The cultural battle being waged over whether to allow transgender women to compete alongside biological women in sports has attracted significant attention recently in the context of several state laws designed to address the issue and the upcoming Olympic games.
For his part, President Joe Biden has made it clear that he supports transgender athletes, prompting one advocate for female athletes to accuse him of “erasing the borders of what biological sex is.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Beth Stelzer, who founded the group Save Women’s Sports, has decried the Biden administration’s position, citing in part the physiological advantages that she says transgender women have over athletes who were born female. The president issued an order on his first day in office that sought to combat “discrimination” based on gender or sexual identity.
“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” the executive action stated.
His order instructed the heads of government agencies to review prior policies and regulations and propose changes where necessary in pursuit of fully complying with his overarching agenda.
Last month, the White House released a fact sheet coinciding with Pride Month that celebrated the administration’s accomplishments in terms of “equality” for those in the LGBTQ community.
NPR reported that one such accomplishment was a reinterpretation of the Education Department’s 1972 Title IX rule to also include gender identity as a prohibited form of discrimination, essentially mandating that schools accept transgender athletes or risk losing federal funding.
Stelzer, an amateur weightlifter who has been at the forefront of the debate since at least 2019, recently sounded off in an interview with the Examiner. She stressed the perceived unfairness of allowing athletes who were born male to compete against women, noting the “immutable” physiological advantages that they possess.
“We can look at bone structure,” she said. “Our bone lengths are different. So are arms and legs, and then the angle in which they go into the hips [is different] as women are childbirthing. Hand and feet sizes are different.”
Selzer said that other differences include greater muscle mass, larger hearts and lungs, and the ability to move more oxygen through the bloodstream for transgender women.
Furthermore, she noted that none of those advantages are diminished by reducing testosterone level, which is a factor used by many athletic organizations — including the International Olympic Committee — in determining whether transgender women should be allowed to compete in all-female sports leagues.
In reference to the domination of transgender athletes in women’s sports, Selzer argued: “There’s no asterisk by their name to tell future generations of females that those were set by male bodies, not female bodies.”