Home » Transgender

Category Archives: Transgender

Watching from the Sidelines: More Thoughts on That High-School Running Competiton

2750 words

Two months ago, I wrote about the two transgender high-school athletes in Connecticut that competed in the in-door running competition. Of course, the two top-placers were the ones who went through male puberty. There is a short interview involving some of the competitors in that specific competition. One of the girls shows her face—the others do not, because they fear the repercussions of discussing this. They are scared of airing their grievances due to “the far left” as one of them says. And this is a completely rational thing to do, especially if they are attempting to make track a career and compete in college.

In any case, the one girl—Selina Soule—who does show her face in the interview levels some solid points. (The quotes are from Selena and they come from 8th Place: A High School Girl’s Life After Transgender Students Joined Her Sport.)

“When I’m at the start of the race, when I’m lining up and getting into my blocks, everyone already knows the outcome. Those two athletes are going to come one and two, and everyone knows it.”

Now, think back to what I wrote about the two individuals who took first and second place. You can see in the pictures from the competition that they have extremely narrow bodies—specifically narrow hips—compared to the actual female competitors. In the previous article on this matter, I discussed numerous variables that men have that are more conducive to success in running sports. Such as larger stroke volumes, smaller Q-angle, and larger hearts. Testosterone stimulates red blood cell production. This is important during exercise, since the more blood that can get to the muscle means that the muscle can work harder.

Sprinting is a full-body sport—each part of the body needs to work in harmony. So, if the whole of the system of individual A is better than B, then A will most likely win. Take A to be a transgender runner who went through puberty and “presents” as a “girl.” Take B to be a normal girl who went through a female puberty. They were exposed to differing levels of steroid hormones (estrogen is a steroid, too—the main differentiator between men and women). So, even if A takes hormones, A STILL had the physiological and anatomic advantages from going through male puberty.

So, to take the girl’s point that “everyone already knows the outcome”, this is on its face already true. In a competition like this, one can get a general idea on the results of the event by looking at the somatotype differences between the girls. Of course, some girls have a narrower frame than others—but the thing is is that they were not exposed to a male puberty, and so, while they do have certain (natural) advantages over other girls, they do not have the main advantage that these transgender runners had.

“No one thinks it’s fair, because we all know that males are physically stronger than females and they compete at a higher level.”

Men have 63 percent more muscle mass than women, which is related to their higher levels of exposure to testosterone both developmentally (in the womb) and during puberty. Most of this muscle mass is located in the upper-body, with men having around 75 percent more arm muscle mass than women. This difference then translates to about a 90 percent higher upper body strength in men over women. Sex also explains about 70 percent of the variance in muscle mass and upper body strength in humans. Men have 50 percent greater muscle mass than women and their lower body strength is about 65 percent greater (see Lassek and Gaulin, 2009).

Let’s get back to development and puberty. If testosterone explains a lot about why men have more muscle mass than women, and muscle mass is conducive to success in sport (in this instance, running), then if an individual is exposed to higher levels of testosterone during development and at puberty—along with the conducive somatotype that is involved with success in the sport—then they will necessarily be better. Even a transgender athlete that has “transitioned” or “presents as” a girl/woman WILL necessarily be stronger than any girl/woman who did not, on average, since they were exposed to way more of the hormone testosterone then they were.

Here’s the most ridiculous part about this. Back in March, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed the Equality Act. Now, of course, individuals should not be discriminated against, that is wrong. The relevant part about this, though, is that this Act can make it so that transgender athletes can just “declare to be” female without any evidence of any changes to their bodies. (And, I have argued at length that, even if they did go through such “changes” that they would still have inherent, unfair, advantages over bio-women).

This will mark the end of women sports if ONLY one’s gender identity is the basis for who they will compete with—there will be men’s sports and unisex sports, and if that is to be the case, then I feel that most girls would just stop competing.

“It’s giving the transgender females the right to compete with biological females and eventually it’s going to get to the point where the biological females will be on the sidelines, watching their own sports.”

“It’s very frustrating and hearbreaking when us girls are at the start of the race, and we already know these athletes are going to come out and win no matter how hard we try.”

