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15 December 2010 @ 04:26 pm
Possible NCAA ruling on transgender athletes  
According to an article in today's Chronicle of Higher Education,
An NCAA committee has suggested allowing a female athlete transitioning to male to play on a men’s team at any time, while a male athlete transitioning to female could compete with women so long as the athlete had undergone at least a year of treatment to suppress testosterone, the committee said. Athletes who do not seek hormone treatment would be permitted to compete for their "birth gender team".

In that I am not myself transgender, I can't address whether this is a good (potential) rule.
fabricdragonfabricdragon on December 15th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
not being involved here, i think its great!
it sounds practical... (takes time to reduce the testosterone levels, after all and lose the extra muscle mass) and fair, and more importantly it is actually *taking a gender change as possible*

i think thats great

ps, off topic, could you pls consider writing a recomendation for me?
redneckgaijinredneckgaijin on December 15th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
Since the current fact on the ground is "no transgenders in any NCAA sports, period," I think it'll be a good rule... if enforced.
fae dobhranladyotterfae on December 15th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
it's a good start, anyway. I'm sure plenty of people will want to change things, and believe me, the phrase "birth gender" is going to raise hackles, but it's nice to see some sort of move being made towards letting people be who they are, even on a sporting field. next up is the other athletic committees figuring out some sort of policy, then someone doing something about the terrible limbo the people who are _genetically_ not one of the standard duality get put in if they try to compete...
Xiphias Gladiusxiphias on December 15th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
To my mind, it seems to adress the things that are arguably legitimate concerns, without getting worked up about stupid stuff.
guppiecatguppiecat on December 15th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)

I can see their logic and agree that it's better than nothing.

However, I think that having sports segregated by either sex or gender is a fundamentally stupid idea. If the concern is over strength/flexibility differences as a result of hormones on the body, I'd think that the "weight class" idea from wrestling and boxing should apply decently well to most sports.

It would certainly apply better than this.

If you want to play on the "strong" team, you have to be able to run X length in Y time, bench press X pounds, etc. If you can do that, whatever your sex/gender/race/etc, you can compete on an even ground with everyone else.
zemhitchhiker on December 16th, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
it's more a question of "if you should be allowed to compete in the weak division", which is a lot harder to gauge
Casey: soffapurplepathos on December 16th, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
It's probably not ideal, but I don't know what "ideal" would be--and I'm glad that they're at least making an effort.
Bekibeki on December 16th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
You aren't taking true hermaphrodites into account either. There was a runner from some African nation that caused a huge stir. She was raised as a girl, had breasts and a vagina. Apparently, had male sex organs as well. I don't know all of the specifics, but they tried to yank her medal. I don't recall off hand if she got it back or not.
Miche: archermicheinnz on December 22nd, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Caster Semenya, of South Africa. She has been given her medal back.
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on December 16th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for boosting the signal on this, Janet.

It looks better than the current situation, in formally recognizing the existence of transgender athletes. Not requiring genital surgery also seems like a very good thing. (These are college kids, for crying out loud. Even if they want genital surgery, where are they going to find the money or the time for it?)

As Beki points out, it doesn't address the issue of intersex athletes. The NCAA committee may have started thinking about how to define gender after the case of Caster Semenya, last summer. She was not an NCAA athlete, being a South African university student, and she was competing in the IAAF track and field world championship. Her medal was challenged on the grounds that she had unusually high testosterone levels, which gives her a competitive advantage. (Unusually long legs also give a runner a competitive advantage, but that's not generally considered disqualifying.) Part of what made that situation horrible was how public it was...it must have been hideous for Ms. Semanya to have the world talking about her appearance and her medical records.

It seems like almost any rule would be an improvement, if it could be applied consistently and without public humiliation. Of course, it remains to be seen how this rule will be applied.

In that I am not myself transgender, I can't address whether this is a good (potential) rule.

Are any of your transgender friends or acquaintances serious competitive athletes? I'm far enough away from that kind of sport to be aware that I don't really understand it. Less competitive sports (or competition where only personal pride is at stake, not scholarships or commercial endorsements or larger-scale prestige) seem like a different sort of thing.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on December 16th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Are any of your transgender friends or acquaintances serious competitive athletes?

Not that I'm aware of. Come to think of it, I'm not certain *any* of my friends or acquaintances are serious competitive athletes, although at least of them was when he was younger.
Bladerunnerbldrnrpdx on December 17th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
I also think it's a good start. It's a clear signal that transgender kids (FSVO "kids") exist, for starters, and it's a clear signal that they will be accepted into competitive sports. Assuming it's enforced, then teams will have to learn to work with it, which (ideally) means coaches and teammates (and hopefully other related personnel) will all eventually be able to say "yeah, he's transgendered. so?" It's also going to make *further* discussion much easier and much more possible. Starting the conversation is usually the hardest part. Arguing later "yeah, but...!" and that "they should've including these other points as well!" is infinitely easier.

And hell, when it's good with in the sports world, then hopefully Joe Average will get there too.