Instigator / Pro
6
1411
rating
32
debates
23.44%
won
Topic

Allowing transgendered athletes (mtf) to compete in athletics against biological females is unfair

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
15
Sources points
4
10
Spelling and grammar points
2
5
Conduct points
0
5

With 5 votes and 29 points ahead, the winner is ...

Nyxified
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Sports
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
15,500
Contender / Con
35
1517
rating
3
debates
66.67%
won
Description
~ 142 / 5,000

I just ask that you debate in the intended spirit. I don't have the time to make my resolutions bulletproof. I want to spend my time debating

Round 1
Pro
INTRODUCTION
--------------------------

I do urge the judging audience to ignore the comment section until the debate is judged, or at least try you best. My opponent has been presenting their argument to people in the comments for whatever reason instead of keeping things constrained to the debate arena. 

It’s important to have an accurate interpretation of the resolution before we begin. We are looking at MTF athletes competing against girls in sports. The resolution states it is unfair. In this context I believe it is a fair assumption that it is unfair, based on the harm it does to actual biological females. 

In this debate, I will prove the harm to females caused by allowing transgender athletes to compete. If female athletes are harmed by allowing transgendered athletes to compete, that should be enough for me to win the debate.

WHAT THIS DEBATE IS NOT ABOUT
---------------------------------------------------

This debate is not about whether transgendered athletes should be allowed to compete against real females. I don’t have to prove it should be illegal for them to compete against bio females. I only have to prove it is unfair towards female athletes.

I don’t have to prove males are genetically superior at certain sports. I can argue MTF trannies are physically weaker than real women (they aren’t), and still prove it is unfair. Judges keep this in mind if my opponent starts taking the debate off topic. We need to stick to whether the arguments are relevant to the resolution or not

HISTORY
-------------

Girls involved in sports, have higher self esteem. They have improved academics, longer lives, a better social life and end up in better careers. They also show better ability to cooperate and show leadership ability.  https://childrensmedicalgroup.net/sports-benefit-girls-in-many-ways/

Thankfully in the 1970s, the United States government realized the benefits of female participation in sports and  developed what became known as title IX. Title IX ensured that male and female sports would receive the same amount of federal funding. 

Prior to title IX, 1 in 27 females participated in sports. Now we have 2 in 5 girls participating in sports. Given the benefits I listed in the last section, we can see that it’s a good thing more females are participating in sports. https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/education/title-ix-and-the-rise-of-female-athletes-in-america/

Title IX is the reason female sports exist. This is now under threat by boys who want to play dress up, so they can have an unfair advantage over women. Make no mistake, Transgender athletes are pushing girls out of sorts for a myriad of reasons One reason is that, there is necessarily a limited number of spots on rosters for sports teams. https://www.nfhs.org/articles/making-cuts-on-athletic-teams-the-necessary-evil/

MTFs UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
---------------------------------------

Men are stronger than women. They are faster and they have many physical advantages. On average women have 40% less upper body strength than males and 33% less lower body strength. Studies also show males have on average 26 more pounds of skeletal muscle. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jappl.2000.89.1.81

What’s happening with sports is you have men past their prime, all of a sudden putting on a dress and transitioning to female, suddenly dominating in female sports. 

At 44 years old, Mary Gregory past his prime and unable to compete against 20 something males, decided to compete against women and went 9 for  in competitions and broke 4 world records. https://www.outsports.com/2019/5/6/18527075/transgender-powerlifter-records-backlash-transphobia-virginia-marygregory-trans-usapl

When Fallon Fox figured out he was a mediocre male fighter, he decided it would be easier to beat up women, and that’s when he literally broke the skull of an opponent. 

Here is what his opponent had to say. She has fought tons of women, but said this about Fox

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch," https://www.sportskeeda.com/mma/news-when-transgender-fighter-fallon-fox-broke-opponent-s-skull-mma-fight


My opponent would likely have you believe that the physical advantages of men are limited to testosterone. He’ll say that trans athletes are not at an advantage because of doctors helping them to manipulate testosterone and estrogen levels. However, men have larger hands, and shoulders. Men have bigger lungs and are better endurance athletes as a result. Blood pressure differences exist between the sexes. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/advan.00118.2006#:~:text=Sex%2DBased%20Differences%20in%20Normal%20Physiology,-One%20consequence%20of&text=The%20differences%20between%20the%20sexes,of%20body%20fat%20than%20women.

