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View Full Version : Transsexuals playing in gender divided sports they weren't born as.



daman
February 13th, 2005, 02:30 PM
Should transsexuals be allowed to play in a sport, that is gender divided, as the gender they have become physically (i.e. operations and hormone pills to make a man into a woman) even though they were not born as that gender?

For example, should a man who has gone through the operation of drugs to become a woman be allowed to play in a woman's gold tournament?

Real life example:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/golf/02/09/bc.glf.transsexuals.women.s.ap/index.html?cnn=yes

Even though I'm debating specifically the case where a man becomes a woman, this could also apply to a woman trying to become a man.

In the case where a man wishes to become a woman, I believe even though a person has gone through the operation to become the other gender they still could possess an unfair advantage in regards to strength. In the golf example a transsexual could have the advantage of hitting the ball much farther than any woman who was born a woman. I'm assuming that because of horminal drugs a man may not be as strong as he once was, but I don't believe there is any way to regulate how feminine they have become.

Snoop
February 13th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Should transsexuals be allowed to play in a sport, that is gender divided, as the gender they have become physically (i.e. operations and hormone pills to make a man into a woman) even though they were not born as that gender? They can play but when you look at the whole concept of sex change operations, it becomes bizarre. If people want to pay to see professional athletes who have gone through sex change operations, fine - but if in intercollegiate sports, no. Why encourage that sort of behavior?

FruitandNut
February 13th, 2005, 02:52 PM
daman - what about the 'mercifully' few people who are genuinely and naturally in the sexual 'middle ground', physically and/or emotionally. Can they choose either, or are they barred from all gendered sport?

Steroids can make some women exhibit more masculine traits than many men.

Iluvatar
February 13th, 2005, 02:58 PM
Hmmm...I believe that legally, if you get a sex change, you are considered your new gender. However, a valid point has been made as regards to the possibility of an unfair advantage. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue.

Slipnish
February 13th, 2005, 04:10 PM
I suppose some "before" and "after" measurements would have to be made...

Loss/gain of muscle mass, that sort of thing...

Plus I am sure there is a time line in which one has to "officially" stop being one gender, and start being another... I guess/hope/think.

Surely some doctor somewhere would be able to tell...

Fyshhed
February 13th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Operations can never undo genetics. Keep the line drawn at biology.

daman
February 13th, 2005, 08:17 PM
daman - what about the 'mercifully' few people who are genuinely and naturally in the sexual 'middle ground', physically and/or emotionally. Can they choose either, or are they barred from all gendered sport?

From a legal stand point, the few people who are physically in the middle have their gender chosen for them at birth by parents and/or doctors. That choice goes on your birth certificate, so in my opinion that is what you are officially. That may not be fair in some cases, but it would be solid standing point that would prohibit people who are not in the middle ground to take advantage. In this scenario no one would be barred from both gendered sports. Everyone gets to play, and the playing field is more level.

If you can have a scenario where a male that is as strong as an ox, but emotionally feels he feels like a woman and gets an operation is this fair? I think even after the operation he(now a she) will have an unfair balance of strength.

KevinBrowning
February 13th, 2005, 09:45 PM
People who want their gender changed should be in a mental hospital, not a sports field.

FruitandNut
February 14th, 2005, 12:40 AM
Kev - I wish you could be in their shoes physically and/or emotionally, for a month or so, perhaps your attitude might then become more mellowed and understanding. They are not all deviants and perves. By whatever means or design (I say it this way to avoid being propelled into the 'Religion' forum), nature goes for variety, and that includes matters sexual. To called them 'nutters' is heavily biased social psychology, that all too often masquerades as religion and/or politics.

daman - How would you feel if someone had stuck on your birth certificate a gender label that you emotionally could not accept? There are rare cases where both physically and hormonally, even geneticists have to resort to 'eeny, meeny, miney, mo'. Imagine being one of those - would you not crave for empathy and acceptance for what you are? Often suicides are really 'public manslaughter', brought about by general ignorance and prejudice fuelling a personal hell and despair.

daman
February 14th, 2005, 04:07 AM
FruitandNut - I agree it would not always be a fair way to decide, but I have suggested one solution that could be used for anyone who wishes to change their sex yet keep the playing field at level as possible. I don't agree that anyone should be able to change sex and play sports where they clearly have an advantage. Unfortunately this solution causes middle of the road people to abide by the same system as those that are clearly not middle of the road. Do we make middle of the road people a special case? I think making one special case would case the system to break down and non-middle of the road people would complain.

FruitandNut
February 14th, 2005, 04:29 AM
It could be argued that one or two 'recent' top women tennis players were more 'butch' and masculine than a lot of men!!! But as far as I know, they are considered female. It is such a blurry area at times - especially now that 'smart' test fooling designer drugs are coming in.

Zhavric
February 14th, 2005, 06:29 AM
People who want their gender changed should be in a mental hospital, not a sports field.

I love what you've said here so much I've decided to make a thread out of it.

Apokalupsis
February 14th, 2005, 08:53 AM
For once, I'm in agreement w/ Fyshy. You be a man if you be born as one, you be a woman if you be born as one.

Let me ask those of you who FAVOR transexual sports...and honestly believe that a man and woman are defined by the operation or state of mind...

Would you date or have relations with a transexual? That is, a man who had an operation to be a woman (and vice versa)? Would you be open to becoming romantically involved? After all, they ARE the gender they were changed to during the operation, AND they do honestly think of themselves as the opposite sex...so they MUST be right? Then surely...you have NO reservation about dating or even going to bed with a transexual....right?

