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Racism, sexism etc in sport.

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Tony Lockhart, Jan 22, 2023.

  1. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Many sportswomen, I can think of Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova or Monica Seles, were very competitive on a tennis court, up to having an aggressive attitude when they were determined to win. So they won many tournaments. Just like the males on the circuit, and in general those who have a problem with competitiveness in sport better do something else with their life.

    Sadly not a good example, I feel rather sorry for Florence Griffith-Joyner.
  2. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    Yep, HGH it did for her.
  3. I suspect many of us are in the same boat. I tend to speak to my daughters (24 & 22) about these things, they are much better informed than me.

    Cheers BB
  4. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    I object to trans-women in female sporting categories. What does that say about my motivation?

    And why do you conflate DSD with trans? The situations are entirely different. That and Michael Phelps flippers are a clear sign of disingenuity. I think that says something about your motivation and attitude to women.
  5. Paul R

    Paul R pfm Member

    It's possible to find female violent criminals, that doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by males.

    In any majority male environment, even one where there is no intrinsic sex distinction, like perhaps chess, having a female category can increase participation. So I think I'm in favour of them.
    IanW and Tony Lockhart like this.
  6. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Thanks for that. The thing is that we all appreciate that this is a complicated and multifaceted issue, and on that basis testosterone is only part of the story. Another thing that is routinely considered, and has to be, is the non reversible effects of a male puberty. My body shape is fixed, it was laid down in puberty and adolescence and it cannot now be reversed by any hormones. This has to be borne in mind by the sporting authorities, and indeed generally is.

    Elite sports people, regardless of their gender or sex, are by definition exceptional individuals. We can all go through dozens of them. Miguel Indurain, the cyclist, has enormous lung capacity, so big that it forces his other organs out of his ribcage and made him appear to have a belly even when he was at the peak of his fitness and below 5% body fat. In biological terms he was a freak. Many athletes are. Peter Crouch, the footballer, is enormously tall. Is this an advantage for a striker? It certainly helped him. The US basketball player who was recently imprisoned in Russia, Brittany something, is 6 ft 7. This is a woman, born a girl, and still exceptionally, freakishly, tall. (I use the word "freak" here in its biological sense, not its perjorative one). Jockeys are very small. Picking out an exceptional individual in order to make a point doesn't tell anyone anything. Elite sports people are ALL exceptional.
    There are many factors that can convey a genetic advantage. Disproportionate numbers of male footballers have a third finger longer than their second, an unusual trait. Nobody knows why, except that it is genetically conveyed. Disproportionate numbers of Premiership/national team women football players are gay. Again, nobody knows why, but the variation from the mean is hugely significant and more than enough to indicate that there's a causal effect.
    These genetic advantages are undeniable and they are simply a result of natural variation. If Peter Crouch comes up against a defender who is 5 ft 6, have a guess who gets the headers. That's competitive sport. It's fair that PC just happens to be enormously tall, that's just natural variation. However the considerations about trans athletes are about whether someone who has changed their gender by means of surgical or pharmaceutical interventions can then *fairly* compete against someone who has *not* had such interventions, and how this can be done in a logical and fair fashion. Surgical or pharm interventions for other purposes that convey an advantage are obviously excluded from all sports.

    No. The observations I and others have made apply to either sex, any gender. It's about fair competition. It just happens that there are no sports I or others can think of where being born a girl and/or having female sex hormones conveys an advantage over being biologically male. Being born male certainly does, because by the end of puberty you are bigger and stronger than an equivalent female, and size and strength counts in more sports than not.
    docstocker, myles, MikeMA and 3 others like this.
  7. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    I hope I won't derail the thread, but just briefly... do you find that, in general, males are more competitive than females ? In sport or anything else.
  8. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    More aggressive, certainly. This will in many cases translate into competitiveness. At 100%? No.
  9. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    I was thinking about that today. At my rowing clubs the women are at least as competitive as the men. Some of the women are quite fearsome! But these are mostly middle-aged people. I suppose it is a very complex question to which there is no answer, to start with you would have to define different forms of competitiveness and then how to measure them. I have noticed that in a microcosm life a work place or a rowing club women get into tiffs with each other more easily than men. But obviously my subjective observation is not a statistic.
  10. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Or the other way around. Provided the two are necessarily linked to each other, which I am not sure about.

    There are domains where I am very competitive (job, choir, photography at the time), I want to be the best, and I feel krap when someone else is better. It has happened that I leave the place without saying much, but I don't remember ever having displayed any sort of aggression. For other people there is probably a link, like when Muhammad Ali fell into the ropes against poor Chuck Wepner and then decided to put and end to it rapidly and firmly.
  11. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    I think you are confusing causation and correlation.

    Your position remains problematic. It rests upon transwomen competing in women’s sporting events possessing an unfair biological advantage due to being born male. That same principal must surely be applied universally, i.e. the examples both of us have cited. Otherwise it is no longer an objection concerned with fairness, it is an objection resting solely upon someone’s status as trans.

    Your argument seems to pivot on greater physical ability as a result of genetics as fair, and unfair in the case of transwomen because they have undergone a deliberate process of bodily modification. How does the act of gender reassignment then differ from an athlete who undergoes the deliberate procedure of weight training/ specialised diet etc in order to increase strength, weight, speed etc?

