Kicking the can down the road

We need more research, and more and more and more and MORE to find out what we already know. It will take many generations to get at the truth, despite the fact that we already know.

Much more research is needed to determine whether it’s fair or not to allow trans women to compete in the women’s category in sporting competitions, according to a leading scientist.

In an interview with the programme’s presenter, Maxine Hughes, Dr Shane Heffernan, an expert on the physiology of elite athletes at Swansea University, says a bigger sample is needed to determine results, in current and future studies, and encourages more trans people to volunteer.

Yes because we just have no clue, and never have had. Are men stronger than women? Are women stronger than men? No idea; it’s a black box.

At this month’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games, for the first time in the games’ history, there will be equal representation of male and female athletes.


But, of course, there’s a catch.

However, the individual governing bodies for each sport still have the final say over whether to allow trans women to compete in each sport’s female categories, prompting the call, by many of the people interviewed for this programme, for the IOC Olympic Committee to give greater leadership.

Non Evans has competed for Wales in several sports – wrestling, judo, rugby, weightlifting, touch rugby and boxing. She strongly believes that trans women should not compete in women’s categories:

“I do have an issue with a man growing up with larger bones, higher levels of testosterone in the body, a larger heart, and everything else. It makes no difference to me if someone is transgender. I wouldn’t have had the same success in my career competing in judo, wrestling, rugby, weightlifting had I competed against a person who has changed gender after 20 years.”

This is what I keep saying. It’s not the “trans” part, it’s the male part. Lazy or captured journalists keep saying it’s about trans but it’s not, it’s about male.

Meghan Cortez-Fields from the USA is a swimmer who is a trans woman. She competed in the men’s team at college for three years before transitioning to a woman and started swimming for the women’s team:

“A lot of people…at the forefront of this… cross that line where it comes to invalidating our identify. Claiming us to be these monsters”.

Yeah fuck off. No we don’t. We don’t care about your precious idenniny, and what we say is that if you’re male you have an advantage and it’s grossly unfair for you to exploit it.

There’s no doubt that, behind the headlines, there are people who are affected by this complex and sensitive debate, which has driven a huge division into the world of sport.

But Dr Shane Heffernan is firmly of the opinion that further research and time will be able to determine if it is fair for trans women to compete in the same category as women:

“If you come back to me in ten years time and ask this question, we’ll have ten years more knowledge that we’ll be able to apply to trying to determine the correct policies.”

Bullshit. We have the knowledge already. We’ve had it all along.

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