This is the biggest problem of all. With the creation of the Equality Act, we can imagine this scenario. Individual A (a male) competing in competition C does not do well. They then change their gender identity to compete in women’s sport. They will then blow away the competition. How is that fair? If you were a girl who competed in, say, track, and you saw someone who you knew would win even before the starting gun, what would that do to your will to compete? What would that do to your confidence?

Now, I can already here trans-activists say “Just try harder! Train harder!” Statements like that are jokes. No matter how hard they train, no matter if they give it their all to win, the transgender females will just decimate them.

“My freshman year in outdoor, I saw at the 200 start, this girl who looked kind of masculine. Her arms were much more defined than the average girl’s, and same with her legs, but she had long hair, long braider hair, and I didn’t think much of it. And then I watched the race, and I saw that this girl was blowing away the competitors, and I thought, “Hey, this isn’t right. This usually doesn’t happen.” And then later, in that same meet, I found out that athlete was a transgender female.”

How the hell is this in any way, shape, or form, fair? Quite clearly, just by looking at this person’s anatomy—arms that “were much more defined than the average girls, and same with her legs”—we can make a very solid educated guess on what will go down at this competition. I want to know what is going through the minds of these athletic directors who allow this sort of thing. What are they thinking by allowing it? Do they not realize that they are—with others—setting a precedent to change girl’s and women’s sport forever?

“And then in outdoor last year, there was another transgender that came out and she competed as a male for three seasons, and was mediocre as a male. And then ended up transitioning over to female, and, again, blew everyone out of the competition.”

And there we have it: Any male who is mediocre can then “declare his gender to be” female and then compete with the females and then have way better standing in the competition that he is now competing in. Can’t cut it in the male event? Just say you’re a woman! (Think the movie Juwanna Mann.) That’s like me being a mediocre lifter, and then declaring my gender to be female so I can compete with the women and then I blow away the competition. Is that fair? No, it’s not.

Soul’s mother brought up a very good point: Selena placed 8th in State final, and the first two spots were taken by two “boys who identify as girls”. If those two competitors did not compete, then Selena could have more than likely taken the 6th spot and went on to the New England Championships. When it comes to high-school sport, this is really ridiculous. They are screwing girls who could get good scholarships and looks from scouts from different Universities around the country.

“No one thinks it’s fair, but everyone is afraid of retaliation from the media, from kids around their school, from other athletes, coaches, school administrators. They dont want to attract attention to themselves, and they don’t want to be seen as a target for potential bullying and threats.”

Of course, if the girls who were anonymously interviewed by The Daily Signal identified themselves, they could be screwing up future chances and their current relationships. The fact that Selena is doing this out in the open shows her courage and her will to fight for what she—and rational people—believes is right. Here is what the anonymous girls said:

Girl 1: “Watching them run was just heartbreaking. I mean, you almost don’t even want to watch, but how can you not? You can clearly see these two biological guys just absolutely crushing it and it almost brings you to tears.”

Girl 2: “We’ve competed head to head with these people many times, and it hurts to see them win when you know that you probably should’ve won.”

Girl 3: “There’s really nothing else you can do except get super frustrated and roll your eyes because it’s really hard to even come out and talk in public just because of the way with the far left and how immediately you’ll just be shut down. We are totally accepting of who they are and who they want to be. We just have an issue when it comes to sports.”

Each girl brings up a great point: (1) It would make one not want to watch AND not want to compete because they know that their attempts at winning are futile. (2) Girl 2 said that they’ve competed against them many times, and, of course, they have won. What would it due to one’s confidence knowing that there are individuals there with such unfair advantages? Yes, I know that the other day I said that sport is all about watching people with inherent advantages—watching the best-of-the-best. However, there is a difference here: The best-of-the-best when it comes to men and women are two completely different things. For, if this is the case, why not just eradicated women’s sport all together? (3) Makes perhaps the best point of all. One cannot come out and air their grievances because “the far left” as so succinctly stated by girl 3 would shut you down without even hearing what they would have to say and their feelings on the matter.

“With the case in Connecticut, it can be difficult showcasing my talents to coaches from around the country, as they only look at the results online. They see the first and/or second place girl so far ahead of the rest of the girls. And they’re going to reach out to and try to recruit those two top giels versus everyone else, since they’re so far behind in time.”

