Study: Transgender Athletes Have Advantages in Women’s Sports Despite Hormone Therapy

AP Photo via Dallas Morning News/Jae S. Lee

A recent study has shown that biological males identifying as transgender women, still retained considerable advantages over biological females in strength and muscle mass, even after a full year of hormone therapy.

The study, conducted by the the Karolinska Institute — a medical university in Sweden — and Linkoping University, a university in Sweden, showed that the biological males (transgender women) who took a full year of hormone therapy, still had muscle mass and strength advantages.

The researchers posted their conclusion: “Despite the robust increases in muscle mass and strength in TM, the TW were still stronger and had more muscle mass following 12months of treatment. These findings add new knowledge that could be relevant when evaluating transwomen’s eligibility to compete in the women’s category of athletic competitions.”

Put in simpler terms, the study concluded: “Our results indicate that after 12 months of hormonal therapy, a transwoman will still likely have performance benefits over a cis-woman.”

The study’s findings, however, are not an isolated event.

As the Daily Caller notes, “A paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in June found that male athletes who identify as transgender women have an ‘intolerable’ advantage over their female competitors, even after suppressing testosterone levels.”

The results of the study, which are still undergoing the peer review process, will prove crucial for the burgeoning movement to protect the rights of biological females in women’s sports. It also will pose new problems for the NCAA, who currently requires biological males to undergo a full year of hormone therapy prior to competing in women’s sports.

However, since the study shows that those biological males will retain considerable strength advantages over women despite the full year of hormone therapy, female athletes will have grounds to file a Title IX discrimination complaint to protest the inclusion of transgender women in their sports.

Already, several transgender women are dominating against biological female competition. At the high school level, two biological males have combined to win 15 Connecticut state track championships since 2017, while competing against biological females.

In the NCAA, Franklin Pierce University track star CeCe Telfer, a biological male, has won national championships and set records while competing against biological females. However, Telfer is still convinced that the fact he’s a biological male, has nothing to do with his success.

‘And there are people who say I have the benefit of testosterone,’ Telfer said, her voice calm but insistent.

‘But no: I have no benefit. I’m on hormone suppression; it doesn’t help. It’s another disadvantage. Cis women are producing more testosterone than the average trans female.’

‘So it’s crazy! I’m the crazy one, to be the weakest female, the weakest link in the chain, to be competing against the top ones. I should be fingered as the stupid one, for wanting to do that in the first place.’

In light of the work by the Swedish researchers, that position will become hard to maintain.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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