Female, Male, does it really matter?


First day of April! Time sure does fly by.

Does anyone have any April challenges in the blog world?

While reading “Women Who Run” there was a chapter on Janet Fuman Bowman who is a male to female transsexual and competes in the female category. Part of me felt this was a bit of an advantage for runners because obviously men are usually faster than women, in general.

Apparently though she did lose her running speed. I don’t know much about transgender and what really happens to traits especially those of athletic performance.

I did however read an article here after my curiosity sprung about. Here was the conclusion

“Of course, to really answer the question of whether trans­sexual athletes, and specifically mtfs, have potential advantages or liabilities, further research is clearly ­needed—for example, a comparison of pretreatment transsexuals to bio-born members of their new sex. But that would require significant funding, and such funding has been notoriously scarce when it comes to studying transsexual and transgendered individuals: Whether they are athletes or not, trans women (and men) are sadly still considered a small, fringe community with little to tell researchers about the rest of the world. And the kind of sensational coverage received by the likes of Mianne Bagger, and Renée Richards before her, indicates that the novelty of transgendered women in sports is unlikely to transcend its punch-line status anytime soon.” 

Q: What are your thoughts on transgender athletes?

Nutty Giveaway here!

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. genesis
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 14:16:40

    not quite sure what to think of it. never actually heard of the topic until reading your post.

    Reply

    • feetinmotion
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:19:54

      I hadn’t either until I was reading it in my book. Apparently RW did an article on it as well in 2005 or so. It’s pretty interesting and I really just wonder if it is fair.

      Reply

  2. marathonmaiden
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 15:02:54

    i’ve read articles before on it (i think rw did a piece on a transgendered in the past). but i’d be really interested to see what kind of further research/information can be compiled and looked at

    Reply

    • feetinmotion
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:18:38

      Me too. I’ve never even thought of it until I read Women Who Run and that was one of the chapters. When I was looking for more information I saw the RW article and it was the same woman!

      Reply

  3. Naomi (onefitfoodie)
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:15:36

    hmm interesting Q…I think I would treat a transgender athlete however they wanted to be viewed. IF they tranformed into a female, then they would be a female in my mind!

    Reply

    • feetinmotion
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:26:11

      I definitely agree with you on the topic. I’m just wondering if there would be an advantage time wise/athletic wise since she was once male. But like I said, I don’t know much about it, so I’d be interested to know if those things change when you get the sex change. I’ve never thought about it until now!

      Reply

  4. Ashlei
    Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:31:21

    You know I never even considered transgender athletes…no clue what my thoughts are!

    Reply

    • feetinmotion
      Apr 01, 2010 @ 16:33:19

      Me neither! It’s crazy to think about, but interesting! It mainly just made me think about male and female groups and which they’d be placed under. Only because I don’t know if they really lose their athleticism in the change. If that makes sense.

      Reply

  5. Sammi
    Apr 02, 2010 @ 09:15:26

    Well, is it the hormones and stuff that make guys faster? With sex changes, they mess with the hormones and everything to match them to the sex the person is changing to. So I would say it would make it more fair once that is taken into account. There’s always going to be exceptions for both genders. There are some slow guys and some super fast girls. So I think this would just be another exception. Whether the person should race as a male or female, I would say the gender that person wants to be/feels like should be the one they go with.

    Reply

    • feetinmotion
      Apr 02, 2010 @ 09:47:29

      100% agree. After reading more in my book it did say she got slower after her change from male to female. So I definitely think there isn’t an advantage. Like you said there are fast natural born girls and slow naturally born guys. So it really just depends I guess!

      Reply

  6. sarah (the SHU box)
    Apr 02, 2010 @ 22:11:31

    oh that is SO interesting! i hadn’t done much thought to it, but such a good question. hormonally, a transgender male-to-female MIGHT have an advantage due to being chromosomally male and having more testosterone, etc on board. so i’m actually not sure if that’s fair — even though i am all for giving transgendered all of the opportunities they deserve!

    Reply

  7. Zoe Brain
    Apr 03, 2010 @ 05:25:50

    I’m Intersexed rather than Transsexual, but I’ve had to learn a lot about such issues for my own health.

    Those trans women who transition early are effectively normally female.

    A post-op late-transitioning trans woman will have greater bone density, and a slightly different skeleton compared to a cis-sexual (ie not trans) woman. After two years post-op, on female hornones, she’ll have comparable muscle mass. Maybe a little less in the legs, a little more in the arms, but well within normal variation.

    She’ll have *less* testosterone than women who haven’t had hysterectomies. Her problem is that she may have to take supplements to have a normal endocrine balance.

    Heavier, denser bones may give some advantages in some sports – weight lifting for example. In most sports though, any given muscle mass will have to work harder to shift around heavier bones, so they’d be at a mild disadvantage.

    The International Olympic Committee has come to the conclusion that a woman who’s been post-op for two years and on hormone replacement therapy has no measurable advantage compared with standard factory models.

    Reply

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