Apokalupsis
February 14th, 2005, 09:07 AM
Kev - I wish you could be in their shoes physically and/or emotionally, for a month or so, perhaps your attitude might then become more mellowed and understanding. They are not all deviants and perves. By whatever means or design (I say it this way to avoid being propelled into the 'Religion' forum), nature goes for variety, and that includes matters sexual. To called them 'nutters' is heavily biased social psychology, that all too often masquerades as religion and/or politics.

daman - How would you feel if someone had stuck on your birth certificate a gender label that you emotionally could not accept? There are rare cases where both physically and hormonally, even geneticists have to resort to 'eeny, meeny, miney, mo'. Imagine being one of those - would you not crave for empathy and acceptance for what you are? Often suicides are really 'public manslaughter', brought about by general ignorance and prejudice fuelling a personal hell and despair.
Then you would agree to dating a transexual if you were available? Afterall, in your opinion, there is no difference right? The surgically changed man, is now a woman (or man depending upon your fancy). ;)

Ibelsd
February 14th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I think the real debate here isn't about sports, it is about whether gender is a choice. This thread is in obvious reference to the (wo)man who has joined the LPGA. That league has decided to allow h(er)is entrance. Frankly, such a decision is one to be made on a case by case basis for each league according to that league's best interests. The LPGA, yearning for some notice, welcomed the free pub. I don't think the more financially stable, WTA, would be as accepting. Unfotunately, the he-she on the LPGA is no less attractive than the dykie looking women(?) currently on that tour with a few exceptions.

Therefore, we really are debating the question of gender in terms of nature versus nurture. Some have noted that in rare cases people are born with ambiguous gender. In such cases, the parents pick one gender and hope things work out. On the other side of the coin is the transgendered individual who is clearly a member of a specific sex, but isn't confortable with that gender.

The problem is that gender is not specific to sex organs. It is about chromosomes. Removing a man's penis, doesn't magically turn him into a woman. It makes him a penis-less man. Even adding female hormones does not alter the person's genetic material. If we should go that route, than we could simply define men by the size of their penis. Oh, that guy has a small prick, so he is only 70% man. That woman has a large clit, so she is about 27% male. On such a scale, we can all consider ourselves some percentage of femal and some percentage of male. Except the guy with the 15" rod. He is 100% male. In such cases, sports leagues could then restrict to gender percentages. This league only excepts people of 30% maleness or less. What's that guy with the beard doing out there on the court running with Lisa Leslie? Oh, his penis is only 2 inches long, so he made the cut, no pun intended.

daman
February 14th, 2005, 04:53 PM
Frankly, such a decision is one to be made on a case by case basis for each league according to that league's best interests.

A very good point. It will be each individual league that decides what criteria will be used (if any at all) to determine who gets to play in their league. And a league will make such a controversial choice if they can benefit from it or if they are pressured into it by a majority.
So, strength comparison may not even be considered by a certain league as a criteria. A choice may be just the shock factor to bring in more people.


Would you date or have relations with a transexual?

Is the point that if you are not willing to date a man who became a woman then they really are not a woman? I believe there are a few men that see no difference between a woman born that way or altered. But that is a minority view. The majority would answer no to your question.

Supaiku
February 14th, 2005, 06:30 PM
I'd deffinatly think in the intrest of fairness of large scale sports it'd be best if they just weren't allowed. It'd be way too hard to decide if the fact that they used to be the opposite gender is giving them an advantage or not. It's deffinatly true that as much as there is a change it isn't 100%.
And the issue's already hot enough I don't think making it hotter would help the issue or the sports.

This does make me wonder about gender as a whole though. How deep does the gap really go and how important is it... I'm not even quite sure what I'm supposed to be wondering about but I do get the feeling that gender differences are overplayed in some particular way:/

Ibelsd, while that's an underlying issue in this thread I think it should be kept in another thread. Here I think it's pretty clear that the issue is the gender issue, as it relates to sports.

Ibelsd
February 15th, 2005, 07:01 AM
Ibelsd, while that's an underlying issue in this thread I think it should be kept in another thread. Here I think it's pretty clear that the issue is the gender issue, as it relates to sports.

I think I addressed this. I also pointed out why the question is, itself, irrelevant.

FruitandNut
February 15th, 2005, 07:17 AM
Then you would agree to dating a transexual if you were available? Afterall, in your opinion, there is no difference right? The surgically changed man, is now a woman (or man depending upon your fancy). ;)

Dating a transexual is not my personal bag, but I would not stop you from dating one. That does not mean to say I am 'phobic' or want to snigger or jeer.

More seriously, I see many socio-psycho and physical reasons why the insertion of such people into gendered sport is problematic. My main argument and issue lies with those who do not treat such people with empathy and understanding.

Vorketh
February 15th, 2005, 07:35 AM
We've overlooked something of striking social significance with this issue. Before I get to it, I want to rant a little bit.

Sports, if we take a historical view, stemmed from simple competition between people of natural ability (generally physical). These activities eventually became organized and regulated. That's really about it. However, because of the little adjective NATURAL, there has been much regulation against modifiers being used to improve performance (such as steroids).

See - told you the rant would be short.

Now, the key, as stated above, was natural ability. Regardless of intent, changing genders through ARTIFICIAL means is hardly natural. Perhaps "necessary", but not natural. This already has an effect on a person's natural abilities as classified in their new gender, because this person has been artificially modified in such a way that has in some way, shape, or form altered their structure and build. This is seemingly contrary to the spirit of sports - competition of natural ability. Though I would hate to be unfair to those who honestly felt a true necessity to change genders by disallowing them what their passions allow, I refuse to open a door for those who would change genders to achieve a goal of theirs that they would pursue regardless of cost. I refuse to see men who can't win the PGA change genders to win the LPGA in some sick dementia. This is why I hope the PGA denies transsexuals the right to play. You can't be case by case on this, because that opens doors for other problems from people who feel their rights have been infringed because transexual Joe was allowed to play and they weren't.