This is the most ridiculous part of this whole fiasco. Selena makes a good point that since recruiters only look at results online, that they will see the disparity between the top two placers and the others and only go to speak to the top two. For example, Miller’s (one of the transgender athletes) time in the 55 m dash was 6.96 seconds; Yearwood’s time was 7.01 seconds (the other transgender athlete); and the third place winner’s—a biological female—time was 7.23 seconds. A coach looking at this time online will not even look at the third placer and will only look at the top two—biological males. I wonder if those who allow these types of things in high-school sport truly understand what they are doing. I wonder if they truly understand that they are possibly screwing the careers of some of these girls since they may get overlooked by scouts.

I think it’s gotten to the point where some girls are starting to stray away from those events, and are hoping to go to other events, so then they actually have a fair chance of winning. In my case, I have my field event, long jump. That was my safe haven, if you want to call it, where the results were fair no matter what because it was girls competing against girls. But now, unfortunately, one of those [transgender] athletes has started to compete in long jump, so now none of my events are safe. It’s frustrating when you know that you run your best, and no matter what, your best is never going to be enough.

So even Selena’s other event is getting taken over now. Where will it end? Will we see the de facto elimination of girl’s sport throughout the country one day? Will it be men’s sport and co-ed sport eventually (with of course bio-males taking the top spots)? Take the long jump. Men have a larger abundance of type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers than women who have an abundance of type I (slow twitch) fibers. If Selena is now competing against bio-males, and muscle fiber typing DOES NOT CHANGE, then, of course, there is another unfair advantage that these competitors have since they went through male development and puberty. The same point on muscle fiber typing can then be made in regard to the 100 and 200 m competitions as well. No matter how hard they try or train, what they do will never be enough. How is that fair?

For these girls and others to feel better about this fiasco, they should—in their minds—know that the true competition was between the 3rd place and lower, even though it will not fix the problem that they will be overlooked by scouts since their times are so disparate compared to that of the “winners.” When will this be put to an end? When women are on the sidelines watching what is supposed to be their sport while they watch a slew of men who identify as females take over their sports? Will we eventually have co-ed sports and male sports with the de facto elimination of women’s sport that the Equality Act will put into effect? These types of questions are best answered by sport ethicists and philosophers of sport (I will discuss them in the future), and I, personally, await what some of them have to say about matters like this and similar ones.

I can, of course, see trans-activists clamoring about how “bigoted” and “trans-misogynist” that Selena and her teammates are being. That is irrelevant. They are airing their grievances about how they feel about their sport being taken over by boys—no matter if they “identify as” girls or not. For if girls do not speak out about this now, then they will eventually lose their sport and women’s sport will become co-ed sport—effectively eliminating women’s sporting events. Is that what people would truly want in the name of “equality”? Wouldn’t true “equality” be having separate events for trans-athletes? What about Kerr and Obel’s (2017) argument that sport should be segregated by attributes conducive to success in that sport? I think that’s a route that can and should be tried—and girls like Selena would then still get to have fair competitions.

However, as of today, it is complete bullshit that these girls are competing with boys and people look at it as OK. It is bullshit that the three girls had to conceal their identities because they fear repercussions from their classmates, teammates, and administrators. Selena is brave for airing her grievances publicly and putting her name and face out there on issues she feels strongly about. I hope all goes well for her in the future and that scouts will eventually look at her, and not the two blowing away the competition. Is it any surprise when men have so many physiologic and anatomic advantages over women (see Lassek and Gaulin, 2009 for muscle and strength differences)?

If nothing is changed, girls will be watching their own events from the sidelines.


“MtF” Transgenders Should Not Compete with Women

1600 words

The other day the ‘MtF’ transgender weightlifter “Laurel” Hubbard won two silver medals in the 90 kg plus category (198 plus pounds in freedom numbers) at the New Zealand weightlifting world championships. Now, I’ve left my thoughts on this travesty back in August, but I feel the need to discuss this more because this should not have happened. (Yes, there is anecdotal evidence of transgender MtFs who go on HRT who lose strength at a great rate, which does lend credence to the fact that testosterone does influence sports performance, however, “Laurel’s” levels were at the high end of women and, although he had lower levels he still had inherent biological advantages.)

“Laurel” (I will be referring to “Laurel” as he, as is standard for me) won two silver medals on Wednesday in Anaheim, California. He wasn’t “at his best” at this competition since his clean and snatch was 7 kg lower than his win back in August, though the numbers he put up on Wednesday were enough to give him two silver medals.

