On the Biology of Sex, Sex Differentiation, and the Performance Gap

Yes, it is all about testosterone.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

To borrow from the recent NYT editorial about anti-vaxxers, "sometimes it's ok to get out of the grey zone." Scientists are generally "uncomfortable with black-and-white statements, because science is all about nuance." But in the case of sex and sport, "there are some hard truths that deserve to be trumpeted." There is a significant performance difference between males and females from puberty onward. Testosterone is the primary driver of that difference. There is a wide gap, no overlap, between the male and female T ranges. Sex may not be binary for all people or for all purposes. But for sport, what most of us mean when we say "sex" is actually what matters, and that sex is undeniably binary: you either have testes and functional androgen receptors, or you don't. "Full stop."

In a nutshell, from Sex in Sport:

The "normal human fetus of either sex has the potential to develop either male or female organs, depending on genetic and hormonal influences." Specifically, "all developing embryos become feminized unless masculinizing influences [androgens] come into play at key times during gestation." Sex differentiation, defined in the first instance as the development of the testes, is triggered by the SRY gene which is present on the Y chromosome…. Testicular production of testosterone is primarily responsible for the difference in male and female testosterone levels, both during development and throughout the individual's lifetime…. [A]lthough males and females both produce testosterone, males have a lot more because the testes produce more than ovaries, adrenal glands, and cysts or tumors.

The following figure, also from Sex in Sport, demonstrates what we mean by "a lot more":

Testosterone (T) Reference Ranges

Sex Typical and Atypical (Intersex)

Sport converts ng/dL to nanomoles per liter (nmol/l). In those units, the female range is from 0.4 to 2.1 nmol/l; the male range is from 10.2 to 39.9 nmol/l; and the gap between the two is 8.1 nmol/l.

On average, even in the elite athlete population, males have 30 times more T than females. This includes both transgender women and girls starting from the onset of puberty, and 46-XY males with the two differences of sex development (DSDs) that are most relevant for sport: 5ARD (alpha-reductase deficiency) and PAIS (partial androgen insensitivity). The Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists in the women's 800 meters in Rio—Caster Semenya, Francine Nyonsaba, and Margaret Wambui—are all suspected of having the former condition. They are not "hyperandrogenic females." The latter are represented on the figure as 46-XX females with PCOS (polycystic ovaries) and CAH (congenital adrenal hyperplasia).

This difference in T levels is responsible for the performance gap. Specifically, the sports science community is in wide agreement on the following three points, which they regard as our equivalent of judicially noticeable facts:

First, the main physical attributes that contribute to elite athletic performance are power generation (speed and strength), which is based on muscle mass, muscle fiber type, and biomechanics; aerobic power (VO2 max), which is based on hemoglobin concentration, total blood volume, maximal stroke volume, cardiac size/mass/compliance, skeletal muscle blood flow, capillary density, and mitochondrial content; body composition, i.e., lean body mass and fat mass; and economy of motion, which is related to body composition.

Second, biological males and biological females are materially different with respect to these attributes. Specifically, compared to biological females, biological males have greater lean body mass (more skeletal muscle and less fat), larger hearts (both in absolute terms and scaled to lean body mass), higher cardiac outputs, larger hemoglobin mass, larger VO2 max (also both in absolute terms and scaled to lean body mass), greater glycogen utilization, higher anaerobic capacity, and different economy of motion.

Third, the primary reason for these sex differences in the physical attributes that contribute to elite athletic performance is exposure in gonadal males with functional androgen receptors to much higher levels of testosterone during growth and development (puberty), and throughout the athletic career. No other endogenous physical or physiological factors have been identified as contributing substantially and predominantly to these differences.

This figure from andrologist David Handlesman shows the relationship between the onset of male puberty and the development of the performance gap:

Wickliffe Shreve, Jeff Wald, Richard Clark, and I developed the next figure to bring these science facts to life. The figure marks the individual lifetime bests of three well-known female Olympic Champions in the 400 meters—Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix, and Christine Ohuruogu—in the sea of male-bodied performances run just in the single year 2017. It shows that the women would lose to the very best senior men that year by about 12%. But it also shows that even at their absolute best, they would go on to lose to literally thousands of other boys and men beginning at 0.1%.

In fact, the most important tranches are from 0.01% to 3%: In total, just in 2017, there were 6,959 male-bodied performances from 0.01% to 3% of Ms. Richards-Ross's lifetime best. This compares with a combined total of just 2,740 in the tranches from 3-11%. None of the performances from 0.01% to 3% would be considered elite in men's events either on the collegiate or the international stage.

Advocates for an identity-based eligibility rule argue—without any basis in the physical sciences, mind you—that the dominance of male-bodied athletes over female-bodied athletes is not necessarily due to their testosterone ('T') levels, i.e., that T is no more determinative of outcomes in sport than are other advantageous traits. Unless the point is the also-basic one that as between any two individuals—e.g., Allyson Felix and a random non-elite male who runs about the same times she does—T is not necessarily dispositive, this argument has no merit. As I suggested in a NYT analysis piece last year, "Pick your body part, your geography, and your socioeconomic status and do your comparative homework. Starting in puberty there will always be boys who can beat the best girls and men who can beat the best women."

Because the anti-T crowd often uses swimmers to illustrate their point, I'll close with this from Sex in Sport:

[T]he performance gap holds even when we adjust for the fact that the best elite athletes are "freaks of nature" and that their success can be largely attributed to their unusual physical traits. Sex, specifically testes and their effects, matter in ways that other biological differences among athletes do not.

For example, swimmer and multiple Gold Medalist Missy Franklin is six feet two inches tall with a wing span of six feet four inches. Her world record in the 200 meters backstroke, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is 2:04.06. Ryan Lochte's world record, set at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was a full nine seconds faster at 1:53.94. If Franklin had been in that race, at her best she would have been about a half a lap behind Lochte when he finished, even though they are the same height and have just about the same wingspan.

In a world in which competitors were categorized by height and wingspan—or just height or just wingspan—instead of sex, Franklin would not have had a world record; she would not have been on the podium; in fact, she would not have made the team. In those circumstances, we might not even know her name.

NEXT: Netflix Bows to the Saudis

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Seems clear to me–so where’s the controversy?

    “Gender identity” is a thought–an essence, an ether, a dream, a hope, a desire, an expectation.

    Dividing competition on “gender identity” is like dividing it up by religion.

    Why have we been so quick to discard the concept of “biological sex,” and so eager to accept this as its replacement–and why is there so little argument against it?

    1. re: “Why have we been so quick to discard the concept…”

      In fairness, because outside the realms of elite sports and a few other physically-intensive areas, it just doesn’t matter. Testosterone levels aren’t all that relevant when your success is based on your ability to drive a keyboard. (I was going to say “ability to code” but that might get me twitter-banned – and the concept applies even if you’re just a journalist.)

