Transjacking Biology

by The Center for Bioethics and Culture on March 29, 2021

On March 26, Scientific American published an article by Dr. Jack Turban, entitled “Trans Girls Belong on Girls’ Sports Teams.” The column ironically appeared in the “policy and ethics” section of the magazine and argued that moral people should strongly oppose the exclusion of trans identified males from female athletic competitions, claiming, without evidence, that males who identify as females possess no athletic advantage over female bodied athletes. 

It’s a topic of growing interest for us at the CBC as trans activism intersects with our areas of focus on a number of levels: the corruption of mainstream media narratives designed to prop up #BigPharma and #BigFertility (womb transplants), the making and faking of human life, which relies heavily on our shared societal understanding of what it means to be male and female, and the way the human rights of women are consistently placed as a sacrificial lamb upon the altar of the newest cash cow.

In any case, Turban’s article included numerous emotional appeals to the feelings and mental health stability of trans identified athletes. It framed the issue as primarily a political one, propped up by conservatives as a smoke screen behind which to hide their bigotry. But there was one element of the article that was shockingly lacking for a magazine so esteemed for its commitment to science: the science itself. 

Turban invites his readers to pretend that testosterone is the only physical advantage inherent in the male body, an advantage, he claims, which is largely neutralized by the puberty blockers and cross sex-hormones consumed by many trans identified individuals. His argument fails on three basic levels: 1. Many athletic committees place no or inadequate testosterone limits for male athletes to participate in female sports; all that’s necessary for inclusion is for an individual to claim to feel like he or she is a member of the opposite sex. 2. Actual science shows that hormone therapy does not, in fact, neutralize male physiological advantage. 3. Testosterone is only one of a large number of physiological advantages inherent in the male body.

Let’s unpack this, shall we? 

Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller are two high school aged males whose mere claim to be girls enabled them to participate in the Connecticut girls state track championship. Between the two of them, they now hold 12 girls’ state championship titles. Neither of them were on hormones of any kind when they first started competing against females. Both went through male puberty, which dramatically heightened their male bodied advantage.

State high school transgender athletic policies vary across the country. Almost all states allow trans identified males to participate in female sports; only 14 states require any kind of “medical proof” as a condition to participation, and at least 16 have no medical hurdles whatsoever for trans identified athletes. If a male wants to participate in girls’ sports, all he has to do is say that he’s a female. His physiological advantages are not considered.

The International Olympic Committee’s rules on transgender athletes are incredibly lax, requiring only self-identification and testosterone limits of 10 nonomoles per liter for male inclusion in female competitions. To some, this might sound reasonable, but when you take into account that the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAFF) reports the average female elite athlete possesses testosterone levels ranging from .12 to 1.70 nanomoles per liter, we are talking about a testosterone level nearly ten times the average female athlete! And that’s one isolated advantage.

In September of 2019, the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm published a landmark study entitled “Muscle Strength, Size, and Composition Following 12 Months of Gender Affirming Treatment in Transgender Individuals,” which unpopularly concluded that, following one year of testosterone suppression and cross sex hormones, trans identified males had not seen a significant decrease in muscle mass.

What Turban and company conveniently fail to consider in their advocacy for the erasure of hard fought sex-based protections like Title IX is the host of other advantages inherent in the male body beyond testosterone: males have increased O2 capacity, overall musculature, bone size and density, increased joint stability, and lower body fat to name a few. These advantages don’t magically disappear with the wave of a synthetic estrogen wand. 

How could a publication so revered for its commitment to science be so incredibly negligent when it comes to engaging the basic scientific principles of biology? 

Easy. Like most issues we address at the CBC, all you have to do is follow the money. The trans lobby is big pharma’s newest cash cow, and per usual, women end up as the sacrificial lambs.

You’ll notice that Dr. Turban did not write an article entitled “Why Trans Boys Belong on Boys Sports teams.”  Is it, perhaps, that he knows that, regardless of how earnestly a female identifies as a male, no amount of drugs or wishful thinking will land her a spot on the starting lineup of an NBA team. Or an NFL squad. Or a MLB franchise. Or any other elite male competition? Do you suppose that maybe this is relatively obvious to him? Do you suppose it matters to him that the only people who win in this equation are men and that the losers are always women and girls? 

Probably not. Trans issues aren’t a matter of human rights; they’re a matter of men’s special rights. It’s embarrassing to call this science.

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