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View Full Version : Should "transgendered" athletes be allowed in professional sports?


Sanneriet
May 18th, 2004, 11:18 PM
Well, the IOC has decided that athletes that have completed sex change operations can participate in the Olympics providing they have completed two years of post-surgical hormonal therapy. There is already a female (previously male) mountain bike racer suing to be allowed to compete. I know that Renee Richards played the WTA in this way. However, Richards was relatively "old" when he had his sex change. That probably had more to do with his lack of success than anything else.

I think this is unfair. I believe female athletes that were previously male retain enough additional muscle mass and a different type of muscle distribution that gives them an advantage. Also, male athletes that were previously female must be allowed to take testosterone. Who gets to decide how much is the right amount? Does it confer an athletic advantage over other men? --------------------

ToeTag
May 18th, 2004, 11:28 PM
I think they should be allowed.I disagree that Richards didn't do as well because she was older...probably had more to do with being mediocre,or that the women were better!!The only situation I can see where male-female athlete switch would be an advantage for the previously male athlete,is if he were a top player when was male...say if Agassi decided to get a sex change and wanted to play on the WTA tour.Imo, he would definately have an advantage.

M&M
May 18th, 2004, 11:30 PM
should be allowed

dreamgoddess099
May 18th, 2004, 11:54 PM
Sure, why not. If a transgendered person is no longer the sex they were born, but the other sex now; how can you stop them? If a woman who was born as a man no longer has any male sexual parts, then how can you say they are still a man?

Dava
May 18th, 2004, 11:54 PM
I cant really see a problme with it , but I doubt that they would be able to have much success due to the fact of how much time it takes to go through the change. A full sex change opp, with hormones etc. can take 4 years at least, and I with the medication that they have to take as well as the mental aspects of what they are going through, I dont think they would be able to play going through that phase, leaving them too old by the end of it (cos its very rare, though I know some 13 year old in Aus managed it, to get a sex change before your 20).

Volcana
May 19th, 2004, 12:30 AM
I disagree that Richards didn't do as well because she was older...probably had more to do with being mediocre,or that the women were better!!The only situation I can see where male-female athlete switch would be an advantage for the previously male athlete,is if he were a top player when was male...say if Agassi decided to get a sex change and wanted to play on the WTA tour.Imo, he would definately have an advantage.You're seriously underestimating the physical disparity between men and women vis-a-vis tennis.

Richard Raskind was a champion on the amateur circuit in the pre-Open era. He was born in 1934. He played both the US Open and Wimbledon, standing about 6'2, 180 lbs. She started playing on the women's tour in 1977, at the age of 43. She made it into the top fifty.

Martina Navratilova managed to win a match at 44. ONE match. Renne Richards made the top fifty. That is to say, Renne Richards was a LOT better than the best ever at the equivalent age. Age had EVERYTHING to do with Renee Richards only being a top fifty player. Suppose he'd had that sex change at 21?

Imagine a 6'2" man who was good enough to play the US Open and Wimbledon today on the women's tour. Even with the reduced muscularity of hormone therapy, that's a bit of a joke. Where would Guillermo Coria or Lleyton Hewitt, neither paragons of muscularity, rank on the women's tour today? The first men's Division I college player to have a sex change is his twenties will make #1.

Ultimately, it may require a completely seprate category for transgendered athletes, even as their are seperate categories for biological females.

croat123
May 19th, 2004, 12:44 AM
it would never work. males going to play wta tournaments would still be too strong. volcana is 100% right.

~ The Leopard ~
May 19th, 2004, 01:11 AM
I'm normally strong on rights for gay, lesbian, transgendered etc, etc, people, but I do have a problem with this. For the reasons given by Volcana, it tends to defeat the purpose of having a separate competition for women, as opposed to open competition with the men (a competition in which only the top five or so WTA players would even be able to win an occasional ATP match...if even they could...and similar considerations would apply in most other sports).

