Wow! Sex hormone has sex effect!

As we know humans are sexually dimorphic. Sure, the modern world wants more than just that di- but still. There’s a different set of hormones which do different things to the basic body plan. This ends up with two variations on that plan (again, ignore the modern world’s insistence upon more diversity for a moment).

More subcutaneous fat on the one version, less on the other. Muscle mass differs. Pelvic structures, thus mode of walking differ.

OK. We even know that it is the hormones. For we have a condition, total androgen whateverthehellitis where the genetic structure is XY but the output in terms of body version – muscle weight, subcutaneous fat etc – is XX. And the tawhatever is, we know, not being influenced by those hormones.

Sex specific hormones thus matter:

Women with higher testosterone levels could run the 2,000 metres 10 seconds quicker than their rivals, a new study has found.

On Monday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body for athletics, ruled that trans female athletes must lower their levels of testosterone if they want to compete in women’s events.

The new regulation already applies to female athletes with unusually high levels of testosterone, such as the South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.

But there has been little science to show if the rulings are fair, or if the hormone is having a major impact on performance.

In new experiments, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, raised the testosterone levels of 24 women over 10 weeks using a hormonal cream, and tested their athletic ability against a control group of the same number who were given a placebo.

The end result here is that if we are to have this separate category called “women’s sport” then we need to have a definition of who is a woman. One that’s going to have to deal with this hormone issue.

We can, of course, abandon the idea of segregating based upon the difference. But those are our only two choices. Have women’s sport with some definition of who may compete based upon a biological definition of female, not a social one, or don’t have the separate classification at all.

All of which sounds most difficult of course. Except the answer is actually very easy indeed. Don’t have any societal rules on the point at all. Allow each and every sport, or fraction of it, to do as they wish. Yes, some will complain that they’re not allowed onto the sex segregated baseball team because that’s how that version of baseball has decided to do it. Others will find that this version over here of women’s rugby welcomes all in any state.

And then we just let people get on with it as they wish. You know, be liberal about it?

14 comments on “Wow! Sex hormone has sex effect!

  1. Where do I get that hormonal cream? Dos it work on scones? Can the NI farmers make it out of spare milk?

  2. And of course the man (oops, sorry police!, trans woman) has had the benefit of a decade or more of testosterone, building body mass and strength, basically smashing whatever limit sports authorities place on testosterone with impunity.

    Still, in the interests of equity and fairness they must be allowed to compete and win races by 80 metres.

  3. “And then we just let people get on with it as they wish. You know, be liberal about it?”

    I think in bodybuilding now there are two basic codes— Natty and Juiced.

  4. And then we just let people get on with it as they wish. You know, be liberal about it?

    What about those, then entire media for one, whose existence is devoted to whining?

  5. Following HB’s comment, why not just apply the weight-lifting system, categorise all participants by body mass regardless of identity and compete within that class. All 100kg’ers compete with 100kg’ers, all 110kg’ers compete with 110kg’ers, etc.

  6. Weightlifting separates by sex as well as weight class, because males of a given weight class will out-lift females.

    Both the clean and jerk and the snatch require a lot of upper body strength, which males have a natural advantage in.

  7. There are several transgender weightlifters winning gold medals in ‘female’ competitions. I don’t think they’d do very well competing as males in the same weight category.

  8. Why do people participate in sport. For the huge enjoyment to be gained by following the rulings of a virtue seeking politically correct committee of course. The rainbow unicorn butterfly vision of all sports organising themselves runs afoul of the reality of shrieking activists pinkmailing eveyone else into submission. The end result will be the same, that genuine women will say fuck it why bother.

  9. M

    “Both the clean and jerk and the snatch require a lot of upper body strength, which males have a natural advantage in.”

    Having been a powerlifter for many years, I can assure you men have a natural advantage in lower body strength as well.

  10. So when a prop forward in a dress is accused of misogyny/transphobia or whatever they can just say they were trying out for the woman’s team

  11. Dear Mr Worstall

    “The new regulation already applies to female athletes with unusually high levels of testosterone, such as the South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya.”

    Is this a new form of nominative determinism?

    DP

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