "inline". Again, general balance is not the problem as much as it is when transgender people, despite being a minority, can keep up with, match or even outpace other athletes. Letting this happen, by having rules that ensure only general balance, would be utterly unfair to the cisgender majority. 

PRO argues that transgenders don't have unfair advantages compared to cisgender people. That is simply untrue. A cisgender man uses performance-enhancing steroids, which would literally be cheating if done by a cisgender man. How much success these steroids bring you is not as important as the fact that one uses them. Take me as an example. Even though I identify myself as a man, I am not allowed to take steroids and win medals in sports. Even though my intellectual rather than athletic genes prevent me from ever matching male athletes, that doesn't mean that I should be allowed to use steroids. The steroid is an unfair advantage that breaks the purpose of sports. If a person can't match athletes by their own virtues, then they simply aren't able to compete. But transgender men, exactly in the same position as me (not good enough genes to match male athletes), why should these people be allowed to use steroids? This simply doesn't add up. At the very least, transgender athletes outperform non-elite athletes not using steroids, thus stealing a position of fame with the use of steroids.

I also propose another potential counter-plan, where you separate by skill level and physical level (such as in boxing)
PRO's argument that transgender athletes should be put in their own weight class is interesting. The weight class is tied to specifically martial arts and combat sports like boxing. The reason for that is that your punch, scientifically speaking, gets its strength from your weight, not your skill and strength. The weight-class system is there in a similar fashion to the male-female division in regular sports, in that we prevent obvious and non-interesting advantages to ruin sports. What doesn't make sense, though, would be to apply this logic to transgenders. There is a measurable trait (like weight) by which you could make such a system. PRO's counter plan thus lacks any kind of viability, and wouldn't even be possible to effectuate. 

However, I agree with PRO that the only way to make things fair and square is to have proper divisions. I propose a 10 000 IQ strategy: Instead of making the immoral and unfair choice of regulating hormones, you simply divide by biological sex. No unfair advantages, no breaching of bodily autonomy, and lastly, nobody can justifiably complain about it. Transgenders definitely don't have a human right to use steroids and still be able to compete, so they can't complain either. Of course, this plan being effectuated would mean that the resolution is false. Yet this plan is the only one that is morally fair and that isn't based on identity politics and arbitrary attempts at sneakily changing society. This plan is best for sports itself, and that is ultimately what matters.

Sports organizations DO NOT have an obligation to treat and regard as acceptable transgender people trying to win prizes and rewards in physical competition 


Round 3
Thanks to my math test, you get another go.

I argue that voters should scrutinize and see if he proved there are any unique aspects that make it impossible for transgenders to compete. He openly admitted that men have an advantage to women, yet men are still allowed to compete in sports. His solution of separating by sex ignores my expert's idea that even sex traits are arbitrary and ambiguous. I already stated there is inherent invisible advantages of height, size, weight, which many factors are difficult to change. I believe Con has still failed to battle the crux of my argument. Notice how he fails to refute the general unfairness created by barring transgender people from sports. The societal unfairness ought to be preferred as an urgent issue because it is more heavily impacting as a whole.
Good luck with your math test. With few things to rebut, I will provide a lot of evidence to support my arguments.

My three major arguments are as follows:
  1. It is immoral to force transgenders to use hormonal treatment.
  2. Transgenders competing in sports would not have a positive but rather a negative effect on women. 
  3. Transgenders in sports ruin fairness

Argument 1 - It is immoral to force transgenders to use hormonal treatment
To elaborate, I want to call your attention to some of the downsides of using hormonal treatment.

We conclude that the incidences of strokes and VTEs are higher in transwomen receiving THT than in both reference women and men. In addition, transwomen and transmen receiving THT are at higher risk of MIs than reference women. [ahajournals]
This study was performed on more than six thousand transgender individuals. The results show us an increased risk of cardiovascular health issues for transgenders. Specifically, it is THT, a hormonal treatment, that causes this increase in health risk. Another study confirms the fact that hormonal treatments increase the chance of cardiovascular health issues [acpjournals]. Transgender women taking hormonal treatment were reported 95% more likely to get a stroke or heart attack than cisgender.

