Pro-Transgender Doctors Dismiss Male to Female Athletes as ‘an Imagined Problem’ for Women’s Sports

Transgender boy Damian of New York takes part in the NYC Pride March as part of World Pride commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising on June 30, 2019 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota-based doctors working in the lucrative youth transgender medical field are condemning a state bill seeking to ban biological males from competing in women’s sports and using female locker rooms.

In an op-ed at the Star Tribune this week, the medical professionals – pediatricians and those treating gender dysphoric youth in “gender clinics” – called the legislation a “hateful distraction, an imagined problem created only to politicize the lives of transgender youths.”

The authors defended males in girls’ and women’s sports with a statement denying the existence of evidence that boys and men “have any type of biological advantage over” girls and women. The authors do not cite specific studies to support their claims.

In 2019, a study at BMJ Journal of Medical Ethics found male athletes claiming to be female hold an “intolerable” advantage over biological female athletes.

Three professors — two in bioethics and one in physiology — noted in the BMJ that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) initially allowed transgender women to compete against biological females if their testosterone is below 10 nmol/L. The researchers found, however, even that level is “significantly higher” than that of biological females.

In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. (Pat Eaton-Robb/AP Photo)

In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender female athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender female athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and the biological female runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. (Pat Eaton-Robb/AP Photo)

The authors cited research demonstrating that “healthy young men did not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced” for 20 weeks to meet the IOC’s guidelines.

The researchers also stated that “indirect effects of testosterone will not be altered by hormone therapy.”

“For example, hormone therapy will not alter bone structure, lung volume or heart size of the transwoman athlete, especially if she transitions postpuberty, so natural advantages including joint articulation, stroke volume and maximal oxygen uptake will be maintained,” they explained in the BMJ article.

“We conclude that the advantage to transwomen afforded by the IOC guidelines is an intolerable unfairness,” the researchers asserted.

Another study, conducted by the Karolinska Institute and Linkoping University in Sweden, showed biological males identifying as women still held “considerable advantages over biological females in strength and muscle mass, even after a full year of hormone therapy,” as Breitbart News reported.

The researchers concluded, “after 12 months of hormonal therapy, a transwoman will still likely have performance benefits over a cis-woman.”

Despite such evidence, the pro-transgender doctors wrote in the Star Tribune that increasing state legislation seeking to keep girls’ and women’s sports for biological females will only harm “an already marginalized population” with a “high risk of poor mental health outcomes when they are not supported in their gender identity, with suicide attempts as high as 14-49%.” The doctors did not cite studies to support this claim.

In August, however, the American Journal of Psychiatry released a correction to a 2019 Swedish study that concluded that individuals claiming to be transgender experience mental health benefits following gender-affirming surgeries.

The American Journal of Psychiatry noted the authors of the original study retracted their conclusion after numerous requests for a reanalysis of the data led to the corrected findings.

Following reanalysis, the Swedish study’s conclusion was that neither “gender-affirming hormone treatment” nor “gender-affirming surgery” decreased the need for mental health services of those claiming to be transgender.

Still, the Minnesota doctors wrote:

Despite the growing number of bills targeting transgender youths in sports, there is no evidence that transgender girls playing on girls’ teams is harmful or detrimental. In fact, the creators of these bills themselves are unable to find examples supporting their case in the state of Minnesota. This fabricated problem is based on the bigotry and fears of anti-trans activists.

“This proves my point that science denial reigns in academic medicine,” said Michelle Cretella, M.D., to Breitbart News.

The executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, Cretella asserted pediatricians who have been “brave enough to proclaim authentic science and adhere to the ethics of first do no harm will champion these pro-children pieces of legislation by making the following points”:

  1. There is no such thing as a transgender human being. There are only males and females who feel estranged from their bodies and choose to self-identify as “transgender” – a social construct divorced from physical reality – often due to a history of trauma.
  2. Sex is a dimorphic, innate trait defined in relation to an organism’s biological role in reproduction. An organism that donates genetic material toward the conception of a new organism is male; an organism structured to receive genetic material during fertilization is female. In humans, primary sex determination occurs at fertilization and is directed by a complement of sex-determining genes on the X and Y chromosomes. This genetic signature is present in every nucleated body cell and is not altered by drugs or surgical interventions. No one has an opposite-sexed brain trapped in their body.
  3. Sex differences arise from at least four different genetic mechanisms, in addition to the actions of sex hormones and environmental influences. Consideration of these innate differences is critical to the practice of good medicine and to the development of sound public policy for children and adults alike.
  4. Long-term research on elite athletes has consistently shown that when matched for training, males are bigger, faster and stronger than females. Though predominantly related to hormones, these differences also result from sex-differential gene expression. Males, who self-identify as female, including those on estrogen, remain genetically male and have no objective reason — let alone a right — to be in female spaces or competing against females. Just as a female doping testosterone would be prohibited from competing against other females, so too should all males be barred from competing against females.

The feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has also voiced strong opposition to allowing men and boys in women’s and girls’ sports, and spaces such as bathrooms and locker rooms:

“Doctors shouldn’t be in the business of prescribing a loss of civil rights and privacy for girls as a mental health treatment for their male patients,” WoLF executive director Natasha Chart said in comments to Breitbart News.

She elaborated regarding the op-ed written by the gender clinic doctors:

Who gave them the authority to shift responsibility to the rest of us for patient care needs that they seem to be having trouble meeting in their own practices? If they have a young male patient with complex needs, those needs should be met by their guardians and physicians, not foisted off onto their female peers.

Chart observed that pediatricians “need to know the sex of a child in order to know if their patient is thriving and meeting developmental milestones, or in order to prescribe them appropriate and effective treatments.”

“If these doctors think that it’s disparaging to identify the sex of a child, what are they putting down on their patient charts at the office to ensure there aren’t clinical mistakes?” she asked.

The Minnesota-based authors of the op-ed titled “Anti-Trans Legislation Is Inhumane” are: Katy Miller, assistant professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota; Rhamy Magid, medical director, Pediatric Gender and Sexual Health Clinic, Hennepin Healthcare; Christopher Dunne, clinical lead of Gender Health, Children’s Minnesota; Angela Kade Goepferd, chief of staff and medical director of Gender Health, Children’s Minnesota; Kelsey Leonardsmith, director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Transgender Hormone Care Program, Family Tree Clinic.

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