      So while testosterone level differences are real, the burden is on those arguing for discrimination to explain why they are relevant in a particular field. I believe the author above has met that burden in the domain of elite sports. It remains unproven in other areas.

      1. Your “sex” on your drivers license or other identification is another area in which “discrimination” (or “discernment”) is important.

        Basing such identifying traits as male or female traits on an internal “sense” such as gender identity seems indefensible.

        I’d argue that biological, chromosomal, “obvious” sex is also relevant on your ID–or at least MORE important and objective than who you think you are, want to be, or believe yourself to be (your “gender identity”).

        Privacy rights–especially for children–are also worthy of such discernment. Having a nine year-old girl (who we are told “identifies” as a boy) should not be showering with an unrelated grown man–and yet the Left would assert that such an arrangement is perfectly natural, because “gender identity” is rock-solid-all-you-need.

        1. Your “sex” on your drivers license or other identification is another area in which “discrimination” (or “discernment”) is important.

          It’s not important at all. It serves no purpose. It should be removed from all drivers licenses.

          Frankly, in general, “sex” should be erased from law. If it wasn’t for the Progressive desire to continue to have legal force to prevent perceived discrimination, I’m pretty sure even the lefties would be on board with this.

        2. Privacy rights–especially for children–are also worthy of such discernment. Having a nine year-old girl (who we are told “identifies” as a boy) should not be showering with an unrelated grown man–and yet the Left would assert that such an arrangement is perfectly natural, because “gender identity” is rock-solid-all-you-need.

          Where are you seeing nine-year olds of any sex or gender showering with unrelated adults of any sex or gender? The only case I can think of that’s remotely close is the lockerrooms of public pools, and every one I’ve been to in the last decade has moved to stalls with doors. Big open shower rooms where no one has privacy aren’t really a thing anymore.

          Which is to say…

          The problem isn’t nine year-old girls showering with adult men. It’s anybody being forced to shower with anybody.

        3. re: “Your ‘sex’ on your drivers license … is important.”

          Asserted without evidence. Why is that important for the purpose of identification? Why is my name, address and photo insufficient?

          re: “Privacy rights”

          I will freely agree that privacy rights are important. I am a lot less convinced that gender-segregation is the ideal way to protect it. Given the statistics on child abuse (which includes overwhelming evidence a) that most abusers are family members or others the child knows well and b) that it’s all about power and not about sex), I don’t see why you are any less uncomfortable with a nine year-old boy showering with an unrelated grown man. Our “tolerance” of gender-segregated bathrooms is a vestigial attitude held over from when individual stalls were infeasible.

          1. Asserted without evidence. Why is that important for the purpose of identification? Why is my name, address and photo insufficient?

            The purpose of a driver’s license is identification. Are you saying that knowing a person’s gender has insignificant impact on your ability to identify the person? Or are you saying that negative consequences of listing gender outweigh the positive one of helping identify the person?

            1. For clarification, I am arguing the former – that knowing a person’s gender has no significant impact on my ability to identify the person. If the person’s gender is visually obvious, then it will be equally obvious on the photograph. If it’s not visually obvious, then having that data element on the drivers license adds no verification ability until and unless you can conduct a strip search to confirm it. (And if we’re at the point where we’re thinking about giving police the authority to conduct strip searches just to confirm identities, we have much bigger problems than this.)

              1. For clarification, I am arguing the former – that knowing a person’s gender has no significant impact on my ability to identify the person. If the person’s gender is visually obvious, then it will be equally obvious on the photograph.

                But this is clearly not true. The photo only shows the face but in real life other clues are typically at least as important, such as ratio of hips to waist, shoulder width, bone structure, muscle mass, whether the person appears to have breasts, whether the voice resembles that of a typical man or woman.

                Sometimes it is not easy to tell whether the photo of the face corresponds to the actual person you’re looking at, especially if the person has gained or lost weight or there is a different hair length or it has been a number of years since the photo was taken or the person has nondescript features. In that case an apparent gender mismatch obviously could be valuable in identification. In any event it couldn’t detract from identification so what’s the rationale for omitting it? A strip search is not the only option. If identification is in question the person could simply be detained until he or she is able to provide convincing proof of identity.

                1. A cogent argument, swood. I’m not entirely convinced yet but you’ve given me something to think about. Thank you.

          2. Sex is one of the primary means for categorization–it’s common sense, and shouldn’t need “evidence.” I get that you want to argue it, but you’ll need to provide an argument against it to be taken seriously.

            IDs also list hair color, weight, and hair color–things that can be changed much more easily than sex.

            Given a choice between observable sex (primary sex characteristics, chromosomal makeup, etc) and “gender” (internal, subjective, unobservable self-perception based on fleeting cultural norms and behaviors), sex is more an identifier than “gender.”

            If you’re not concerned about the rareness of a young girl in a gang shower with an old dude, then I’m not concerned with the rareness of the transgender ideation. See how that works? Welcome to the new “tolerance.”

            1. It may be common for categorization but that’s not what you said above. You said (and I accepted) that it’s on the drivers license for identification. It no longer serves that purpose.

              I will concede that hair color no longer serves that purpose, either. With the advent of colored contact lenses, that data element is at risk of becoming worthless, though I think far fewer people change their eye color than their hair so far. Height remains a valid identifying feature – it is possible to use lifts, etc to change your apparent height by a few inches but not much more. Weight also probably remains a valid identifying feature, though less than height. The sheer size of the weight-loss self-help industry is evidence of how hard it is to significantly change your weight.

              Gender, on the other hand, stopped becoming a valid data element for identification when cross-dressing became socially acceptable. And by cross-dressing, I mean that women were allowed to wear pants. Without society-enforced taboos on clothing, all gender-specific identifying features will be just as obvious in your photo as your actual person.

              1. So, you’re saying that IDs should not actually contain any identifiable characteristics? Well, I suppose you could get away without that info available in a surveillance state like China.

      2. Sex differences in evolutionary biology are very strongly proven. For instance, men have an empirically proven preference for objects while women prefer people. These sorts of social behaviors are just one of many aspects that explain why 91% of nurses are female and >80% of engineers are male.

        1. The result you highlight could just as easily be sociology as biology.

          1. The left’s “blank slate” ideology has led to some real horrors, you know. It’s a bit too Procrustean for real world humans.

            1. The right always says this (has for decades), and yet the vast majority of people seem able to navigate through without being prosecuted, spuriously or through some procrustean requirement.

              1. That’s because the left has, as yet, had very little power in the US compared to the places where those horrors eventuated.

          2. The result doesn’t determine the field of study; the underlying facts do. You should check out some of the research on the subject.

          3. How do you explain sex-specific behaviors or proclivities in other animals, then? Are we throwing all of biology out–or do you have a substantive basis to do so for humans?

            Surely you’re not arguing that penguins sex-roles are affected by sociology or peer-pressure….

            Let’s keep the argument serious.

          4. Which is why researchers have spent the past 50 years attempting to separate out upbringing from genetics. And yet, they keep getting the same results: genetics rules upbringing.