I could mention more studies confirming this phenomenon, but I want to prove my other points as well. What you should take away from this is that hormonal treatment affects health in unknowable ways, often directly affecting transgender's health negatively. In light of this fact, we should justifiably frown upon attempts at forcing transgenders to take hormonal treatment. Thus hormonal regulations, PRO's proposed solution to unfairness, would be morally ambiguous if not directly immoral.

Argument 2 - Transgenders competing in sports would not have a positive but rather a negative effect on women
Women are approximately half of our population, and their welfare far outweighs that of transgenders in terms of importance and priority. I want to shed light on a few problems with the transgender movement. PRO's entire argument relies upon the words of two people, himself and his source. To counter that authority, I will quote J.K.Rowling, a leading feminist worldwide, as well as a person who has researched this specific topic of transgender-feminist interaction. All quotes are from this text of hers.

Here she is explaining her thoughts on transgenderism, while simultaneously exposing flaws of the movement.

Most people probably aren’t aware – I certainly wasn’t, until I started researching this issue properly – that ten years ago, the majority of people wanting to transition to the opposite sex were male. That ratio has now reversed. The UK has experienced a 4400% increase in girls being referred for transitioning treatment. Autistic girls are hugely overrepresented in their numbers.

The writings of young trans men reveal a group of notably sensitive and clever people.  The more of their accounts of gender dysphoria I’ve read, with their insightful descriptions of anxiety, dissociation, eating disorders, self-harm and self-hatred, the more I’ve wondered whether, if I’d been born 30 years later, I too might have tried to transition. The allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge.
I want to be very clear here: I know transition will be a solution for some gender dysphoric people, although I’m also aware through extensive research that studies have consistently shown that between 60-90% of gender dysphoric teens will grow out of their dysphoria.

Many people had mostly secret and "invalid" reasons for becoming transgender. Logically speaking, transgenders in sports might as well have invalid reasons to become transgender. If becoming a transgender gives an athlete unfair victories and attention, then more people are going to become transgender. This logic invalidates PRO's appeal to human rights. You are not allowing a new demographic to compete in sports as much as you are adding a loophole for the current demographic to take advantage of. 

The following is important. 

J.K. Rowling's research has led her to regard transgenderism as a faulty movement that fundamentally harms women, and feminists especially. Her words:

If you didn’t already know – and why should you? – ‘TERF’ is an acronym coined by trans activists, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In practice, a huge and diverse cross-section of women are currently being called TERFs and the vast majority have never been radical feminists. Accusations of TERFery have been sufficient to intimidate many people, institutions and organisations I once admired.
Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence. But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.
As a woman, feminist and worldwide fighter for free speech, J.K.Rowling (and many like her) is being targeted solely because of her disagreement with transgenderism, despite having a rational stand on the issue backed by extensive evidence. J.K.Rowling is nothing but an expert on women issues, and as a feminist, she has come to the conclusion that transgenderism as a movement harms women. Which one of  PRO's claims, backed by what evidence, counters her words and her research?

Until PRO responds with adequate authority behind his crux point, he simply can't uphold his claim that promoting transgenderism in sports will benefit women.

Argument 3 - Transgenders in sports ruin fairness
PRO claims that the current set of restrictions prevent unfair advantages for trans-women. He suggests that I misread the Healio article when I stated that hormonal treatment doesn't effectively remove transwomen advantages. To settle this disagreement,  I want to quote The Guardian, which is referring to the same article. Their comment is:

A groundbreaking new study on transgender athletes has found trans women retain a 12% advantage in running tests even after taking hormones for two years to suppress their testosterone. The researchers say they “may underestimate the advantage in strength that trans women have over cis women … because trans women will have a higher power output than cis women when performing an equivalent number of push-ups”.

