USA Boxing Transgender Policy

This article is concerning a new USA Boxing Transgender Policy, to be issued in the new year, but I cannot conclude when it will officially take effect.

From 2024, there will be a new ruling for concerning transgender athletes competing in boxing in the USA which has garnered controversy.

I can provide the following tweet, sourced from IFL, which encloses clauses for this policy:

Physiology

It is interesting to note, that the only metric of concern is testosterone levels, but there are multiple factors to look out for, I will list some of these below:

  • body-fat percentage
  • bone-density
  • lung-capacity and rib-cage size
  • strength and muscle-mass

certainly, a female athlete can improve her strength and athletic ability via training, but biological factors can contribute to the response to physical training.

When someone has gone through male puberty, and then decides they want to transition, I would argue that they would have natural advantages, even if they’ve undergone surgery.

Certainly, a MTF (male-to-female) transgender athlete who has a undergone surgery will not have the same advantages as someone who has not; still, as a result of undergoing male-puberty, I’d argue that they will have natural advantages.

Whilst the Y chromosome is small, it contains information unique to this chromosome, that will be not be found in the autosomal chromosomes, or the other sex-chromosome: the X chromosome.

Such advantages will include bone-density, and quite possibly fast-twitch muscle fibre response, but I will need to examine studies on this.

Ultimately, it is best to do things on a case-by-case basis, but I think the pattern that will occur, is that MTF transgender athletes, will dominate the competition by-and-large.

In terms of fairness, this puts biologically female athletes into a precarious position, where the need for fairness comes into question for female athletes.

The following are responses from Ebanie Bridges, and Amanda Serrano respectively:

Personally, I concur with Bridges and Serrano on their concerns.

Notable Examples

I would like to provide the following notable examples of MTF athletes, who had competed at elite-level (or thereabouts):

  • Lia Thomas (Swimming, NCAA championships, March 2022)
  • Cece Telfer (400m hurdles, 2019)
  • Laurel Hubbard (competed in the Olympics, 2020)

The following is a quote that has been sourced from the daily mail, and includes a comment from Tommy Lundberg, a lecturer on physiology:

Tommy Lundberg, a lecturer in physiology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and leading researcher on the subject, told DailyMail.com in March: ‘The most important thing is whether or not you have benefited from male development and male puberty and if you’ve done that, you’re going to have advantages you cannot undo later.’

source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12063627/Awkward-photo-shows-female-cyclist-place-podium-beaten-trans-rider.html

Tara Seplavy has argued that the treatments that they’ve undergone have detracted from their performance; certainly, when comparing against males, this is certainly the case.

I have sourced the following quote, which you can find in the Daily Mail article sourced above: ‘As my coach said, I’m anti-doping. I’m putting chemicals in my body that actually detract from athletic performance.’

Final Thoughts

Finally, whilst there are transgender athletes who are mediocre post-transition (and possibly worse, relatively speaking), it is argued that generally, an MTF transgender athlete who has undergone male-puberty, will have physical advantages over their biologically female counterparts.

In the case of combat-sports, the risks are greater, as these are full-contact sports, which require violence to defeat an opponent, this presents greater risks for the women participating in these sports,

 

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