Back in April he “shattered records“, is this a surprise to anyone? When a biological male claims to be a woman, then competes with women in a weightlifting competition and blows away old, long-standing records? It most definitely isn’t. The coach for New Zealand even called his outing “magnificent”, what is “magnificent” about a biological male literally walking on stage and dominating women? Yes, he showed his testosterone levels were low enough to compete with women per the IOC’s rules:

The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition).

The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.

Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete’s eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.

However, as I noted, the IOC’s recommendations for MtFs is at the high end for a ‘real woman’. That would have an effect, though I have no way of knowing the other competitor’s testosterone levels (which i assume would be skewed towards the high end since they do rigorous training), other factors come into play here, testosterone is not the only biological advantage that males have over females. People spoke out and stated that “… in my humble opinion this is not fair“, and that guy is right; this is not fair.

You have women who bust their ass year in and year out who stick to a rigorous schedule to be the best they can be and just because some guy lowers his testosterone levels and satisfies the IOC’s recommendations, that’s supposed to make it ‘fair’? No, that’s bullshit.

Despite all of this, an American woman named Sarah Robles who won a bronze medal at the Olympics, beat “Laurel” Hubbard, and I commend her for winning the competition, even with the odds stacked against her, competing against a biological male. Robles had a 284 kg total (626 pounds in freedom numbers) to “Laurel’s” 275 kg (606 pounds in freedom numbers).

On top of this controversy, he asks his detractors to “keep an open mind“. An open mind? This has nothing at all to do with an open mind. To attempt damage control, he said:

​”I would ask people to keep an open mind and perhaps look to the fact that I didn’t win as evidence that any advantage I may hold is not as great as they may think,

This is literally irrelevant. Oh his advantage is there alright, however without knowing anything about the courageous woman who beat him, I cannot assess this anymore. All I can say is that Sarah Robles is to be commended for overcoming such great odds and this proves her worth as an outstanding athlete.

This man is so literally delusional that he says “there is no difference between him and the women he beat“. Anyone with a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology knows that this is literally note true. Sure, being on HRT (hormone replacement therapy) decreases bone mineral density and strength, but he still went through a male puberty, his SRY gene was activated in the womb which masculinized him; you literally cannot say there is “no difference” between him and the women he beat. The world is going to hell, especially when a man can walk on to a stage and blow away the competition (he did back in April, not on Wesneday however).

He also said:

“I don’t believe there is any fundamental difference between me and the other athletes, and to suggest there is is slightly demeaning to them,” he said, according to Newshub. “I think it’s incredibly disrespectful to the other competitors.”

It’s alright if you ‘don’t believe there is any fundamental difference between you and other athletes’, that’s your right to ‘believe it’. However, reality is different than the fantasy world you have constructed in your head. It is not disrespectful to the other competitors to imply that there is a fundamental difference between you and them. What is disrespectful is the fact that you were allowed to compete with them while calling yourself ‘a woman’.

The AWF chief executive Michael Keelan has some great commentary here:


AWF chief executive Michael Keelan said Hubbard’s inclusion in the women’s open class would create an “uneven playing field” on the Gold Coast. “We’re in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies … where you’ve got that aggression, you’ve got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights,” he said.

“If you’ve been a male and you’ve lifted certain weights, then you suddenly transition to a female, psychologically you know you’ve lifted those weights before.” Hubbard had to demonstrate her testosterone levels were below a certain threshold for 12 months before representing New Zealand.

A Samoan weightlifter in the 90 kg class,  Iuniarra Sipaia, stated:

“I felt that it was unfair … It only changed the physical side but her emotions, her strength and everything is still a male.”

Women lost weight to shift down a weight class or two just so they wouldn’t have to compete against “Laurel”, and I do not blame them. Tim Swords, the coach of the winner Sara Robles, also stated that this was not fair.

Personally, if I was training a woman for a weightlifting/powerlifting competition and I had prior knowledge that a man who believes he is a woman is going to compete I would pull my athlete out of the competition and state why I did so. It’s literally not fair that he is able to compete—his testosterone level be damned—with women who have lived their whole lives as women, went through a woman’s puberty and have the bodily proportions of women.