-------------------------
MEN ARE FASTER

Not everything is known about what differences exist yet, and even less is known about why those differences exist. For example we know men run faster than women. We have lenty of examples of MTF athletes coming to female track and fied and dominating. 

“The two biologically male students, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, finished first and second, respectively, in the 55-meter dash this year, crushing the competition. Miller set a new girls ­indoor record and also won the 300-meter. The year before, the two finished first and second in the 100-meter state outdoor championships.” https://nypost.com/2019/03/04/trans-athletes-are-making-a-travesty-of-womens-sports/

The world record for a woman in the 100 meter dash for example is 10.49. A male running that speed has no chance of qualifying for the olympics. https://southslopenews.com/are-men-stronger-than-women/

So it’s no surprise that Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood dominate the biological females in track. 

This isnt women being inherently lazy and not working hard enough to beat trans opponents like some will say. Studies show that even after 2 years on HRT males retain a speed advantage of 12% on a 1.5 mile run. https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/trans-women-retain-athletic-edge-after-year-hormone-therapy-study-n1252764

There really hasn’t been any studies done after the 2 year mark, but there is no evidence that trans athletes lose that 12% advantage after the 2 year mark is over, and we have plenty of accounts of trans athletes completely obliterating both female opponents and very long standing records with ease. 

This is nothing new, we have had men using their unfair advantages to try and dominate women sorts for a while. When Renee Richards could not compete as a man, she started to compete against women in her 40s and did quite well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9e_Richards

CONCLUSION
--------------------

MTF trans athletes contain a significant advantage over women. They are taking their records daily. They are pushing them out of athletics because of limited roster sace on sports teams. My opponent cannot dispute the great advantage of men over women in sports unless he tries to claim the only differences are in testosterone levels, which even if true trans females still have more testosterone than biological females. 

We also have the issue of limited roster space, so even if MTF trannies competed on a level playing field with female athletes, the acceptance of them in female sports would mean that less biological females get to play, and we will be destroying the good things that title IX, has brought us. 

Con
1. Introduction
2. Rebuttals
2.1 Claim by Claim
2.2 Summary
3. Arguments/Analysis
3.1 Why Males Have an Advantage
3.2 Why Trans Women Don’t
3.3 Why Any Remaining Advantage Already Exists In Cis Athletes
3.4 Summary
4. Conclusion
5. Citations

Note: My apologies if you’re not supposed to present arguments in the comments. I think it’s an important discussion, and this is my first debate here. Furthermore, I ask that pro avoid calling trans people ‘trannies’ or ‘men playing dress up’. 

  1. Introduction
In my speech I will 1. Outline the way con intends to defeat the resolution, 2. Show why the arguments for pro are incorrect or don’t prove the resolution, and 3. I will present my own constructive arguments and analysis.  It is the belief of con that after a few years of HRT, trans women participating is fair on balance.

Key terms:

  1. Gender: The identity of an individual often in relation to sex.
  2. Sex: The group of biological traits you most closely align with (including intersex). Usually refers to sex assigned at birth.
  3. Cis/Cisgender: Your gender matches your sex assigned at birth
  4. Trans/Transgender: Your gender does not match your sex assigned at birth
  5. Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT): Medical treatment with one or more of the following:
  1.  The use of anti-androgens to suppress testosterone. (Referred to as Testosterone Suppression or TS)
  2.  The use of estradiol for estrogen production (Referred to as Feminizing Hormones or FHT).
Henceforth refers to both A and B 

The resolution outlines that a trans female’s participation in athletics is unfair to cis females, and con will defeat this by proving that, while they could have an unfair advantage based on the point in their transition they compete, there is a more than reasonable and common point in an trans athlete's transition where any advantage they might have doesn't quantify an unfair advantage based on their sex assigned at birth most of the time. Con will do this by proving:

  1. Analysis of what gives cis men an advantage over cis women and why some factors aren’t actually an advantage for cis men at all

  2. HRT significantly diminishes or completely removes factors giving cis men an advantage over cis women and leads to a level playing field between trans and cis women

  3. Anything that exists beyond these arguments is consistent with advantages seen from one cis athlete to the next and barring participation based on these or similar advantages hurts cis women.

