UK Review finds trans athletes retain unfair advantages

UK Review finds trans athletes retain unfair advantages

An 18 month review of sporting bodies released in the UK has found that transgender athletes competing as women retain innate performance advantages over females, even after transitioning.

There have been calls for Australia’s controversial transgender sporting guidelines to be scrapped in response: 

The 18-month review of sporting bodies in the UK found transwomen retain strength, stamina and physique advantages when competing in ­female sports, even when they reduce their ­testosterone levels.

“This guidance concludes that for many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot coexist in a single competitive model,” the UK Sports Council reported.

Sports Australia’s 2019 guidelines allow males who self-identify as women to compete in women’s sports, threatening the safety of female athletes and creating an unfair competition. 

Despite the obviously negative impacts on women, Sport Australia is refusing to back down and concede that their guidelines, as currently drafted, are dangerous for women. 

Addressing the review, a spokesperson for Sport Australia said the guidelines would only need to be updated if the 1984 Federal Sex Discrimination Act was changed.

“The guidelines provide clarity to sports regarding existing law, specifically the Federal Sex Discrimination Act (1984) and how it applies to sport,” he said. “The guidelines would only require updating if the Act is changed.”

Liberal Party Senator from Tasmania Claire Chandler has expressed her disappointment that the guidelines are still in place:

“Sport Australia’s position that entry into women’s sport should be based on self-declared gender identity rather than sex is so nonsensical that it is staggering their discredited ­guidelines haven’t been withdrawn.

“Their UK counterparts have shown that when you use common sense and look at the evidence, the only logical conclusion is that single-sex women’s sport is necessary to ­ensure fairness for female athletes.”

As we have stated before, the current situation is not an easy one for transgender athletes, but allowing them to compete in women’s sport is not the answer. This issue is one that we must be able to reasonably discuss, because in championing ‘inclusivity’ for trans athletes, we are ultimately excluding women from their own sports. 

There is a reason men and women do not compete together, and Sport Australia’s guidelines do not take into account the well established physiological advantages gained by going through male puberty. They must be amended as a matter of urgency to reflect the reality that men and women are biologically different. 

Women’s Forum Australia is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and public policy advocacy on issues affecting women and girls, with a particular focus on addressing behaviours and practices that are harmful and abusive to them. We are a non-partisan, non-religious, tax-deductible charity. We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations to make an impact. Support our work today.

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