The results, researchers suggest, indicate the current International Olympic Committee guidelines may give trans women an “unfair competitive advantage” over biological women.
The Guardian agrees with me in my interpretation: transgender women DO outperform cisgender women even after 2 years of treatment

Transwomen treated with estrogens after completing male puberty experienced only minimal declines in physical performance over 12 months, substantially surpassing average female performance for up to 8 years. [Professor David J. Handelsman - the Healio article]
I did not misread the Healio article, this should be proven beyond doubt.

I also want to elaborate on my R1 reference to the "permanent advantages" of trans-women.

IOC guidelines issued in 2015 said any transgender athlete could compete as a woman provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to their first competition. That has been criticized by some scientists, who say it does little to mitigate natural biological advantages enjoyed by male-born athletes, including bone and muscle density. [reuters]
This is an article about a big scandal when a transgender woman and weightlifter named Hubbard won multiple gold and silver medals. Notice how the scientists don't claim the regulations are not strict enough, but that men have permanent advantages, such as their bone density. This is exactly as I said in R1. These permanent advantages defeat PRO's argument from the Stockholm consensus. Permanent advantages like bone density cannot be removed by hormonal treatment. Yet the article states that "The research was dismissed by transgender advocates and athletes."

“The opinions of scientists although valid, are just that, opinions,” [Kate Weatherly - ibid]
Kate openly states her disregard for science. Merely because the margins of her victories were not too large she regarded her victories as justified in spite of the scientists. But the entire point of sports is that the margins of victory are small. Elite men only perform 12% better than elite females, and a non-elite man would not win by much over an elite female. Transgenders winning by small margins is exactly the problem. As a matter of fact, transgenders winning anything at all is extremely unlikely, given that they are a 1% minority of people []. The fact that they do, and often so, merely confirms my case that they have unfair advantages.

Summary of arguments:
  • It is immoral to enforce hormonal regulations
  • Promoting transgenderism harms women more than it benefits them
  • Transgenders have unfair advantages in sports
    • Unfairness ruins the virtues of sports

In my R2 I specifically debunked PRO's claim that bodily advantage is unfair. Fairness means that everyone plays by the same rules, not that everyone has the same body. I provided philosophical evidence for why fairness is important, as well as source fair play Unless PRO is ready to defy both philosophy and the sporting world alike, I suggest he retracts his claim that fairness isn't all-important.

my expert's idea that even sex traits are arbitrary and ambiguous
Even teenagers can defeat the world's best women [world-record]. Men vastly outperform women in every physical contest. What kind of expert is ignorant of this basic fact. The idea that "sex traits are ambiguous and arbitrary" is simply absurd, similarly to how a five-year-old claims that age doesn't matter. I don't think such an extreme claim can be backed up merely by the words of one person. PRO, please show me the actual evidence that supports your expert's idea.

PRO claims that the resolution being false would be the equivalent of "societal unfairness". This is to put the cart before the horse. Societal fairness is that everyone plays by the same rules. PRO says in R2 "Put him against his own weight class". That is exactly what the male-female division in sports is for. Everyone plays by the same rules, in their own weight class. If you are born a man, you compete against males, and similarly for women. Most importantly, you follow the same rules as those you compete against. Transgenders wanting the right to fight in the wrong weight class and to use steroids is truly an extreme demand. Should we bend the rules, accept unfairness and potentially ruin the experience of cisgender people and their fans, in addition to promoting a movement that might be detrimental to normal women? All of this without any justification, simply because transgender people want to be included? I don't think so. 

They don't have a human right to get such an extreme demand met.

I ask PRO to provide evidence to the contrary. So far only assertions have been made by CON, backed by an expert whose ideas are questionable at best.

Sports organizations DO NOT have an obligation to treat and regard as acceptable transgender people trying to win prizes and rewards in physical competition 

The resolution is proven false when we apply the applicable definitions.


Round 4
My time management has been pretty bad so I will summarize ideas.

0) Con assumes that we will force the transgender to take the hormone treatment, but this is only if they decide to go into the sports. As con's premise is getting rid of any possibility whatsoever (of trans competing in sports), this seems far more restrictive than current policies.