            It’s almost as if your argument was first brought up before you were born…

          5. Sarcastro : The result you highlight could just as easily be sociology as biology

            As an a priori hypothesis, sure. As an a posteriori test, not so much.

            1. Read the Baron-Cohen experiment on one day old babies. Sex difference between boys and girls as to relative preference for things or faces

            2. Read up on the “Scandinavian paradox” – tweak the legal and societal levers in the direction of female equality and empowerment – do you get bigger sex differences in job choices or smaller ? The “sex differences in behavior are socio-cultural” hypothesis predicts “smaller” – the actual answer is “bigger.”

            1. Or maybe, like everything else, it’s a mixture of nature and nurture.

              Even if you are correct, we should avoid funneling women and men each in one direction because of some tendency we decide to essentialize.

              1. Sure. Sex differences are plainly a mixture of nature and “nurture” – the question is how much of each, in what situation, and how much is adjustable (if it were desirable to adjust) at what cost and at what stage of development. Notes theeon :

                1. it’s not “nurture” it’s environment – the two are not coextensive.

                2, it’s often hard to tell the difference – eg in animals with litters (and though less conclusively shown, for human twins) a female sharing a uterus with a male twin can absorb higher doses of testosterone than normal, from her brother, and consequently become a little more masculinised than a normal female. Indeed, it can matter where you are physically. Stuck between two brothers you have a different environment than if you have a brother on one side and a sister on the other. So for, say, a female mouse, the extra testosterone is environmental. For the male mouse it’s genetic. Except the male mouse may also be getting an extra testosterone dose from next door male siblings – which would be environmental.

                1. 3. In any event, the crazy anti-science folk are those who claim (a) it’s all genes or (b) it’s all environment. For (a) n= zero. But for (b) n = millions.

                  4. The interesting stuff is how much of each is important for different traits, and how malleable are the traits to planned environmental intervention and at what stage of development. It is not the case that all consequences of genetic influences are fixed and unchangeable. Likewise it it is notthe case that all consequences of environmental influences are malleable. To take the most obvious example – if a lion eats you, that’s not reversible.

            2. I’m not arguing there are no biological-behavioral differences, only that they are not determinative. Or maybe, like everything else, it’s a mixture of nature and nurture.

              Even if you are correct and biology dominates, we should avoid funneling women and men each in one direction because of some tendency we decide to essentialize.

              1. No doubt biology dominates in some areas, and the environment dominates in others. And in some of those environmental cases, variable elements of culture may be the features of the environment that dominate. Thus there’s no doubt at all that human linguistic ability, and quite a chunk of universal syntax, is innate. Consequently what organically developing human languages are possible is heavily influenced by biology. But the particular language you learn as a small child is entirely environmental (and in this case also cultural.) Adopt a Korean baby and bring it up in Joisey in a Joisey family and send it to a Joisey school, and it’ll speak Joisey.

                1. As to funnelling, I quite agree except to the extent that I disagree. For example, should we (ie society) or I (if asked, in my personal capacity) advise a young heterosexual female college student, of higher than average intelligence and competence, that (a) she should focus on creating a glittering career as she has all the talents and application to become a CEO or a top lawyer or a Senator or whatever ? Or should I advise that (b) she should focus more on finding a suitable husband, having children and bringing them up, and only taking on a job that is compatible with that, even if it’s much less high flying ? Or should I sit on the fence and say, (c) hey, you could do either or both a glittering career and a wonderful family life. Though statistically both is more or less impossible, and statistically far more women with your abilities find putting family ahead of career more fulfilling than the other way round ? Be sure you’re one of the genuine outliers before you go against such heavy odds.

                  I suspect that some people would say (a) isn’t funnelling, but (b) and (c) are. In which case, I’m an unrepentant funneller.

      3. In fairness, because outside the realms of elite sports and a few other physically-intensive areas, it just doesn’t matter. Testosterone levels aren’t all that relevant when your success is based on your ability to drive a keyboard.

        “It” being, I presume, biological sex and its effects on testosterone levels.

        And obviously it does matter a lot – in the baby making business and in anything involving activities where testosterone significantly affects physiology. Like infantry combat, hod carrying. But not just in strength. Elite male golfers are better than elite female golfers, but their advantage is greater in the short game.

        And activities in which testosterone significantly affects psychology. Male female differences arise in psychological traits such as aggression / agreeableness; neuroticism (inc risk aversion vs. risk seeking) ; interest in things v people; linguistic aptitude v. spatial awareness esp mental rotation. These all have significant effects on behavior.

        Unlike baby making equiment these physical and psychological traits are not entirely discrete as between males and females, there is overlap between male and female populations, sometimes considerable overlap. And it may be that it is often (a) possible and (b) cost efficient to test directly for the trait you are interested in rather than to take biological sex as a proxy. But that is a very long way from saying that biological sex and its effects on testoserone levels are irrelevant.

        1. there is overlap between male and female populations, sometimes considerable overlap

          I should add that there is – not surprisingly – a correlation between in utero testosterone exposure and “male” traits (ie traits which males have more of than females, on average) within each sex.
          So females exposed to more testosterone in utero have more “male” traits than other females (on average.) And so, mutatis mutandis, for males exposed to less testosterone in utero. Including, of course, those genetic and developmental disorders which produce males with non functioning testes, or who are androgen insensitive.

    2. Also, ‘on average’ doesn’t mean ‘in actuality in this particular case.’ Outliers remain even if you decide to use hormone levels as your indicator.

      1. So? This debate is a typical “bright line” debate. This post is simply providing heft to what most people see as blindly obvious…there are substantive physical differences between men and women that are almost completely deterministic to men being dominant in sports.

        Thus, we can discard the idea that a bright line should be drawn based solely on what box someone checks on a piece of paper. Once we’ve moved past that, we either define a better bright line or give up on the need to do it at all. Since the latter isn’t going to happen (i.e. women giving up on having women specific sports), now we draw the line.

        Seems easier to draw the line at testes rather than t-level.

        1. Also that there are no bright lines in gender in nature, even picking the most operationally relevant metric.

          Fine to pick a line, but don’t pretend it’s dictated by anything other then convenience.

          Not all lines need be bright, either. Committees often adjudicate case-by-case questions based on general principles.

          1. Fine to pick a line, but don’t pretend it’s dictated by anything other then convenience.

            Isn’t that generally true?

            In the end, the dispute is about declarative identity vs. physiological identity. If we agree that declarative identity is unworkable in the sports setting, whether we bright line it or “gender by committee” it isn’t all that important. Decide on a framework, understand that that framework is predominantly driven by physiology, and move forward.

            1. I think we agree.
              Especially with sports, it is all about airy concepts of the perception of fairness. Which sometimes requires arbitrary but bright lines. And this means you get some losers sometimes. But no one in sports wants to draw those stark lines and have those losers.