ToeTag
May 19th, 2004, 01:17 AM
Volcana Posted Richard Raskind was a champion on the amateur circuit in the pre-Open era. He was born in 1934. He played both the US Open and Wimbledon, standing about 6'2, 180 lbs. She started playing on the women's tour in 1977, at the age of 43. She made it into the top fifty.
Thanks for the info on Richards.I thought she was younger when she started playing on the tour.

dreamgoddess099
May 19th, 2004, 01:20 AM
Well, we may find out how well a transgendered person will do on either tour one day. But since their haven't been enough female vs. male matches, I don't think you can convincingly say anything is a scientific fact. Based on the law of averages, it seems unlikely that the average woman could beat the average male. But there are certain indivisuals that are above average and could possibly pull it off. Billie (a woman) did beat Bobby (a man, an older man, but a man non the less). Never say never.

ToeTag
May 19th, 2004, 01:32 AM
Interesting article on the mountain biker suing to race on the cdn women's team:biker (http://www.transgenderzone.com/features/tgbiker.htm)

Volcana
May 19th, 2004, 01:55 AM
Well, we may find out how well a transgendered person will do on either tour one day.
We've already seen that. A male player who, at his very best, wasn't a top HUNDRED player, made the top fifty on the women's side at 44.

I don't think the IOC had a choice, and they are trying to be fair, but sooner or later, this is gonna blow up.

Par example, what if an athlete completes 'two years of post-surgical hormonal therapy', goes off homrones for a year to train, and goes back on right before the Olympic trials? (Olympic athletes already take things that can kill them, so this is not exactly far-fetched.) Or doesn't go back on at all, thus fulfilling 'the letter of the law'? Not to mention that a lot of performance enhancing drugs work differently on male physiology than female.

In fairness to the IOC, they are trying to do right by everyone, and in their position, I'd likely do the same thing. But the first time there's a transgendered female gold medalist in a strength sport, there either going to be a drop in particiaption of women in the sport, or a rise in the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Hmmmm... this is worth some research

~ The Leopard ~
May 19th, 2004, 02:23 AM
Well, Amelie did win that match against Marat earlier this year. ;) :lol:

Martian Willow
May 19th, 2004, 02:27 AM
...a man with his nads cut off isn't a woman...there's no surgery in the world that can make a man a woman...so the answer is no... :)

cornhuskers2004
May 19th, 2004, 02:34 AM
I see no problem with a transexual playing in wta events. If any man is competent enough to allow his reproductive organ to be cut off then he wasn't meant to be a man in the 1st place. I'm no doctor but I beleive losing your balls will negate any extra strenght a man would have over a woman.

I wish people in this world can just mind there own damb business and let people live the lives they want.

Jakeev
May 19th, 2004, 03:42 AM
I'm very mixed about this whole thing. Wasn't there a post a few months ago about a Spanish or Chilean transsexual who wants to compete on the WTA?

My feeling is this: If a transexual was a successful tennis player in her previous gender, I might have a problem with them competing on the WTA. They could have too much of an advantage.

But if as a man, she was only a mediocre player, than sure why not give her a shot on the WTA or Challenger circuit.

I think ultimately, the WTA should decide. I know the same thing is happening in the golf world with a transsexual from Australia.

Is their on actual ruling on transgender today in the WTA?

Black Mamba.
May 19th, 2004, 03:44 AM
No, it would be totally unfair because regardless men athletes tend to be stronger and faster than female athletes and the advantage these people would have over the competition would be totally unfair. Imagine if a guy like Shaq decided he wanted to become a woman, there would be know way they would let him compete against women basketball players.

Volcana
May 19th, 2004, 06:09 AM
I'm no doctor but I beleive losing your balls will negate any extra strenght a man would have over a woman.
You may believe it, but if you do you're wrong. That's actually why the IOC has that "two years of hormone therapy" clause. The hormone therapy supposedly causes a lot of muscle loss.

disposablehero
May 19th, 2004, 06:11 AM
Well, at least the IOC has found a solution to the rampant steroid use in Women's Powerlifting.

disposablehero
May 19th, 2004, 06:18 AM
I'm kidding of course. The point is, this is a horrific blunder. The IOC, in attempting to br "fair" to 350,000 transsexuals (I have no idea of the actual number) has ended up being horrifically unfair to 3.5 Billion biological women.

