Trans women, or men who identify as women, still retain physique, stamina and strength advantages when competing with biological females' sports, despite reducing their testosterone levels through hormone treatments. This is the conclusion that the United Kingdom's Sports Councils Equality Group has come to following a report they put together to determine the guidelines for transgender participation in national and grassroots sports.
According to The Guardian, the much-anticipated report posits that there simply is no "magic solution" that balances trans women's participation in female sports while "guaranteeing competitive fairness and safety." The report also calls upon different sports organizations across the U.K. to choose which one to prioritize. It also encouraged sports organizations to find "innovative and creative ways to ensure nobody is left out" such as new formats like non-contact versions of team sports that ensures safety and fairness.
"[It is] impossible to guarantee both safety and fairness if male-to-female transgender athletes are allowed to compete in women's events," the report said, as per Breitbart. According to the guidelines, adult male athletes have a 10% to 12% advantage over female athletes in swimming and running events on average. For jumping, that average increases to 20%, while in strength-based sports, that average goes up to 35%.
"As a result of what the review found, the guidance concludes that the inclusion of transgender people into female sport cannot be balanced regarding transgender inclusion, fairness, and safety in gender-affected sport where there is meaningful competition," the report concluded.
The report that proves hormone treatments don't diminish biological male advantages over females can have implications in the U.S. In fact, it can effectively strengthen the argument of those who seek to protect women's rights in sports. For example, in Texas, social and religious conservatives are pushing for a trasngender ban in public school sports based on their gender identity.
According to the Austin American Statesman, the fourth consecutive legislative session of 2021 saw a Hosue committee take public testimony on Hosue Bill 25, which would require public school athletes to compete in sports according to their biological sex as defined on their birth certificate.
Republican Representative Valoree Swanson of Spring, Texas, argued that she it was not her intention to target transgender children in filing H.B. 25. Instead, she wanted to protect the safety and fairness of participants in all school sports.
Rep. Swanson said, "We all know men and women are built different, and the results prove the unfairness of forcing our daughters and granddaughters to compete against biological males. To say otherwise doesn't just reject biology, it denies girls their dignity, self-confidence and humanity."
Texas Values, a Christian public policy advocacy group, showed their support for H.B. 25. Concerned Women of America's Texas director, Ann Hettinger, also showed her support, saying that sports offers several benefits to girls, including fitness, discipline, self-confidence, and the value of teamwork. However, they are at risk of being replaced by "bigger, stronger athletes" if boys who identify as girls are allowed on girls teams.
Hettinger argued, "To diminish those opportunities diminishes Texas girls."