              Which is neither here nor there. What’s happening here is that many on this thread argue some dumb bright line essentialism based on sex because this is the latest proxy battlefield for the social conservative rearguard action.

          2. Also that there are no bright lines in gender in nature, even picking the most operationally relevant metric.

            Are you using “gender” to mean “sex” here ? If so, you’re just wrong. The most operationally relevant metric is reproduction, and for that purpose the line is bright as can be.

            If you mean something other than “sex” I don’t know what you’re claiming.

            1. By your logic, women cease to be women at menopause, and pre-adolescence everyone is neuter.

              I’m using gender not sex mostly because sex has a connotation more about slots-and-pegs which isn’t very useful for policy unless you’re that dude who can’t stop posting about evil buttsex.

              1. Why would a pre-reproductive woman or a post-reproductive woman not be capable of identification by reference to the reproductive function ? A car that doesn’t work is still a car. It’s not a train.

                So you’re using gender to mean sex, and sex to mean copulation ? Fair enough, if not exactly user friendly. What are you using to mean gender ?

          3. That first pair of graphs looks like a pretty definitive bright line to me. Although it would be nice if data for “trans” people who’ve taken artificial hormones were added to them.

    3. I’ve seen plenty of argument against it …

      The evidence is that we’re wired with a sense of who we are.

      There’s a rare birth defect called cloacal exstrophy which leaves newborn boys with unsalvageable male genitals. The standard treatment used to be to finish the job surgically and raise the patients as girls.

      Innate identity forced its way through (but notice the exceptions too):
      https://tinyurl.com/yynu3t6l

      Just to keep us from ever believing that biology is simple, a significant minority of the boys were willing to stick with a female role in life. Biology is messy.

      Dreams, hopes, desires, and expectations can and do change. Lots of trans people have tried to change their identity to match their bodies, and sometimes others have tried to coerce them. It doesn’t change.

      1. Lots of trans people have tried to change their identity to match their bodies, and sometimes others have tried to coerce them. It doesn’t change.

        And the reverse is also true. Longitudinal studies don’t encourage the expectation that coercing their bodies to match their “identity” works very well either.

        To every rule there are exceptions. But you don’t take low incidence exceptions to upend the rule. Sure, feel free to acknowledge them, then deal with them for what they are: Exceptions that need to be dealt with compassionately but not by infringing the rights and privileges of the rule-conforming others.

        1. I believe that “transsexuals” should be viewed as merely a not-very-special subset of cosmetic surgery patients.

          Just like people who get face lifts or tummy tucks, many “trannies” are simply misfits in life who decide that getting their hardware changed will miraculously improve their social and/or sex lives. Of course, most of the time that expectation will not be satisfied, and accordingly, most surgeons won’t operate on a patient until he/she has been through psychological screening intended to weed out those with the strongest expectations of a miracle. Otherwise they would frequently be sued for malpractice and lose — especially if the patient commits suicide afterwards. That sometimes happens anyway.

  2. “Why have we been so quick to discard the concept of “biological sex,” and so eager to accept this as its replacement–and why is there so little argument against it?”

    That’s an excellent question. The answer is that progressive movement, which runs the schools and many other social institutions, and has infected the thinking at most corporations via their HR and legal departments, have adopted the gender identity concept. They will punish individuals who do not conform, with social ostracization, loss of employment, expulsion from school (from K through college), and various other harms.

    People who want to keep their jobs and stay in school and generally not suffer the wrath of the progressive hate machine keep their mouths shut as this nonsense goes on.

    1. Yep.

    2. It’s amazing plucky conservativism manages to exist, what with being so oppressed and under threat all the time.

      Every loss is because of the overwhelming odds, and every success is a triumph despite said odds.

      Truly, an angry and whiny narrative of heroic proportions.

      1. What type of institution do you work for Sarc? Serious question. Because if you work in someplace large enough where there is there a professional (usually all female) HR department, chances are the wrong comment taken the wrong way, loses you your daily bread. And I’m not even talking about calling a woman X or a black man Y.

        Now, does Robert the plumber have to worry a stray joke loses him a job, no. But you get the point.

        1. chances are the wrong comment taken the wrong way, loses you your daily bread.

          Statistically, does not happen that much. So, chances are not.

          I’m a defense contractor.

          1. That tail events are tail events in human systems is because we make pains to make sure that they are tail events. I assume you drive carefully, or at least not recklessly.

            So be brave, in your mega-corporation, and boldly make a joke about slutty women prior to the start of your next weekly status update meeting, and see what happens.

            1. Your thesis was that ‘chances are the wrong comment taken the wrong way, loses you your daily bread.’

              Not that I should be a dick in purpose and see how that goes for me. Do you consider not making public jokes about slutty women to be a burden on men?

          2. If you’re a defense contractor, you know that the military tracks which companies are owned by females so they can maintain quotas of appropriate levels of female owned contractors. Yet no one says a word about such discriminatory practices. But it’s all a myth created by whiny conservatives, right?

    3. Employment discrimination happens based on gender expression, not T levels. Corporations are right to think about that view of sex. Sports is different.

      Also, sports are entertainment (for participants and spectators alike) – that perspective seems to get lost in the “fairness” trenches. Let the market try different approaches, the government can/should stick to the above.

    4. Yes–the progressives have adopted the gender identity concept. How are they getting away with the rest of us (non-progressives, or agnostic) just rolling over and accepting it?

      Do the progressives really have the power to punish, expel, and fire–and who has given them this power?

      Why is the “progressive hate machine” not being pointed out, called out, exposed? Are we so timid and voiceless?

      1. What happened is that they wanted this power, and nobody else wanted it. So they got it through a lack of opposition.

        Conservatives join organizations to advance the purposes of the organization, and view overhead management as scut work they’d like to avoid. So along comes a liberal volunteering to take that scut work, and the conservative thinks, “Great, I can concentrate on (whatever), and that guy will handle the paperwork!”

        Not realizing until too late that handling the paperwork gave him the power to make sure no more conservatives were hired.

    5. And that fact is really the biggest thing that needs to be changed in this whole area of discussion. If James Damore loses his case against Google, freedom of thought will exist only for the independently wealthy.

      Let men who’ve had breast enlargements continue to be free to pretend they’re women. But let the rest of us become free once again to laugh at them.

  3. That’s an awful lot of ink just to say the obvious: “men generally perform better at sports than women”.

    BUT it’s not all about testosterone! Women have a different skeletal structure than men. For example, they have a wider pelvis that is not optimized for running, but instead designed to allow for childbirth. This is important, because this can’t change with hormones, so even long term hormone replacement therapy doesn’t level the playing field.

    1. Does this wider pelvis affect swimming? Shouldn’t women’s extra layer of body fat make them more buoyant, making swimming easier?

      1. Upper body strength is probably the determinant factor.

      2. Sharks are pretty good swimmers, and they’re not buoyant.

        Staying afloat may be easier if you’re buoyant. Swimming fast may not.