Scotso
May 19th, 2004, 06:21 AM
I see what you're saying Volcana, but there are a lot of discrimination issues here.

disposablehero
May 19th, 2004, 06:28 AM
Imagine if a guy like Shaq decided he wanted to become a woman, there would be know way they would let him compete against women basketball players.
Not going to happen. Imagine this instead. A guy who is 7'2"-7'3" and a horrible athlete decides he'd prefer to live as a woman. Later on, recruited for Olympic basketball.

1. Would "she" need any athletic ability?
2. Would the hormone therapy reduce her to 6'6", the female equivalant of her old height?

We are talking about a shot-blocking, rebounding, lay-up machine who could be dominated by 70 year old Bill Russell.

irma
May 19th, 2004, 06:34 AM
" a man is still a man"

Well apparently it's a proven fact that transgenders have the brainsize of the gender they are not born as so you can argue about that even in a medical way. They are just the victim of some little mistake during the pregnancy like it happens with many others in a different way.

I don't know about power issue because there is a difference in that now too.

I don't think anybody would do this just too be on the atp tour or in any sport. It's a very though decision with lots of pain (physical and mentally of course), nobody does that for fun!

BigTennisFan
May 19th, 2004, 06:49 AM
This is more politically correct silliness. :(


Volcana's points about Rene Richards vis a vis Martina N is very telling.

And what's so interesting is that in other areas ,the politically correct would dismiss this as foolishness.

What if some white guy said that he's really black. And he started to take medications to darken his skin etc.
Black folks and the pc white folks would pitch a hissy fit.

There's even hell to pay nowadays when white folks who were born in Africa and now are Americans refer to themselves as African-Americans.

Just because a man has had his body mutilated does not make him a woman.

Declan
May 19th, 2004, 07:49 AM
You're seriously underestimating the physical disparity between men and women vis-a-vis tennis.

Richard Raskind was a champion on the amateur circuit in the pre-Open era. He was born in 1934. He played both the US Open and Wimbledon, standing about 6'2, 180 lbs. She started playing on the women's tour in 1977, at the age of 43. She made it into the top fifty.

Martina Navratilova managed to win a match at 44. ONE match. Renne Richards made the top fifty. That is to say, Renne Richards was a LOT better than the best ever at the equivalent age. Age had EVERYTHING to do with Renee Richards only being a top fifty player. Suppose he'd had that sex change at 21?

Imagine a 6'2" man who was good enough to play the US Open and Wimbledon today on the women's tour. Even with the reduced muscularity of hormone therapy, that's a bit of a joke. Where would Guillermo Coria or Lleyton Hewitt, neither paragons of muscularity, rank on the women's tour today? The first men's Division I college player to have a sex change is his twenties will make #1.

Ultimately, it may require a completely seprate category for transgendered athletes, even as their are seperate categories for biological females.

Actually Renee Richards easily made the Top Thirty and even nudged the Top Twenty. She reached two tour finals and beat several top ten players, such as Rosie Casals, Kerry Reid and Wendy Turnbull. So Volcana's point is totally correct..it was only age that prevented even more success.

DunkMachine
May 19th, 2004, 08:51 AM
You're seriously underestimating the physical disparity between men and women vis-a-vis tennis.

Richard Raskind was a champion on the amateur circuit in the pre-Open era. He was born in 1934. He played both the US Open and Wimbledon, standing about 6'2, 180 lbs. She started playing on the women's tour in 1977, at the age of 43. She made it into the top fifty.

Martina Navratilova managed to win a match at 44. ONE match. Renne Richards made the top fifty. That is to say, Renne Richards was a LOT better than the best ever at the equivalent age. Age had EVERYTHING to do with Renee Richards only being a top fifty player. Suppose he'd had that sex change at 21?

Imagine a 6'2" man who was good enough to play the US Open and Wimbledon today on the women's tour. Even with the reduced muscularity of hormone therapy, that's a bit of a joke. Where would Guillermo Coria or Lleyton Hewitt, neither paragons of muscularity, rank on the women's tour today? The first men's Division I college player to have a sex change is his twenties will make #1.

