Been seeing some Fallon Fox things recently and it gives me this thought. If you think Fallon has no biological advantage like upper arm structure or bone density ect, are you for the complete elimination of gender divided sports leagues? (Now I think about it I can say the fallout of it would be interesting.)
No. Your logic doesn’t really follow here. The biggest thing that provides advantages in athletic competition is the presence or absence of testosterone, which increases hematocrit (red blood cell count, and thus oxygen carrying capacity and waste elimination) as well as increases in muscle mass. In the absence of testosterone Fallon doesn’t have an advantage. The NCAA and the IOCC back this up. I think your ‘ask’ here is predicated on the assumption that a trans woman maintains some sort of athletic advantage from having been shaped by testosterone, but science shows that once the testosterone is gone, the advantages are gone. When athletes and bodybuilders use huge amounts of steroids, they get bigger and more muscular than is possible without it, and when they stop taking it they lose all of that unnaturally large muscle mass. Without the presence of the excess testosterone the body can’t keep that advantageous musculature. Same with a trans woman who undergoes HRT–once her hormones have shifted to the cisgender female range, her physiology does as well, and those ranges are averages. Arguments that trans women have denser bones than cisgender women have been debunked (and I believe the same bone density argument was used in the past to prevent black women from competing with white women in athletics as well). Claims that trans women have longer bones, different muscle insertions, and different leverage are similarly silly as those attributes have a wide range of variety across all human beings regardless of gender and the differences in male and female skeletons are so minute that determining sex (birth or assigned sex in this case) on the shape, size, density, and appearance of a skeleton is not an exact science. Many skeletons known to archaeology are assumed to belong to people of one sex or another until dna testing reveals them to be of others. A recent example in the news were some of the “maidens” from the excavations at Pompeii.
Anecdotally, I am myself am still a very strong and fairly athletic woman (physically), but I believe that has more to do with quirks of my genetics and upbringing than my birth assigned sex. When I started HRT I lost thirty pounds of lean muscle. My endurance has decreased. My strength has decreased. I might be strong, but I can’t deadlift the back end of a car anymore. I was a natural athlete as a child and I had a childhood that involved what is now not a socially acceptable level of hard labor, and even after transitioning I was a blacksmith for a year and a half, and I attribute my relatively high levels of strength and athleticism to a lifetime of being a runner, laborer, weight lifter, and special forces soldier. I’m trying to get back into more athletic shape and I will say now that pre-transition working out was easier and I had far less difficulty in shedding body fat. I’ve also always had relatively wide hips and narrow shoulders (in terms of skeletal structure), though my heavy musculature pre-transition concealed that fact.
I do support men and women competing directly in most athletic competitions to be honest, but at the absolute highest levels of sports that depend on muscular strength and endurance men and folks with levels of testosterone in the standard cisgender male range (or above) tend to have an advantage.
That being said, I think women’s athletics still have a lot of room to improve and find greater heights of performance than can be achieved due largely to social factors. I think men are encouraged to pursue athletics and sport and physically vigorous activity from birth and women are actively discouraged from these pursuits. Even when women are encouraged in athletics, their culturally perceived femininity is seen as more important than their pursuit of athletics. Without the enormous amount of money, science, technology, and active cultural pursuit of female athletic performance potential that we see in men’s athletics, I think it’s going to be a while before women (as an overarching group) actually maximize their athletic potential at the absolute pinnacle of sports because there is so much cultural pushback against it (example: the recent elimination of women’s bodybuilding from the Arnold classic and the Olympia) . I think we have a long time to go before we can definitively say what the peak of female performance is and whether or not sports should be segregated by gender in the long run, but for now I would say gender segregation should remain in place.
(Although the presence of weight classes in combat sports does seem to mitigate some of the advantage issues–an episode of ‘fight science’ a few years ago showed Lucia Rijker–a female championship boxer weighing 140 pounds at 5′6″ tall, punched harder than Moe Ganyu–a male olympic boxer of identical height and weight. Additionally, she punched as hard as the 6′ tall, 203 pound mixed martial artist Houston Alexander who was known for his knockout power).
At any rate, I’m not an expert, but I would suggest you look at the IOCC’s guidance and studies on gender, performance, and trans inclusion.