2. Rebuttals

2.1 Claim by claim


1. “Men are stronger”

  • 40% less body strength and 33% less lower body strength. Only applies to cis men. No evidence given to suggest the advantage exists in trans females.
On the contrary, the same source pro cites for argument 2 says: “Prior to [FHT], transwomen performed 31% more push-ups and 15% more sit-ups in 1 min… After 2 years of [FHT], the push-up and sit-up differences disappeared.”[1] The ability of trans women, then, seems to be completely equal to cis women

Table 4 of the BJSM shows after 2.5 years, which isn't a full course of HRT[2][3], trans women occasionally underperformed ciswomen[1 (table 4)]. The same article gives reason to think trans women retain their advantage in some respects after 2.5 years in running, however, the study used as evidence didn't include TS and the only study that directly examined running times in relation to testosterone shows no advantage existed within trans women after TS[4].

While studies are limited in scope, most not exceeding 2-3 years, all studies show a significant drift towards the ability of a cis female[1][4][5]. When changes from HRT take 5-10 years[2] and most studies didn’t look at both TS and FHT simultaneously, it would require substantial evidence to prove this trend wouldn’t continue until trans women completely equalized most of the time.


  • 6 more pounds of skeletal muscle. With regards to muscles, same as above.
With regards to skeletons, there is good reason to think that differences in the skeletal size by sex are a disadvantage as much as they are an advantage in trans athletes, as decreased haemoglobin from HRT[6] lowers the amount of oxygen the body can transport while the amount of oxygen needed is the same[7].


  • Fallon Fox 
“When Fallon Fox figured out he was a mediocre male fighter, he decided it would be easier to beat up women, and that’s when he literally broke the skull of an opponent.”

This claim flies in the face of basic logic. Fracturing/breaking a segment of the skull isn’t rare in MMA[8], Fallon Fox went undefeated as a male fighter, and during her career as a male she defeated every single one of her opponents in the first round until she came out on March 5th, 2013[9].

It makes even less sense when you see Fallon Fox was delivered her only loss and often took fights to the 2nd/3rd round during her career as a female[9]. In fact, she only won in the first round once, or 75% less. This fails to prove pro’s argument and actually proves con’s argument.


2. “Men are faster”

  • Speed advantage of 12% on a 1.5 mile run. The only study (as noted by[5]) that directly looks at the relation of TS and running found that trans women had no advantage in distance running after HRT[4]. 
    The same source my opponent uses would support con’s argument. The advantage of trans women in running went from 15-31% to 9-12% after 1 year of TS (not 2 years of HRT as my opponent says)[1], and it's reasonable to expect that would decline further as changes from HRT are only finished after 5-10 years[2][3] and the study didn't include FHT(data is lacking).


  • Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood. A single example of 2 trans athletes ‘sweeping’ the competition, only for the one who performed better than the other to lose twice to a cis woman soon after when they haven’t  undergone a full transition yet[10] (so much for ‘domination’) does nothing to prove an inherent disadvantage. 

Summary

In summary, I’ve shown there is no good reason to believe an advantage is retained by trans women after HRT in terms of their physical performance relative to cis women and why the examples given by pro don't prove the resolution. I’ve shown good evidence that shows trans females equalize in capability the longer that HRT goes on. To quote Sports Med, which holds an even more radical view than con: 

“Currently, there is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition”

Pro doesn’t give  explanation of why some of the factors  mentioned have any relation to performance. I’m no expert, and I don’t imagine my opponent is either, but simply saying bigger lungs = better endurance or even just mentioning blood pressure differences exist at all does not suffice because saying that alone is meaningless.


3. Arguments/Analysis


3.1 Why men have an advantage

Data is either limited or hard to come by as to why cis men develop greater physicality than cis women, data is limited/ hard to come by, but studies suggest that greater physical ability is related to distribution/ratio of muscle/fat and the length of muscle fibers[11][12]. This argument will show why men retain that advantage, the  relationship between testosterone levels and said advantage and why other factors are irrelevant.