Ultimately, it may require a completely seprate category for transgendered athletes, even as their are seperate categories for biological females.
My thoughts exactly.

Pamela Shriver
May 19th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Should "transgendered" athletes be allowed in professional sports?
I'm sure this has already happened in tennis....

moby
May 19th, 2004, 11:06 AM
Actually Renee Richards easily made the Top Thirty and even nudged the Top Twenty. She reached two tour finals and beat several top ten players, such as Rosie Casals, Kerry Reid and Wendy Turnbull. So Volcana's point is totally correct..it was only age that prevented even more success.
And both of you left out the fact that she was only allowed to play on the US part of the tour (if i remember right)

imagined if she played a full schedule

Brαm
May 19th, 2004, 11:24 AM
RICHARD
http://www.andrewsloat.com/lki/images/22-raskind.jpg

RENEE
http://www.transhistory.org/history/images/renee_richards.jpg
http://www.saldelcloset.com/fotografias/richards.jpg

SpikeyAidanm
May 19th, 2004, 11:46 AM
There was a transexual in an Aussie Golf Tourney this year.

WtaTour4Ever
May 19th, 2004, 11:50 AM
Maybe in Chess, but not in Tennis :-)

Brαm
May 19th, 2004, 11:53 AM
It's their right. If the state sees them as "female" they should be allowed to play women's tennis...

faste5683
May 19th, 2004, 11:54 AM
I'm sorry, but this whole thread is making me queasy.

:wavey:

Volcana
May 19th, 2004, 12:54 PM
I'm sorry, but this whole thread is making me queasy. Why? The best discussions always involve the tough questions.
Actually Renee Richards easily made the Top Thirty and even nudged the Top Twenty. She reached two tour finals and beat several top ten players, such as Rosie Casals, Kerry Reid and Wendy Turnbull. So Volcana's point is totally correct..it was only age that prevented even more success.Thanks. I was having trouble finding actual records, which was why I went withthe more conservative 'top fifty'. I KNEW that was true.I see what you're saying Volcana, but there are a lot of discrimination issues here.I know. That's why I said ultimately it may require a completely seperate competitive section, like women's sports have. After all, even HAVING women's only sports is a form of discrimination. Against men. However, we have women's only sports because a) most societies see value in athletics, and b) most societies have gender bias.

As I said previously, I have no dispute with the IOC's position, and if I were 'in their shoes', I'd do the same thing.

This is a place where the law and reality are in conflict. In terms of biological processes of development, male-to-female transgenders are NOT simply biologically female. The surgery doesn't change a couple of decades of a totally different set of hormones acting on muscle development. It doesn't change having far lower percentage body fat during developmental years. A sex change as an adult doesn't change what 'muscle memory' developed during years if not decades of training. I've never heard of a transgendered pregnancy either.

OTOH, they certainly are exactly biologically male either.

The law is binary. Reality is not.

Weight lifting already has 'drug-free' competitions to seperate those who use performance enhancing drugs from those who do not, as well as seprating competitiors by gender. That's a bow to reality. There are athletes perfectly willing to have painful, short, disease wracked lives in pursuit of a gold medal, or a professional sports career. How do athletes who are not willing to do that compete against them?

Suppose I take identical twin five year old girls.

One, I pump her full of steroids and testosterone and enough other drugs to approximate the physical strength advantages of being male, and have compete against bigger, stronger male athletes til she's 25, then take her off the drugs.

The other, I allow to develop 'normally', and compete only against girls.

Do you really think I'm going to have equivalent athletes at 25?

There's some basis for locking me up for even being able to think such a thing, but a male-to-female transgendered athlete has the same advantages and more, athletically speaking, as the drugged-since-childhood athlete in my (horrific) example.

calabar
May 19th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Well, we may find out how well a transgendered person will do on either tour one day. But since their haven't been enough female vs. male matches, I don't think you can convincingly say anything is a scientific fact. Based on the law of averages, it seems unlikely that the average woman could beat the average male. But there are certain indivisuals that are above average and could possibly pull it off. Billie (a woman) did beat Bobby (a man, an older man, but a man non the less). Never say never.
I wish people would stop using this farce of a match as an example of anything other than the farce it really was. This match proved absolutely nothing regarding male-female equality. It was nothing more than a made-for-television entertainment show. Nothing else. So much social significance has been attached to this match, it makes me sick.