I mean look at his somatype! It looks like he would tower over all of the other competitors ‘he beat’. Somatype is extremely important when it comes to weightlifting and by looking at his somatype you can tell that all of these weak women (compared to “Laurel”) basically did not stand a chance. I wonder what was going through Sarah Robles’ mind while competing against a biological male? If I were her coach, words cannot describe how proud I would be of her that she beat a biological male in a competition when he had natural, inherent advantages since he went through a male puberty. This is something that I believe that bodies like the IOC and AWF fail to take into account: there are other advantages that males have over females other than testosterone. Believing anything else is delusional.

Just because someone satisfies the IOC’s testosterone cut-off does not mean that they do not have any other inherent biological advantages just from being male. I’m sure some would argue that all of these women and even all athletes have inherent biological advantages and that someone would argue that you’d need to segregate competitions based on certain differences in anthropometric measures (however these competitions select people with certain anthropometric measures as certain somatypes can lift more weight and have an easier time on certain exercises than others due to levers). However, these advantages that “Laurel” has are literally due to being born a male.

In sum, this is a travesty. Biological women who bust their ass every day of the week to be in top competition shape have to then compete against someone who has all of the underpinnings of a male, while only getting to compete because ‘he claims to be a woman’? That’s bullshit and I’m sure that organizations like the IOC know this, they just have to be politically correct due to backlash from people. Well, I’m not a politically correct person and I call it how I see it: “Laurel” Hubbard should barred from competing in these world championships. He is not a woman, he is a man. Maybe they should create transgender weightlifting world championships and let women and men compete with actual, biological women and men? No, that’d make too much sense though. This is a man, through and through, and no amount of hormones or surgery will do anything to change that. The fact that he is so cocky and says that he has no inherent advantage due to being biologically male is bullshit and I’m sure that in the back of his mind he knows it.

Preliminary Thoughts on ‘Male-to-Female’ Transgenders in Sports

1500 words

(See my article on transvestic disorder and gender dysphoria for an intro on my view of transgenderism.)

I have been researching male-to-female (MtF) transgenders (TGs) in sports for the past few months. I, like we all do, have my own biases with what should be done with this problem (not letting them compete with women), however jumping to my initial bias there would not be fair so I’ve undertaken the task of reading as many journal articles on the matter as I possibly can. From my research on the matter, there is no direct consensus in the literature that I could come across. In this article, I will show some of the research I’ve found and how it is inconclusive (as well as interject my own thoughts on the matter, mainly speaking about bone density, somatype, and testosterone). (I will cover female-to-male (FtM) transgenders in a future article.)

One recent article making its way around the news is of a MtF who won a weightlifting competition. He (I will be referring to the people I reference by their biological sex) had a total of 590 pounds, besting the second place winner by 42 pounds. Hubbard (the weightlifter who ‘transitioned’) is 39 and has been ‘transitioning’ since his mid-30s. He has also had previous experience competing. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has no guidelines that a TG athlete must undergo ‘sex-reassignment surgery’, however, they must be on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for at least 12 months and demonstrate that they have testosterone levels ‘within acceptable limits’. Well, what are ‘acceptable limits’?

The IOC has a short paper on this matter, writing:

The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition).

The athlete’s total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.

Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete’s eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.

So the MtF athlete must have a testosterone level of less than 10 nanomoles and declare that they are ‘female’ for at least four years. The IOC states that the individual must be taking HRT for a year or two—whenever they are able to show that their testosterone levels are below that 10 nanomolar mark, they are then allowed to compete. However, other members of the IOC have stated that 10 nanomoles is too high (which is the lower end for males) while arguing that it should be reduced to 3 nanomoles per liter of blood (3 nanomoles is the upper-end for women).

10 nanomoles per liter of blood converts to about 288 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). Going with the lower end suggested by other members of the IOC, 3 nanomoles per deciliter of blood converts to 87 ng/dl. The range for women is 15 to 70 ng/dl. Now, the 10 nmol/l is, as you can see, way too high. However, 10 nmol/l converts to slightly higher than the lower end of the new testosterone guidelines for the average male in America and Europe (which I covered yesterday, the new levels being 264-916 ng/dl). As we can see, even 10 nmol/l is way too high and, in my opinion, will give an unfair advantage to these athletes (I know that there is no consensus on whether or not testosterone does give an inherent advantage to MtFs of to hyperandrogenic women; I provide evidence for that below).