Pro fails to establish reasons cis men have an advantage beyond the size of the lungs between a man and a woman, saying it makes them better endurance athletes. I will show how fat metabolism/energy production mitigates this impact.. I will examine the role that bone structure/bone-mineral density(BMD), fat metabolism, and testosterone play.


Bone density/structure

While it is true that men have a BMD, it is also true that race plays a similar role in BMD. Whole body BMD was 0.7g/cm^2 lower in white men than Asian men, 0.8g/cm^2 lower in Asian women than white men. Lumbar spine BMD was 0.13g/cm^2 lower in white men than black men, 0.25g/cm^2 higher in black women than Asian men)[13 (table 4)]. 

Bone structure/characteristics of the skeletons of black men differ greatly from white men[14]. What we can deduce from this is if BMD/bone structure was the deciding factor, sports would have to both black and trans participation as any advantage from BMD or bone structure is equally seen by race as by sex[13][14]. Such an idea is ridiculous.


Fat metabolism

Energy in the body is made largely by releasing free fatty acid (FFA) from adipose tissue, breaking down triglyceride (TGC), then combining it with cholesterol and protein to form chylomicrons. These are then mixed with the blood stream and accessed alongside FFA as a source of energy. 

The breakdown of TGC into FFA/the mobilization of FFA to be used as energy happens due to hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL)[15], and studies have shown that testosterone is a HSL inhibitor and estrogen increases HSL activity[16][17].

We can conclude that estrogen, among other complex factors, enable women to mobilize FFA faster than men and produce more energy, thus making them more capable in terms of endurance (not including strength or speed).


Testosterone

As said in my rebuttals, the effect of HRT on physical ability is immense, and HRT shows the ability to take trans women to the same level as cis women. To reiterate:

  • Trans women stopped having an advantage in strength exercises after 2 years of FHT[1].
  • The only study on TS and running showed trans women don’t have an advantage after 1 year of TS[4].
  • Trans women, at times, performed worse than cis women after HRT/FHT[1 (table 4)].

3.2 Why trans women don’t have those advantages

Boston University in the “Practical Guidelines for Transgender Hormone Treatment” says

“A practical target for hormone therapy for transgender women (MTF) is to decrease testosterone levels to the normal female range (30–100 ng/dl)...”[18] What this means is that it is reasonable to expect that testosterone levels in trans females reduce to the level seen in cis females usually. We’ve already established how the strength difference between sexes is due to testosterone[1][4].

Con has also shown the advantage in fat metabolism with regards to energy production cis women have over cis men due to testosterone’s inhibitory effects on HSL[16][17]. We also see that, depending on the point in one’s menstrual cycle[19], trans women may have less estrogen than cis women, thus putting them at a disadvantage. 

Finally, it seems evident that any advantage that trans women receive from their BMD or bone structure is mitigated by the fact that the difference is negligible and or the difference is similar between races as between sex[13][14]. 


3.3 Why any remaining advantage is already seen between cis athletes

Regulations designed to ensure fair competition between cis and trans women harm cis women. Take the examples of Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi, both cis Nigerian running athletes who were disqualified from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics because of their testosterone levels[20]. These athletes, by virtue of their own biological ability, have a testosterone level that’s ‘too high’, and were disqualified for it due to the regulations meant to prevent the ‘advantage’ that trans people have.

Imagine if Dean Karnazes, a male runner who seems to never reach his lactate threshold[21], was forbidden from running. The situations are no different, and in both cases, the internal biology of the runner gives them an advantage, but in one case, the fear of “trans people dominating the sport” prevents women from rightfully participating. 


3.4 Summary

    All of the factors that have been looked at have definitively shown that trans women are capable of reaching a level equal to that of cis people or that, where they are not capable, the difference is not enough to qualify an unfair advantage sufficient for disqualification as said difference can already be seen between two cis athletes.


4. Conclusion/Summary

In my speech I’ve shown how research shows trans women are completely capable of reaching the same point as cis women when it comes to running and strength exercises.