    If it is unacceptable/ unfair for someone born with xy chromosomes who now identifies as female to compete alongside someone born with xx chromosomes on the basis that they have an unfair biological advantage, why is it not unacceptable/ unfair for someone of either gender with an uncommonly large lung capacity, or extremely long legs/ arms, or exceptionally tall etc to compete alongside those without such genetic advantage? I’m thinking specifically of the English rugby union team’s disgraceful whingeing that Jonah Lomu’s huge body size gave New Zealand an advantage they should not have been entitled to? Conversely, Lionel Messi’s diminutive stature compared to average male height has not impeded in any way his status of being regarded as the best football player in the world. Sporting success is by no means always related to size and strength.

    Perhaps, as was earlier suggested, sporting categories should be gender neutral and based upon weight/ height etc.
  12. Ted-M

    Ted-M pfm Member

    Because male/female sports aren't segregated on gender identity, they are segregated on sex. It isn't problematic, it's very straightforward (maybe it isn't*). The issue of DSD (Disorders of Sex Development) is more complicated.

    *An article here from yesterday's Guardian covering some of the issues in this thread:
    docstocker likes this.
  13. Cheese

    Cheese Bitter lover

    Same for Garrincha or Maradona in their day, and what all these players had in common was an exceptional agility on the pitch. I don't remember Peter Crouch very well, but I don't think he was very good at dribbling.

    No, but it's one more likely factor.
  14. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I most certainly am not! Please credit me with some intelligence.

    No. It's very clear.
    Yes, and competing against women born as girls. Or vice versa, if that conveyed an advantage to female born individuals.

    Of course not. If someone is naturally bigger, stronger, athletic, faster runner, then of course they should win.
    No, it is based on the fact that they have an advantage in being born one sex and competing in the "other" gender.

    This one is obvious. Being born tall, big and strong, training and dieting are natural. Taking drugs and having surgery are not. Performance enhancing drugs are illegal in sport, we all know.

    Natural vs. unnatural. One thing vs. another. Can I put a cheetah up in a greyhound race?

    We all know that this was bollocks then and still is now.

    Yeah, we know all this. We also all know that pulling out an individual as "disproves the case" doesn't do anything of the kind. Most men are bigger than most women. This much we all know as science fact. But I've got a female friend who is 6 ft 2 and taller than most men, certainly taller than me. Yes, and so what? It doesn't disprove anything. Lionel Messi is a great footballer and he's little. Yes. So what? It's still an observable fact that great footballers are generally bigger and stronger than the average person. Great rugby players, certainly. By all means go and find one who isn't, but it proves nothing. Most are, and that's the point.

    They are for boxing and others. Big boxers don't fight small ones. I believe there's even a maximum height for basketball, isn't it something enormous like 7ft for a man? Edit - turns out not, for adults at least. Above 7ft they become less agile, which is self selecting. It's just that the average US male is 5ft 9, the average NBA player 6ft 6, so you do the sums on whether height helps out. There have been elite players smaller than average, but they do this by dint of being exceptional elsewhere.
  15. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    The ignore button will come in handy here.
    MikeMA and stevec67 like this.
  16. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    You still fail to address why it’s fair for persons of either sex with a pronounced genetic advantage to compete against each other, but when those (supposed) advantages are a result of a gender reassignment they are not. It is a fatuous comparison with performance enhancing drugs. They are, as you say, illegal. Gender reassignment is not. Or, do you seriously believe that an individual would go through transition to be able to win an athletics event? Are genetic traits that confer a sporting advantage perfectly legitimate, as long as the person is not trans? Natural vs unnatural? Are trans people ‘unnatural’?

    Neither have you addressed, as you are convinced that trans women are at an advantage, why that has not translated into trans athletes dominating their respective sports in the examples available to us.

    You frequently invoke ‘science’ as a neutral metric. Then you will be aware that one of the effects of female hormones on the male physique is to lower testosterone and reduce muscle mass, yet you fail to acknowledge that this confers a potential disadvantage in having to mobilise a larger frame with less muscle power.

    Furthermore, exclamations such as “it’s blindingly obvious” in relation to perceived sporting advantage for transwomen, fundamentally fail to account for the massive social advantages involved in sporting success that are nothing to do with hormones or physiology. As I have said, if it was blindingly obvious then we could all just agree that it was, and not the cutting edge debate it most certainly is.
  17. Davd

    Davd pfm Member

    Can of worms well and truly opened...
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    we've covered this. I'm not typing it again.
    docstocker and Ted-M like this.
  19. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Just to off on a tangent, local elections looming in Rome. Since there are more men than women in politics, it has been decided that each voter can vote for a party and for up to 2 candidates. But, if they vote for 2 candidates, they must be one of each sex. The idea being that this should help redress the disparity between men and women in politics. I believe this also exists in other countries.
    But, does this not limit the voters' democratic right to choose the candidates they prefer?
  20. Finnegan

    Finnegan pfm Member

    Not quite blindingly obvious.

    “Currently, there is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition (e.g. cross-sex hormones, gender-confirming surgery) and, therefore, competitive sport policies that place restrictions on transgender people need to be considered and potentially revised.”

    “In the Olympic Games, since 2004, there have been over 52,000 Olympians and not a single trans person has ever qualified, let alone won a medal.”

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