Instigator / Pro

Trans highschool athletes should be allowed to compete according to their gender identity


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After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

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I will argue that trans students should be allowed to compete as the gender they identify with. Con will argue that they should not be allowed to.

Trans students in this context refers to students who identify with the gender opposite their biological sex. This will include students at all stages of transition.

High school here will refer to grades 8-12.

Round 1
Thank you to Best.Korea for taking the opposing side in this debate. I'm new here, so please forgive any accidental deviations from normal procedure.

When we are considering how we should have trans students participate in school sports, we are largely weighing two options that each have costs and benefits. Those two options are 1) having students participate according to their gender identity, and 2) having them participate according to their biological sex (or gender assigned at birth).

My central argument will be that having students participate in athletics based on their gender rather than their biological sex enormously benefits those trans students, and all costs associated with sorting students this way are either neglibible or are overshadowed by costs associated with sorting students based on sex.

First, the benefit:
My first source is a study from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. In this study the researchers found that trans adolescents who have socially transitioned- that is, students who have begun to make their gender identity known and started presenting as that gender, have nearly-identical rates of depression to their cisgender cohorts, and they have only slightly elevated levels of anxiety compared to the same.

"These findings are in striking contrast to previous work with gender-nonconforming children who had not socially transitioned, which found very high rates of depression and anxiety."

This, contrasted with the dramatic difference in suicidality and depression in the overall trans population versus the general population, indicates that socially transitioning is a massive boon to keeping trans children alive and happy. Acceptance from their surrounding community and the ability to transition are possibly the two most important factors in preventing mental health crises and early deaths in the trans community (see source 2). Relegating trans students to the division opposite their gender identity serves to invalidate their identity, diminish the degree to which they're able to socially transition, and generally cause them to feel less accepted by their community. Thus we can see the magnitude of the benefit to having them participate in the division that matches their gender.

I'll choose here not to enumerate (and shadowbox against) the proposed costs of this approach. I'm happy to give Best.Korea a chance to take this whichever way they would like and- if they want to focus on one or more potential costs of sorting students this way- I'll demonstrate either that the costs proposed are negligible by comparison to this massive benefit.

Thank you dezled for starting an interesting debate.

The topic is: 
"Trans highschool athletes should be allowed to compete according to their gender identity".

My position is "Trans highschool athletes should not be allowed to compete according to their gender identity", as the description of the debate demands me to.

An argument to support my position can be made in two ways:  "Abuse of system" and "Increase in unfairness".

"Abuse of system" tells us that if Trans highschool athletes are allowed to compete according to their gender identity, then it will create possibility of abuse. The example of such abuse is a male lying that he is trans so that he could compete with girls and spend time with them. It could also be the case that a male claims to be trans just to spend time with girls in the shower. A horrible scenario, according to some.

"Increase in unfairness" tells us that a male who claims to be a girl will have an advantage when competing against girls. It also tells us that a girl who claims to be a male will have a disadvantage when competing against males. Males and females by nature have huge difference in abilities, to the point where male is much more superior to female. Claiming to be different gender than one is, does not change massive difference in abilities. If we are to ignore difference in abilities, then females would be placed at a massive disadvantage and would not be able to win against males in competition. This is the reason why males and females are divided in sports, and accepting Pro's position would make such division non-existent.

These are my arguments. I have nothing more to add in this round.
Round 2
Round 3