Nary a ripple

More on the Laurel Hubbard question aka the trans women competing against women in sport question:

Hubbard is a transgender athlete, who as a male named Gavin did not make a ripple on the international stage until becoming a woman in her mid‑30s. Now, though, Hubbard is a realistic contender for an Olympic medal and creating a tsunami of protests from women who fear she has an unfair advantage because of the residual benefits of being a male. As the Australian weightlifter Deborah Acason put it: “I feel that if it’s not even, why are we doing the sport?” The Samoan prime minister has also weighed in.

The women don’t so much fear Hubbard has an unfair advantage as know he does. It’s not just some random weird inexplicable coincidence that he wasn’t a blip competing as a male but won all the things as a female. That happened for a reason.

But when it comes to the science, a new academic paper in the BMJ Journal of Ethics argues that elite transgender women do maintain an advantage when they transition – and that the current International Olympic Committee policies create what they call an “intolerable unfairness”, because testosterone has much more of an advantage on nearly every sport as opposed to say, being tall, having a large wingspan, or coming from a richer country, which the scientists say is more of a “tolerable unfairness” as it only provides a benefit in some sports.

As the academics note: “These differences largely underwrite the significant differences in world record times and distances set by men and women.” That, of course, is why women’s sport is protected. If it [weren’t] there would be no Serena Williams, no Dina Asher-Smith, no Megan Rapinoe as role models for millions: Novak Djokovic, Christian Coleman and Lionel Messi would smash them into dust every time.

And so would “Laurel” Hubbard, despite the lowered testosterone.

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