    2. Even that is, IIRC, due to testosterone. Just prenatal.

      1. Possibly. But then that means it still can’t be changed later in life.

  4. I think safety deserves mention. Consider a sport like women’s lacrosse. Allowing men with all that extra body mass and strength on the field is a serious safety risk.

    Rather than one rule fits all for all sports, perhaps we need different rules for “combative” sports.
    I know that makes academic and legal analysis more difficult, but hey people will die if we get it wrong.

    1. Or just design the sport to suit the wants and needs of the participants. And if it is a sport intended to generate revenue through viewers and sponsors, then serious input will come from that angle too.

      Women’s indoor football league is clearly designed with rules to meet the physical capabilities of women, as well as a certain adolescent minded viewership.
      Women’s lacrosse bears superficial similarity to mens lacrosse, sticks, ball, goal, etc. but without helmets and body armor, the style of play is quite different.
      Softball vs baseball… beats my why any woman/girl would see the need for softball. There has not been a ‘need’ for the accommodations of softball (underhand pitch, short baselines, short mound to plate, etc.) that disappeared when women stopped wearing bloomers in the late 19th century.

      Gymnastics is the clear example of the activity being crafted for the body habitus. And then factor in the subjective scoring that selectively rewards participants for doing things that are facilitated by their body shape.

      1. Yes, Gasman–I’ve made this point elsewhere. The existing sports and competition generally favor the advantages that males have.

        Why not create new competitions which favor the strengths that women bring? Why make the argument on the terms of what exists, and why not try to change the terms?

        1. You are welcome to go ahead and design any sport you want. But don’t take away traditional sports from men, sports which typically “favor” those who run faster, jump higher, etc.

          Men generally excel at sports, including sports that don’t necessarily require physical strength; the cue sports, for example. There’s more to sex difference than strength and speed difference.

        2. Because the new sports designed to minimize the male advantages would suck for men.

        3. re: “Why not create new competitions which favor the strengths that women bring?”

          You mean like basically all of women’s gymnastics? Or like almost all figure skating? Quite a few competitions already favor the strengths that women bring.

    2. Allowing women to play sports like lacrosse, soccer, basketball, and ice hockey is already a serious safety risk. Rates of concussions are higher for females when compared to males playing the same sport. In something like ice hockey, women’s teams have no checking while men have checking, yet women’s ice hockey has higher concussion incidence than men’s ice hockey.

      Women are also at risk of specific injuries due to anatomy and biomechanics. Knee anatomy and jumping/landing form puts females at greater risk of ligament injuries. Your soccer playing daughter is more likely to tear her ACL than your soccer playing son.

      1. I saw that when I was in gymnastics in college. There are injuries that basically only the women get, because men’s elbows stop at 180 degrees or just short of it, and women’s elbows continue on a bit past 180 degrees, so women are much, much more likely to suffer crippling elbow dislocations. It’s sad to see some girl carried out on a stretcher with two dislocated elbows, knowing she’ll never do gymnastics again, from an accident that a man would have come through fine.

  5. “Yes, its all about testosterone”

    Would that explain women’s chess, and why there is a women’s grandmaster category that has a lower threshold (on an absolute scale) than ‘open’ sexed chess grandmaster?
    Perhaps men excel in the boardroom for the same reason there is dominance at the board.

    And all those nasty, brutish, aggressive traits…testosterone. A lifetime of it, from the earliest months in the womb onward. But acknowledging that truth would be similarly problematic for the current progressive men hating groups. Because they want every sex/gender identity accepted and embraced, except for those who unabashedly identify as male.

    1. they want every sex/gender identity accepted and embraced, except for those who unabashedly identify as male.

      Funny, I and just about every male I know are pretty out and proud about our maleness, and manage to dodge all the oppression from these man-hating groups you talk about.

      1. Until they get divorced and want to see their kids, anyway.

        1. Yes, I agree this is an example of how gender roles cut against men. It is manifest injustice and needs to be addressed as much as the panoply of issues that cut against women.

          But it is quite a step back from the global war on men Gasman posited.

          1. No, the global war against men is that the injustices that cut against women are important, and the injustices that cut against men are blown off.

            Most suicides are men. Half of all suicides in the US are men shortly after a divorce. Yeah, half of all suicides in this country are from a small, identifiable group, and are we doing anything about it? Any colored ribbons, any changes to divorce law, anything?

            No, because they’re just men. And men are expendable in a matriarchy.

            1. So you’re essentializing disparate results for men in suicide, but saying disparate results for women in employment are not real? Come on, man.

              Turning your sour grapes because another group is getting more attention than yours into a zero-sum war on your group is like second-wave feminism all over again, Brett! Who knew you shared so much in common with Gloria Steinem?

              1. Yes, though those sports tend to be “eye of the beholder” sports, where the opinion of the judge is decisive. Unlike say baseball or football or soccer or athletics etc where although the judge is on hand to opine on whether the rules are being obeyed, the scoring is not generally a matter of judgement.

                Women don’t seem to be at any significant disadvantage in equestrian events like dressage or show jumping. And show jumping is not an eye of the beholder sport.

              2. So you’re essentializing disparate results for men in suicide, but saying disparate results for women in employment are not real?

                No, he’s being sarcastic, and pointing to the double standard that

                (a) adverse disparate impacts on Sex A are appalling and that society must DO SOMETHING about them, while
                (b) adverse disparate impacts on Sex B are…meh

      2. Until they get divorced and want to see their kids, anyway.

      3. Sarc, America is not so much a Matriarchy as the anti-feminists say, or even Patriarchy (more men are at the top because there are more who are willing to put in the time/effort and have the talent), but America is rather “gynocentric.” We have the legacy of a traditionalistic culture where women were to be protected and paid for their reproductive services by either male labor directly or indirectly via taxes, and layered atop that millennia old system you have ostensible socio-political equality for women, where women still have many of the befits of the old system but without the corresponding responsibility. Likewise, men have all the burdens, but none of the benefits of the old system in the way of power and authority. Society is organized around womens’ benefit.

        1. I see this thesis about ‘all the benefits, none of the burdens’ popping up lately, but I don’t think I buy it as any more than warmed-over anti-feminist carping.

          First, because as noted in the last post women still have a bunch of crap they need to put up with in the workplace. Or at least so I’ve see and heard in law, STEM, and military staff. Legal equality does not social equality make.
          Second, because men still run all the things. They are overrepresented in the management of every institution I’ve ever cared to look at this side of teachers and nurses. And for all the talk of burdens it’s good to be the king.

          1. You’re not understanding, but that’s expected for someone who’s in the Matrix.

            Men are “over-represented” in positions of power for three reasons.
            1) they don’t have to take time off to have kids
            2) they are naturally more competitive
            3) hyper competitive men with real talent will dominate hierarchies that exist based on competence, like CEOs

            Good to be king? You’re making a logical mistake in thinking that just because that there are more men at the top that they run things for the benefit of other men, they don’t, because there are more men at the bottom correspondingly.