In regards to women and hypoandrogenism, Stanton and Wood (2011) state that “excess production of endogenous testosterone due to inborn disorders of sexual development (DSD) may convey a competitive advantage.” The fact of the matter is, endogenous and exogenous testosterone does convey an advantage. So if having higher levels of testosterone conveys a physical advantage in said sport, then 10 nmol/l is way too high. Therefore, the only way (in the eyes of the IOC, not in my opinion) for MtFs to compete with women is to get ‘sex-reassignment surgery’, as the gonads will be removed and testosterone levels will plummet. But how by how much?

In a new review of the literature, Jones et al (2017) state that “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.” They further state that, in most instances, testosterone levels in MtFs “[tended] to be lower than average compared with cisgender women.” So they conclude that there is no evidence that MtFs have no inherent advantage since 1) most of them have lower levels of testosterone than ‘cis-gendered women’, and 2) that there is ‘no evidence’ of testosterone conferring an advantage in athletes (I beg to differ there). The review by Jones et al is a great starting point, however, I disagree with them on numerous things (which I will cover in greater depth in an upcoming, exhaustive research article).

Mueller et al (2011) studied a sample of 84 MtFs who were treated with 10 mg of oestradiol every ten days. They were “treated with subcutaneous injections of 3.8 mg goserelin acetate every 4 weeks to suppress endogenous sex hormone secretion completely.” Follow-ups then commenced at 12 and 24 months. It was found that their BMI, fat mass, and lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) had increased. Conversely, they had a significant decrease in lean mass with a concurrent increase in BMI, which would lead to strength decreases and increased range of motion (ROM), and there was no effect on femoral bone density. This is a larger study than most, most studies having ns of ~20, so the results are robust for this research.

Even if MtFs have a decrease in lean mass and gain in fat mass, they still have inherent biological advantages over women. Testosterone, of course, is not the only reason why men are superior to women in most sports (contrary to the literature). Muscle fiber distribution, cross-sectional area, leverages, etc all play a part in why men are better at sports than women (this is covered at length in Man the Athlete). To the best of my knowledge, cross-sectional area, muscle fiber distribution and leverages don’t change. This is another physical advantage that MtFs would have over ‘cis-gendered women’.

Hyperandrogenic women have also been the center of a lot of controversy (if you follow the Olympics, you may have heard about it occurring during the last Games). Hyperandrogenism affects 5-10 percent of women that are of reproductive age. Signs of hyperandrogenism include hirsutism (hairiness in women), androgenic alopecia (Price, 2003), acne, and virilization (the development of male body hair, bulk, and a deep voice, male-typical characteristics) (Yildiz, 2006). After Caster Semenaya’s dominating win in the middle distance run during last year’s Olympics, the IOC revised their regulations on hyperandrogenic women.

However, Karkazis et al (2016) argued against the IOC and IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) stating that “The current scientific evidence, however, does not support the notion that endogenous testosterone levels confer athletic advantage in any straightforward or predictable way.” I strongly disagree with the contention, which I will cover at length in the future. (See Cardinale and Stone, 2006; Wood and Stanton, 2012Vanny and Moon, 2015.) Of course testosterone is not the only biological factor that confers an advantage, but the difference between hyperandrogenic women and normal women is large (hyperandrogenic women have three times the testosterone compared to normal women, so between 45 to 210 ng/dl). So should they be allowed to compete with women with average levels of testosterone?

Men are built differently than women. Even with HRT, MtFs people would still have an advantage over women. The differences are biological, physiological and anatomic in nature and surgery nor HRT will affect certain factors that would confer an advantage due to the sex the person was born as. That part, in my opinion, is the key factor at play. The difference between MtFs and women do not go away due to surgery and HRT (though some do), so since MtFs have certain biological, anatomical and physiological differences, they should not be allowed to compete with women. That is the one main factor in this debate that is being overlooked. And due to these inherent advantages, they should be barred from competing with women.