1) Con assumed that Transgender are just as arbitrary as their own selections, yet transgender are commonly known to be from a neurological rather than a social standard. They use societal treatment to fit in better in real life and feel closer with their physical traits battling against their brain's chemical issues. The chemical transitions are not what make them male/female. It's what makes them feel accepted by society as also male or female (while feeling that way). It's a bit complicated to go into deeper discussion, but my comparison to Usain Bolt still works because the genetic/inherent based trait means that it's no more unfair than me being born taller than others. 

2) Con raises a prominent feminist author above an expert for arbitrary reasons. But realizes that " Rowling referenced have been widely misinterpreted and have significant methodological flaws. They included only pre-pubertal children, not teens - while Rowling conflated children and adolescents. " [] Therefore, Con's argument is too generic and reduces the idea that even adults will somehow take the advantage of hormones in order to seem to gain the "unfair advantage". My argument still stands strong as my studies are stronger than Rowling's analysis.

3) All of con's evidence is still relatively similar, with not 100% confirmed outcomes and uncertain actual advantage. Yes, there is the probability that it will grant some type of advantage, but so are the other types of advantages I have presented. Diet, work out, money, time, etc. All have influence in the sports. Con says there is a certain level of "unfairness" because it can never be breached (ex. men vs women), but if we ignore my paper's primary counter plan (having mixed-sex events), he still fails to establish that the overall effects on sports. Yes, you can change the muscle mass, strength, cardiovascular system, but a lot of sports it wouldn't matter. For example, with small player vs big player tackling in rugby, it's difficult to say 100% that the small player inherently had the disadvantage, or have some great risk of injury. Furthermore, you would still have to train to a decently good level for, in example, an elite men to transition to a woman and still win against the best of the best. 

I agree that both sides' evidence can be contradictory and be uncertain. Both of us would have to discount different training, other life factors, and perhaps hundreds of more data points. But this is where the paper's calling and sample events come into play. It's definitely clear that currently barring transgenders will produce known inequalities. There will be discrimination. There will be a perpetuation of sexism. And Pro -- my side --  is willing to take the risk that the data *might* be correct, that some transgender will obtain some type of advantage. But the overall resolved ability for people to participate in sports is increased. The recognition of transgender would be a great societal boon overall. And we would solidify the inherent basis for transgender which is biological, not societal. This way they can avoid taking dangerous procedures, and only undertake the hormonal therapy to counter any potential ideas of "inherent unfairness". By accepting the possibility of some possible unfairness (which is incredibly vague, ambiguous, and produces unknown effects from Con), we gain some actual known fairness (which I prove with the overall ability to participate in sports).
Thank you, PRO.

PRO claims that: It's definitely clear that currently barring transgenders will produce known inequalities. There will be discrimination. There will be a perpetuation of sexism. 

This is an extraordinary claim and requires extraordinary evidence. Yet PRO has provided zero, nada and zilch evidence for this. PRO demands that we merely accept his word for it because "my studies are stronger than Rowling's analysis". I don't think personal studies is a valid source, especially when one fails to provide the evidence you have studied. Regardless, PRO does not have stronger authority than J.K.Rowling when it comes to women and feminists perspective on the issue. Therefore, J.K.Rowling at the very least proves my point that women won't benefit by allowing transgenders in sports, cause transgenderism as a whole hurts women. 

PRO did not deny that hormonal treatment causes health deficits and increases health risk. PRO instead argues that transgenders aren't forced to take hormonal treatment because they aren't forced to enter sports. I could easily make a similar argument and say that my case isn't restrictive because you don't have to become a transgender. This totally flips the argument in my favour. PRO's argument is only valid if we are assuming that transgenders can happily choose not to enter sports. If that is the case then PRO's case fails because transgenders don't need to enter sports and subsequently allowing scandals and unfairness in sports aren't worth it no matter what ideas PRO's expert has.