            Example of the system set against men, by men. The rise of female singlemotherhood as commonplace means that what used to be a male burden through marriage, taking care of your own kids, has now been outsourced to welfare state and the courts with child support enforcement. If men were thinking “it’s good to be king” then they would, these men who are mostly in charge would set up a system where no man had any burden for grass widows.

            1. 1) not just have, are expected to be the primary caregiver still.
              2) a) maybe we should change our merit system because that doesn’t seem a necessary metric unless it’s competitive dudes designing the system
              b) Neither you nor I are bringing in stats yet, but I’d wager this number is not in sufficient magnitude to explain the disparity
              3) Did you just conflate hyper-competitiveness with competence? Because that rather proves my point, no?

              I’m saying men at the top run things to benefit themselves. That’s all you need. And neatly explains why deadbeat dads are still in for it.

              If you’re arguing that men no longer need to support their families because of welfare, that would seem to undercut your ‘all of the burdens’ thesis.

              1. 1) Most women want to have kids, and enjoy being a mother, even if they have a career.
                2) a.The hierarchies based on competence that men are disproportionately at the top of usually require a metric that is a measure of success, not output, lest they cease to exist. At the minimum, the metric is standard of quality. Change the metric of a corporation from profits to what, exactly?
                b. The disparity happens at the margins, like everything else economics tends to explain well. There are only so many positions at the top, and if more men are willing to work to get there, and not as many women, you will see a disparity.
                3) Competitiveness leads to competence, because people who really want to win (at anything) tend to put in the time and effort to be good. Professional baseball players who hit 90mph fastballs don’t just happen via natural talent alone.

                The taxes we all pay to support the welfare system, which is to benefit of single mothers primarily, is paid for by all, and is a system set up by men. But what they *haven’t* done, is set a system up to benefit men on the _whole_ by making a system that benefits male sexual strategy over female. “Deadbeat” dads are not escaping, they can’t, we all pay taxes, including the deadbeats, to support women having kids out of wedlock, to the benefit of women as a class and to the detriment of men as a class. Court enforced child support has made an entire permanent underclass of men, and it has made the government daddy.

                1. 1) Arguing that there’s no need to free up women because this is a choice they’d surely make anyway is nothing but rationalization.

                  2,3) Competence and effort are also not the same thing. And the perception of competence further removed from both.
                  We have not explored different metrics much; we assume the meritocracy works because it has always been thus. Seems unscientific to me.

                  2b) Your marginal argument requires there to be no ambitious women at the margins. But in reality, under your theory of womens’ incompetitiveness you should see populations equalizing as you get more and more rarified and the numbers get smaller and ambitious women get filtered up.

                  I’m not arguing that men get together and try to make a system that benefits men; I’m arguing that’s what happens when men design the system. I’m also not arguing that the system will favor men to the greatest possible extent, only that it will favor men.

                  The fact that there child support and welfare payments exist is not an argument one or the other should be eliminated.

                  1. You’re just finding smaller and smaller disqualifications to make to the larger obvious point, that more men in charge of things =/= patriarchy.

                    1) Your point makes no sense from an evidence based perspective. Women leave the workforce voluntarily to have kids, this puts them behind the curve. There is daycare, but for most women, it’s not worth it.

                    2) You’re being silly, of course competence and effort are not the same, but competitiveness leads to time/effort inputs which leads to competence in most cases and in most fields. Please show me a field where success is randomly determined, besides the lottery.

                    3) Of course there are women at the margins who break into traditionally male dominated fields by virtue of competence, but at the margins there are more competitive men willing to put the time and effort, who edge out all but the best women.

                    Let me take another approach. If men at the top of the dominance hierarchy wanted to set up a system to benefit themselves, polygamy and prostitution would be legal. There are a lot of women who would rather be Elon Musk’s 3rd wife than the only wife of an accountant making $50k, and with legal prostitution, well you can use your imagination. In fact, you can see this already in cultures that are not gynocentric.

                    1. My thesis is and always has been that men in charge is both a symptom and a cause of womens’ continuing headwind in society. Nothing more, nothing less.

                      1) Your evidence is generalizing based on anecdotes. Some women leave, some stay. If they have kids, the vast majority need to make a choice of career or family. Men very rarely need to. IMO we need to work on that.

                      2) I guess I’m mixed up by your use of competence. Compliance is not what gets you promoted, from what I’ve heard. Under your more merit-based definition, I think you would need to argue that the only way to get the highest level of effort includes competitiveness.

                      3) I don’t think that’s proven. And certainly not by your supposition.

                      Your idea of what men want is also not supported. We were settled by male-dominated Puritans, after all.

                    2. 1) Not anecdotes, empirical reality, look up why women leave the workforce. Tell me, then, why do women leave the workforce if not to have kids? If it’s not that, than what, and if it’s something else, then women don’t just have biology to blame.

                      2) Competence gets one promoted, even bureaucratic competence. This includes compliance, because if you do what you’re told correctly, are you not competent? In our semi-meritocracy, the best tend to rise to the top, all other things held equal. Do you deny this?

                      3) Do you deny that men are, on average, more competitive than women? I see your error if you don’t. If you think men and women are equally competitive, then the fact that more men are at the top then women is defacto evidence that men are somehow putting a finger on the scale.

                      You’re generally ignorant of evolutionary biology and history, at least on this topic. 8,000 years ago, 1 man reproduced for every 17 women, look it up. What happened is that stable cultures were created when institutions were set up so that most men got at least one women, even if the leader got more. The ancient Jews followed this model, which is why the marriage model of Christianity for the Puritians was 1 man per 1 woman.

                    3. 1) Women shouldn’t have to make that choice. Or at least not be the only ones to have to.

                      2) Those bosses like for the job go to the top. Merit is part of that calculus, but hardly all.

                      3) On average, you are not wrong. But we shouldn’t make policy based on what’s true ‘on average’ unless the sigma is very tight. But that’s not what you wrote above – you wrote about the effect of that average on the margins. But that’s not how tails work.

                      At 12:50PM you were clearly talking about how America is not a polygmous society full of prostitutes. I addressed that. Your bringing the ancient world into it is off topic.

                    4. Sarcastro : Some women leave, some stay. If they have kids, the vast majority need to make a choice of career or family. Men very rarely need to. IMO we need to work on that.

                      mad kalak ; Tell me, then, why do women leave the workforce if not to have kids?

                      Sarcastro : Women shouldn’t have to make that choice. Or at least not be the only ones to have to

                      If a woman has a kid on her own ? ie with no stable male companion in ? they’re the only one in situ. Who else could look after the kid ?

                      If a woman Is part of a couple, then the traditional approach is that the couple discuss things and work out their childcare arrangements for themselves. Which in practice almost always involves the women taking the major role, and her job / career taking second place.

                      So who’s this “we” who needs to work on this ? Who’s business is it apart from the couple themselves ?