Regarding this thread, I too do not buy into trans-gender crap. I do believe a man "converted" to a woman will still have an advantage over a "real" woman and for that reason, the two "genders" should not compete. Beyond the confines of sports, I could not care less what a person does with his/her own body.

Cal

BigTennisFan
May 20th, 2004, 01:01 AM
Looking at that picture of Renee Richards nowadays I wonder how on earth the powers that be let this farce happen.

Madhuri
May 20th, 2004, 01:15 AM
I don't see a problem. Everyone should be used to women tucking their balls under their skirts by now:)

ico4498
May 20th, 2004, 01:24 AM
"Should "transgendered" athletes be allowed in professional sports?"

where else are they gonna play? the issue crops up from time to time but no need to set policy for such a fleeting problem. folks been worrying 'bout this fer years and still no deluge of transgendered athletes.

it's exclusive enough to be a world class athlete. add in the odds of having gender issues ... i just don't see a whole lotta transgendered folks changing the dynamic of sports for naturally born women.

~ The Leopard ~
May 20th, 2004, 01:40 AM
Weight lifting already has 'drug-free' competitions to seperate those who use performance enhancing drugs from those who do not, as well as seprating competitiors by gender. That's a bow to reality. There are athletes perfectly willing to have painful, short, disease wracked lives in pursuit of a gold medal, or a professional sports career. How do athletes who are not willing to do that compete against them?

Good post, Volcana. Just as a side issue, I didn't know anything about the bit I've quoted. Can you tell us more about the "non-drug-free" competitions for weightlifters, if you are implying that such exist? I've never heard of this, and I'm interested. (Not because I want to take part, of course. ;) )

Zummi
May 20th, 2004, 04:19 AM
Renée won her last tour singles match in 1980 at the age of 46. If 47-year-old Martina was to win a singles match this year, she would break Renée's record.

I think the right decision was made by the IOC. :yeah:

Volcana
May 20th, 2004, 04:41 AM
Good post, Volcana. Just as a side issue, I didn't know anything about the bit I've quoted. Can you tell us more about the "non-drug-free" competitions for weightlifters, if you are implying that such exist? I've never heard of this, and I'm interested. (Not because I want to take part, of course. ;) )
The weight lifting is basically a subculture of body building. The United Naturl Bodybuilding Association is an outgrowth of allthe drug use is body building.

http://unbainc.com/

They drug test every single competitiro at evry single competition.

disposablehero
May 20th, 2004, 02:20 PM
Speaking of tests, didn't they used to do hormone tests on female athletes to make sure the East Germans weren't genetically men, which was at one time considered unfair?

tennischick
May 20th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Well, the IOC has decided that athletes that have completed sex change operations can participate in the Olympics providing they have completed two years of post-surgical hormonal therapy. There is already a female (previously male) mountain bike racer suing to be allowed to compete. I know that Renee Richards played the WTA in this way. However, Richards was relatively "old" when he had his sex change. That probably had more to do with his lack of success than anything else.

I think this is unfair. I believe female athletes that were previously male retain enough additional muscle mass and a different type of muscle distribution that gives them an advantage. Also, male athletes that were previously female must be allowed to take testosterone. Who gets to decide how much is the right amount? Does it confer an athletic advantage over other men? --------------------terrific thread you started here! i've always wondered how WTA players felt when they saw Renee Richards on their side of the draw. probably not too pleased! OTOH, in those pictures Renee seems no more muscled than Serena IMO. in other words, female players can probably give themselves an advantage if they are prepared to muscle up and risk looking like men. Justine did exactly that with the help of Pat Etcheberry and she's currently #1.

i suspect that most male athletes will not at all feel threatened by a former woman opponent. the real unfairness IMO may be for women athletes who have to face a former man in a sport requiring brute strength. the real outcry will occur when this former man makes it to the #1 spot.