PRO argues that transgenderism is a neurological phenomenon rather than social, and therefore the advantages of transgenders don't count as unfair. PRO has thus made a 180-turn from his past argument. In R2, he argued that we need separate weight classes based on physical traits. I answered by saying that the male-female division in sport is that exact thing. But now PRO is claiming that neurological blabidi bla is a good reason for transgender people competing in the wrong weight class. He implies that there is nothing wrong with competing in the wrong weight class if you identify as part of that weight class. Apart from contradicting PRO's previous argument, this is an utterly absurd claim. PRO would be forced to argue that immature adults should be able to compete against teenagers and win prizes and rewards merely because they feel childish. 

J.K. Rowling
PRO uses an opinion article to discredit J.K.Rowling as a credible source. But she is not providing ideas, she is commenting on clear and independently verifiable facts. Furthermore, PRO's expert is not any better. He was shown to have ideas that clearly contradict the very facts he as an expert should be analysing. He thinks that sex traits don't matter, a claim that is patently false when you look at the insurmountable gap in performance between the sexes. PRO's critique of J.K.Rowling thus fails or at the very least doesn't prove that PRO's claims are more credible than mine.

  • PRO does not deny that feminism and women right is more important than transgender rights due to women being a much larger group.
  • PRO does not deny that J.K.Rowling and many feminists are being silenced and harassed by transgender activists.
  • PRO thus does not deny or dispute that transgenderism has a negative effect on women and feminists.
PRO has abandoned or at the very least neglected his argument that transgenders competing in sports would be a good thing for society at large and women especially.

Invalid reasons to become transgender
PRO claims that his supposed debunking of J.K.Rowling as a credible source is also a debunking of transgenders in sports becoming so in order to earn fame and prizes. In doing so he clearly ignores the very big problem of cheating in sports [livescience/cheating-degrading-sports]. There is certainly motivation for every person to gain advantages, unfair or otherwise. There is nothing to suggest that transgenders don't face the same temptation. If people can take steroids without being banned as a cheater then they will do so. By allowing transgenders in sports you are indeed opening a door for people that are just driven by personal agendas; and you are letting these people openly cheat, break the rules and gain unfair fame and medals merely by switching gender to gain unfair advantages.

Unfair advantages
I claim that transgenders have unfair advantages because (1) they fight in the wrong weight class, and (2) they use steroids. Both of these advantages are a result of transgenders breaking established rules set up specifically to prevent undeserved victories and scandals like transgenders are causing right now, like the one I mentioned in R3.

PRO claims that:
 you would still have to train to a decently good level for, in example, an elite men to transition to a woman and still win against the best of the best
He did not provide any evidence to support such a claim.

Recall my R1 quote: "If you know sport, you know this beyond a reasonable doubt: there is an average 10-12% performance gap between elite males and elite females.  The gap is smaller between elite females and non-elite males, but it’s still insurmountable and that’s ultimately what matters" []. Also, record my R1 evidence that college boys can beat women world records in nearly all categories []. Boys always beat women. Of course, if you sit in front of the TV all day long you would not beat women in sports, but neither would anyone else in that situation.

You do not need to be an elite man to beat elite women in your own sport. A transgender woman would always beat women, similarly to how a man would always beat women. PRO uses the word "transition" to refer to hormonal treatment (which is ultimately unhealthy and would be immoral to regulate). He claims that you cannot beat the best of the best women without first being an elite man. This argument is factually incorrect. In my R3, I showed a scandal wherein a trans-woman easily beat cisgender women in weightlifting. Even worse is the other example from the same article: Kate Weatherly. Recall the R3 quote of mine:
“The opinions of scientists although valid, are just that, opinions,” said New Zealand mountain biker Kate Weatherly, who transitioned as a teenager and has become a national champion competing against women. [reuters]
Statistically speaking, it's nearly impossible that this teenager would have become one of the very best male athletes in his country. Furthermore, nothing suggested that this person would become an elite athlete. "Kate Weatherly was an average men's downhill mountain bike competitor. Now she's dominating the elite women's field. Some of her rivals say that's unfair."[1]. This person clearly wasn't a prodigy or elite male athlete. But merely by becoming transgender, she has won fame and medals in women's sports. Not only does this prove my R3 point that becoming transgender would be an exploitable loophole in sports, but this also disproves PRO's claim that only elite men can dominate women's sport. Becoming a transgender female instantly boosts your performance compared to your competition, without you needing to put in as much effort. Once again, this amounts to stealing prices and rewards that other people deserved more than you did. These scandals have not in any way been justified or mentioned by PRO. 