                    5. There are of course tons of good reasons why couples generally arrive at the conclusion that Mom is going to be the main child carer, so we won’t rehearse them all, but just focus on one.

                      It’s rare* for a woman to choose a man for her mate who is younger, or lower paid, or of lower status. Typically a woman aims to pick someone of equal or higher status, and a few years older. Consequently the cost to the couple of the man putting his career second is usually significanty higher than the woman doing so. So if “we” want to change this, “we” are going to have to change female mate choice. Good luck with that.

                      In my experience in business, virtually all the high flying women I came across were married to higher flying, or older men, and virtually all of them either quit, or went part time, or took a steady hours slow track round about age 30, when the kids began to flow.

                      * the exceptions tend to be where a woman has low mate value herself, and so has to settle for a low value mate (eg a lower status, lower paid.) So I did come across a few clever and competent, but very ugly, women who had acquired househusbands or who had remained single.

                  2. Sarcastro : Your marginal argument requires there to be no ambitious women at the margins. But in reality, under your theory of womens’ incompetitiveness you should see populations equalizing as you get more and more rarified and the numbers get smaller and ambitious women get filtered up.

                    No, tails work in precisely the opposite direction.

                    Let’s assume there’s an X factor called competitiveness or ambition or drive or sharpened elbows which helps you get to the top, and that both men and women possess it. But men on average have a little ? but only a little – more of it. So suppose the male average is 110 and the female average is 100. Each population is normally distributed, with a standard deviation of 15.

                    At X = 100 (or above) there are 1.5 men for every 1 woman. No big difference. At X = 110 it’s 2 to 1. At X=120 it’s 2.8 to 1. At X = 130 it’s 4 to 1, at X = 140 it’s 6 to 1, at X = 150 it’s 9.5 to 1.

                    At 150 you’re down to 0.2% of the population, but in the US with say 200 million workers that’s still 400,000 people. So we still haven’t whittled it down to the real top cheeses. But you’re already nearly at 10 to 1 on the X factor.

    2. And all those nasty, brutish, aggressive traits…testosterone. A lifetime of it, from the earliest months in the womb onward.

      So you’re arguing that men, as a group, are temperamentally unsuited for a professional office environment?

      Bold argument.

      1. In case you hadn’t noticed, it is exactly those traits, groomed for the 21st century boardroom. We don’t need real clubs to make our case, but alpha behaviors are the virtual stick. And that entirely makes them very well suited for professional advancement.

    3. Would that explain women’s chess, and why there is a women’s grandmaster category that has a lower threshold (on an absolute scale) than ‘open’ sexed chess grandmaster?

      Without doing any background research, it seems more likely this is based on exclusionary tradition. i.e. chess tournaments used to exclude Females, so they created their own club, and now it still sticks around. Seems pretty clear sex/gender specific Chess/Poker/etc. is silly and sexist, not based on inherent physiological differences.

      1. XX vs XY; The X chromosome genes are duplicated in women, but not men, resulting in men having more statistical variance than women for any trait influenced by a gene on the X or Y chromosomes.

        More geniuses, AND more morons, for instance.

        This doesn’t have a lot of visibility in areas where peak performance isn’t required. But in things where you basically have to be freakishly good to compete, it makes a bog difference.

      2. Women haven’t been excluded from chess tournaments for a very long time, fifty years that I know of and probably much longer. Women only tournaments and titles are fairly recent phenomena and were designed to encourage female participation. It’s difficult to tell if there is an innate ability difference because the numbers are still so skewed. Why the participation numbers are what they are is not clear. Judit Polgar demolished Fischer’s claim that women were “weakies” and that he could give knight odds to any woman, but since Judit’s retirement no woman has entered the super-GM club.

        1. Women only tournaments and titles are fairly recent phenomena and were designed to encourage female participation.

          As if female participation matters. That’s the problem with identitarians. They start with the premise that the world is against them, both consciously and unconsciously. Then they believe that numerical equality is the ideal state, in any environment, regardless of individual desires. Then they force it.

          Women’s chess simply reinforces identitarianism. Bah.

    4. We see this in tournament bridge, too. There are no longer separate men’s competitions, just women’s and open. But women have won the world open title.

  6. Hey, if y’all want to shift from arguing against sex-differentiated sports to testosterone-differentiated sports, go for it.

    ‘course, that would mean you’d have to accept that after a few years that yeah, transwomen get to compete. Which the Olympics already does. Because we already know that after a few years on hormone replacement therapy (I think the Olympics says five years) that the testosterone-advantage fades.

    1. As I pointed out above, the testosterone advantage never fully fades. Men and women have different skeletal structures, particularly in the pelvic region. That may seem like a slight difference, but it’s amplified when we are talking about atheletes on the extreme margins, and 1 second can mean the difference between winning and losing a race.

      1. At the Olympic level, the difference between a Gold medal and no medal (4th place) is a matter of tenth’s, hundredths or even thousandths of a second depending on the specific event.

    2. Once we stop segregating sports by biological sex, the only fair outcome is to stop discriminating entirely and let all athletes compete with all others in the same sport, thus effectively eliminating women’s sports except for gymnastics and figure skating.

      The point of sex classifications in sports was never discrimination in the first place. The point is the same as the point of weight classifications in the fighting sports — to make it worthwhile for people who are “like” most of the public to compete, and thus make sports worth watching for most people.

      Allowing trannies to compete as women does not further that point, it defeats it, and destroys the integrity of sport. Imagine allowing Mike Tyson, after he lost his edge, to start competing as a middleweight.

      1. I could have said that better, so I will.

        Imagine that the governing bodies of boxing decided that obesity is a social construct. So they decree that fat people whose weight is in the heavyweight range are allowed to compete as middleweights.

        While this would “help” some obese people, it would also be abused a lot. But it’s a certainty that the people they allowed to make this switch, both those “really” obese and those gaming the system, would soon dominate the middleweight class and drive all the actual middleweights out of boxing.

        The only silver lining I see here is that once fans abandon the Olympics, maybe the huge drain on taxpayers that every round of Olympics causes will finally end. But I doubt it.

  7. It doesn’t diminish the force of the author’s main point, but the swimming comparison is not entirely fair. In 2009, the governing bodies for the sport changed the rules on allowable suits that had been responsible for the lowering of the world records in the sport up until that time. Times slowed down a bit for both sexes. So comparing a male swimmer’s record in 2008 and a female swimmer’s record in 2012 would have to take into account some difference caused by the change in rules for swimsuits.

    1. That much difference? Probably not.

    2. The women’s record in 2008 2:05.24 set by Kirsty Coventry is slower than the time listed above.

      The current men’s record was set in 2009 and is faster than the time listed above.

  8. They will cite this article when the left’s totalitarians blacklist you and your family members from employment in 2028. You’ll have to repudiate biological gender if you want your family members to be allowed to ever earn a paycheck again.