I’ve presented constructive arguments/analysis that give compelling evidence that the resolution is false, those arguments/analysis being 1. The factors that give or do not give men an advantage 2. Using argument #1 to prove transgender women do not have an advantage 3. Building upon arguments #1 and #2 to show why any still existing advantage is not an unfair advantage. Even if these arguments don’t stand, it’s not logical to say that trans women have an unfair advantage if there is no good reason to believe they do, as established by my rebuttals.

For these reasons, con sees no reason for the resolution to stand, but rather sees good reason that it is, like most efforts aimed at ‘protecting’ cis women from trans women, misunderstood at best. And just like every other time restrictions are put on trans women to protect cis women, these efforts go on to harm cis women as well.

If you want to talk about trans women ‘stealing’ cis women’s trophies, then take one look at Christine Mbomba and ask her how she feels about being barred from even competing for the trophy because her participation is 'unfair'.

For these reasons, so proud to oppose.


  1. Citations
  2. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/55/11/577 
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminizing_hormone_therapy#Physical_changes
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/feminizing-hormone-therapy/about/pac-20385096
  5. https://cgscholar.com/bookstore/works/race-times-for-transgender-athletes?category_id=common-ground-publishing
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5357259/
  7. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2021/02/28/bjsports-2020-103106
  8. https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/can-transgender-athletes-be-fairly-integrated-into-womens-sports/
  9. https://www.outsports.com/2021/2/22/22296155/fallon-fox-trans-mma-fighter-lie-inclusion-misleading
  10. https://www.mixedmartialarts.com/fighter/Fallon-Fox:8EE8EE2C62CA09BF/
  11. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/23/terry-miller-transgender-track-star-loses-chelsea-/ 
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8477683/ 
  13. https://www.reference.com/science/males-physically-stronger-females-c2792a4225417356 
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044008/ 
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28548276/ 
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatty_acid_metabolism 
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9741194/ 
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17408628/ 
  19. https://www.bumc.bu.edu/endo/clinics/transgender-medicine/guidelines/ 
  20. https://www.restartmed.com/normal-estrogen-levels/ 
  21. https://apnews.com/article/namibia-africa-olympic-games-2020-tokyo-olympics-sports-f71b7d1e9f5ba0fbc08a1e0ab346c20b 
  22. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2013/aug/30/dean-karnazes-man-run-forever 


Round 2
Pro
Forfeited
Con
I took the liberty of looking through Wylted's forum posts a while back, and it seems he, like the rest of the debates he is in, intends to forfeit entirely. I'm very disappointed in hearing about this since I wanted the chance to prove my position on an argument that personally affects me. If anyone would like to challenge me to a similar debate, I would completely welcome that.

In my previous speech I gave convincing evidence for con's position that show's my position's validity. I've shown how trans women equalize in terms of strength, speed, endurance, etc... I've also taken it upon myself to analyze why cis men have an advantage and how that is either not an advantage for anyone who is assigned male at birth (e.g. lung size, even if it were to improve endurance, is mitigated by testosterone being a HSL inhibitor whereas estrogen increases HSL activity), not an advantage for trans women (e.g. larger skeletons require more oxygen whereas hormone therapy reduces haemoglobin and thus decreases the ability of the body to transport oxygen), and for what is an advantage, I've shown why trans women don't have that (e.g. testosterone).

Pro, even if they were not to forfeit later rounds, would find it extremely challenging to tear down all of the scientific evidence I've provided and prop up their own scientific evidence especially as they have now wasted half of the argument without ever themselves analyzing what would give trans women or cis men an advantage in anyway beyond mentioning the existence of seemingly irrelevant facts (e.g. "blood pressure differences exist between the sexes").

It would then seem to me that I have managed to provide the better, more convincing arguments and have bothered to actually look at data to understand it's implications (despite the fact the burden of analyzing most of this [or at least a little bit] would normally fall on pro to establish their opening arguments). Moreover, my opponent has not only forfeit a round and presumably will forfeit the next two, but also used derogatory terms in his opening speech. Finally, I've given significantly more sources than my opponent, many of which are direct scientific studies, one of which is using pro's own source against them, and all that combined shows I have given the better sourcing.

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read through the debate to this point.
Round 3
Pro
Forfeited
Con
My opponent has forfeit.
Round 4
Pro
Forfeited
Con
This debate has been going on for soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long