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?