  9. Jordan Peterson makes pretty solid arguments explaining sex differences and why the masses don’t really get it, but this was a solid article about the literal scientific differences. The key note that JBP highlights is that these differences are most significant at the margins. When you look at the most fit men and women, men are more athletic by a long shot. That’s because sex differences are real. You might not notice it in everyday life with average people, but that doesn’t mean the potential isn’t there.

  10. Could you please clarify this statement:

    This includes both transgender women and girls starting from the onset of puberty, and 46-XY males with the two differences of sex development (DSDs) that are most relevant for sport: 5ARD (alpha-reductase deficiency) and PAIS (partial androgen insensitivity). The Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists in the women’s 800 meters in Rio?Caster Semenya, Francine Nyonsaba, and Margaret Wambui?are all reported to have the former condition.

    As written the main clause of the first sentence lists 2 conditions 1) Transgender women and girls starting at puberty and 2) 46-XY males with the two differences of sex development. Then the subsidiary clause divides #2 into 2 different subsets: a) 5ARD and b) PAIS. I am unclear as to what condition the 3 women who medaled in the Rio 800 meters all share. Are they #1 Transgender women and girls, or are they 2a, namely 46-XY males with 5ARD?

    1. I read it to mean they are 46-XY males with 5ARD, as opposed to being 46-XX females with PCOS and CAH.

      Perhaps Coleman is going to suggest using testosterone levels as the basis for dividing “male” and “female” athletes? That would mean Semenya would not be able to compete as a woman, but a 46-XY transgender woman who has had sex reassignment surgery or takes hormones that have reduced testosterone levels could compete as a woman.

      1. I agree but it is confusingly written and requires a bit of analysis to reach that conclusion and is still not 100% clear. I think part of the problem is that she uses technical terms such as 46-XY males without introducing or explaining those terms which really freights that sentence with a lot of meaning. Making it very important to understand clearly what she is saying.

    2. I find it confusing, too, and still don’t get the point.

  11. The core issue, which th Left really doesn’t want to examine, is that there are no ‘Trans’ people in the sense that is meant. There are males, females, and hermaphrodites (VERY rare). Some males and some females are unhappy with their bodies and wish (for whatever reason) that they were the opposite sex. The Psychological / Medical complex has taken to telling these people that they can shift sex, and then dosing them with vast amounts of hormones that their bodies are not built to manage and surgically mutilating them.

    This is blatant quackery. That it is widely accepted, for the moment, does not make it more ethical. Serge Voronoff’s messing about with monkey glands was widely accepted in its day. It is now a historic example of quackery and Voronoff’s name is mud.

    If the treatment had a history of helping patients there might be some justification. It doesn’t. The suicide rates among post treatment ‘Trans’ persons is horrific.

    The people push this idiocy need to be stopped. Not for religious reasons, but because what they assert simply ignores the facts on the ground. It is not possible to change sex. It may one day BE possible, with some vast breakthrough in the bio-sciences. It isn’t now, and anyone telling you otherwise is trying to sell you a batch of hot monkey glands.

    1. “and hermaphrodites (VERY rare)”

      There are very rare pseudo hermaphrodites: men with female appearing breasts and women with oversize clits resembling a penis.

      There are NO humans that are true hermaphrodites. A true hermaphrodite is fully reproductively functional as both sexes. A true hermaphrodite is capable of impregnating itself.

  12. I disagree. First you can’t divide the world neatly into three categories of clearly male, clearly female and “hermaphrodites”. I think you are probably being deliberately obtuse and provocative in using that term. Assuming you used that term in good faith, “hermaphrodite” is an older word created to describe people who visibly displayed physical characteristics of both sexes. There are not many percentage wise of the population but there are a wide variety of “intersex” conditions many of which might not create visibly obvious conditions. You may look female but have scientifically discernable conditions that elevate your testosterone etc.

    There are males, females and a wide range of intersex conditions. In addition to these purely or largely physical differences there are also different degrees of gender. I don’t know why but there are certainly people who are male with no intersex conditions who feel female and would like to reassign their sex to match their gender and vice versa. Whether you agree with that or not it exists.

    You state that it is quackery for the medical profession to tell people that “they can shift sex, and then dosing them with vast amounts of hormones that their bodies are not built to manage and surgically mutilating them.”

    1. “I don’t know why but there are certainly people who are male with no intersex conditions who feel female and would like to reassign their sex to match their gender and vice versa. Whether you agree with that or not it exists.”

      I am certain that they feel that way, but I consider this a pathological psychological condition. The mind shoud be treated, not the body.

      Note that there are those among us who would like to reassign their species, too. Not kidding. Doctors have mutilated them, too, as have “body modification artists.”

      1. The rare chromosomal abnormalities may be dealt with individually, in the courts. People who are normal XX or XY, chromsomally, don’t get to “choose” their sex. They get to choose their behavior and their feelings–but I don’t have to change my behavior to ignore the facts of their chromosomal reality. Wanting to be feminine or masculine, or to buck the culturally stereotypical gender behaviors does not change your biological sex.

      2. I’m sorry, I followed up that post with a 2/2 continuation that didn’t seem to successfully post. I don’t know why and don’t feel like recreating it.

    2. “You state that it is quackery for the medical profession to tell people that “they can shift sex, and then dosing them with vast amounts of hormones that their bodies are not built to manage and surgically mutilating them.”

      Yes, I do. I also state that if the treatment seemed, on the whole, to help, then there would be some justification for it. This, however, does not seem to be the case.

      I read that the comments system ate a continuation of your post, and accept that you don’t want to replicate it. I’n answering for the benefit of others, to make my position clear.

      I have nothing against persons who have gender dysphoria. At a minimum, fate has felt them a busted flush. I think, however, that there medical persons who claim to be able to treat gender dysphoria with hormones and surgery are demonstrable frauds.

  13. Just to kick off brainstorming, not because I’m committed to the idea, one imaginable solution is to replace “men’s sports” and “women’s sports” with “high testosterone” and “low testosterone” competitions.

    1. How are you going to deal with the question of testosterone levels across time ? Someone who has low testosterone now, but who had high testosterone during puberty gets an advantage from the body structure constructed during puberty. Other advantages accrue from earlier exposures to excess testosterone. Testosterone isn’t a single measure, it’s a continuous one, with spikes and plateaus that are important for success in sport (inter alia.)

      The best marker of someone who has had testosterone advantages as to athletic physique and other matters related to competitive sport is…being male 🙂

  14. Her world record in the 200 meters backstroke, set at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is 2:04.06. Ryan Lochte’s world record, set at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was a full nine seconds faster at 1:53.94.

    Ha ! The traditional female* difficulty with math 🙂 That would be ten seconds.

    Actually, females seem to be as good as, or possibly marginally better than, males at arithmetic (on average.) It’s in the spatial rotation bit, relevant for other areas of math, that women seem to be a little behind. On average.

    * more probably the traditional lawyer difficulty with math.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.