PRO claims that both of our sides have vague and contradictory evidence with unclear impacts. I disagree. PRO's claims are not proven with any certainty at all beyond mere assertions. On the contrary, I have provided evidence and examples to support my logical arguments.

PRO is discussing Ideas, while I am providing facts:
  • PRO's expert has an idea that sex traits don't matter,
    • But it is a fact that men and women are different and perform differently.
  • PRO's expert has as an idea that transgenders in sports is a positive thing for the sporting world,
    • But is a fact that transgenders in sports cause scandals, accusations and widespread discussion amounting to negative attention for transgenders.
  • PRO's expert has as an idea that the Stockholm consensus is too restrictive,
    • But it is a fact that transgenders have a considerable advantage even after 2 years of treatment. Many advantages simply can't be removed at all.
  • PRO's expert has as an idea that fairness doesn't matter in sports,
    • But it is a fact that fairness matters to the entire sporting world.
  • PRO's expert has as an idea that transgenders in sports helps women,
    • But it is a fact that many who fight for women are silenced by transgender activists; and that transgenderism likely is giving cover to predators.
I have provided extensive evidence supporting every one of my claims. PRO has merely provided ideas without further evidence or reason to accept them.

PRO was restricted by time, I get it. Yet that doesn't justify his lack of evidence, examples and clear logic. He bases his argument solely on a dubious expert with strange ideas.

Not only did PRO not provide evidence for his many arguments in R1, but he also failed in his rebuttals and never followed up on many of his claims. Meanwhile, I have clearly shown that transgenders in sport has crystal clear downsides. Scandals bring transgenders negative attention, and the fact that a male body defeats a female body only perpetuates the sexism PRO claims that transgenders in sports will remove. Furthermore, transgenders have unfair advantages that aren't possible to fully remove, which means that PRO's idea of transgender fairness is not achievable. Even the unsuccessful attempts at evening playing fields have moral issues in that we directly force transgender athletes to use unhealthy hormonal treatment. 

PRO's counterplans also don't work. A separate transgender league is exactly the kind of thing that I as CON would be arguing for since a separate transgender league would only be needed if the resolution was false. PRO's appeal to weight classes is valid, but not in the way he claims. The sporting world is already divided into weight classes called male and female cohorts. In addition to the rule against steroids, these well established and by PRO's R2 admission NECESSARY boundaries are breached by the resolution. This leads to the logical conclusion that it would be utterly unreasonable towards cisgender athletes if sports organizations allow transgenders to compete against them with their severely unfair advantages.

PRO's last-ditch effort is to challenge the need for fairness in sports. Yet I have argued, backed by the international sports world, that unfairness and breaching of rules ruin the virtues of sports. Instead of rebutting my argument PRO simply ignored it; he simply continued to assert that fairness isn't important in sports. Additionally, he made the extraordinary claim that allowing transgenders in sports would ensure societal fairness. Yet the very transgender-movement PRO wants to promote also silences people that fight for women rights and free speech.

PRO has not proved that competing for prizes and rewards is a human right. His appeal to transgenders being humans, therefore, doesn't justify them getting to break the rules, cause havoc in sports, steal prizes and rewards they didn't deserve and do so while disregarding the science that proves their success to be undeserved. Transgenders being allowed in sports would hurt everyone and would only benefit a fractional transgender minority. 

The resolution is proven false on every front. Transgenders should not be allowed to compete in sports.


Thank you, Undefeatable, for an interesting discussion. I wish you good luck going forward.