This then brings up some interesting implications. Should we segregate competitions by race since the races have strengths and weaknesses due to biology and anatomy, such as somatype? It’s an interesting question to consider, but I think we can all agree on one thing: Women should compete with women, and men should compete with men. Thus, transgenders should compete with transgenders. Even the IOC’s regulations are too high, and in my opinion (contra the literature), testosterone does confer an advantage to those who have it in higher levels (i.e. MtFs). Even then, disregarding testosterone, there are a slew of reasons as to why MtFs should not compete with women which will be covered more in the future.

Transvestic Disorder and Gender Dysphoria Identification and Prevention

2150 words


Transvestic Disorder comes about in early childhood and manifests itself in sexually deviant actions. Men suffering from TD who aren’t homosexual, more likely than not, show attraction to themselves dressed in women’s clothing. The signs of TD are noticed at an early age when the individual begins to cross dress. TD is also correlated highly with numerous sexually deviant actions. Fluoxetine and serotonin reuptake blockers may be able to lessen TD since it is an impulsive disorder. With TD being co-morbid with OCD, by treating OCD we can better treat TD itself and give a better quality of life to the patient suffering from the disease. Since autogynephilia and transgenderism are related, measures taken to alleviate TD and autogynephilia could be taken to alleviate symptoms of gender dysphoria, since autogynephilia leads to transgenderism.


Transvestic Disorder and Gender Dysphoria Identification and Prevention

            Transvestic disorder is a paraphilic disorder, classified by the American Psychological Association (2013), in which males dress up as women to gain sexual gratification. The individual suffering from TD suffers from compulsions to want to dress as a woman, which causes distress due to the individual not wanting their secret to come out. This then leads to the quality of life of the individual to decrease due to constantly being worried about his secret coming out. TD is diagnosed when a male has sexual feelings and gets sexual arousal from dressing in women’s clothing. It is only diagnosed when these activities are ongoing for at least six months. TD is also similar to another paraphilic disorder called ‘autogynephilia’ (Lawrence, 2011), in which the subject is aroused at the thought of himself being a female, so he, therefore, then begins to dress as a woman to fulfill his sexual desires. Blanchard (1989) proposed that most gender-dysphoric males who do not show sexual arousal to men, instead show sexual arousal to themselves dressed in the opposite sex’s clothing. He concludes that the hypothesis is supported that major types of those men who cross-dress are nonhomosexual, and do so because they become aroused at the thought of dressing as a woman. The DSM V says that autogynephilia is a specifier to transvestic disorder. This is because they are characterized by the same things (American Psychological Association, 2013).

The signs of TD are noticed at very early ages. Most notable are when children begin to cross-dress at or before puberty. This then continues into their adult lives where it begins to be a problem and cause dysfunction due to needing to keep their secret. Dr. Mark Griffiths (2012) states that all though children may engage in transvestic behavior, what differentiates it between an adult suffering from TD is that the child who cross-dresses does so for excitement and pleasure, not for sexual pleasure. Though some researchers say that the disorder is brought on through childhood trauma, i.e., accidental exposure to women’s clothing or exposure to a woman who is undressing. Numerous studies have also concluded that many men who suffer from TD have had to deal with parental separation during childhood.

The American Psychological Association (2013), reports that fewer than 3 percent of males are characterized as having transvestic disorder. TD is most always seen in males, though Moser (2009) noted that in his study using the Autogynephilia Scale for Women (ASW), that out of the 29 respondents that sent back questionnaires, 90 percent would be classified as having autogynephilia. Though, by using a more meticulous definition, only 28 percent were seen to be autogynephilic (Moser, 2009).

Langstrom and Zucker (2005) observed in a sample of 2,450 18 to 60-year-olds in Sweden that transvestic disorder was correlated significantly with being separated from their parents, homosexual relations, higher masturbatory frequency, being easily aroused sexually and pornography use. Also noticed, was a positive attitude in regards to sexual arousal from pain, exposing oneself to a stranger and voyeurism were all positively correlated with TD. Langstrom and Zucker observed how TD is co-morbid with many other paraphilic disorders as well as other deviant behavior. By attempting to treat what TD is correlated with, symptoms of TD can be lessened.

Men suffering from TD and autogynephilia are told that women are the standard of beauty. They then look at themselves in the mirror and see a male and not the standard of beauty they were told of growing up. They then turn to cross-dressing to finally see their “beauty standard” in the mirror but keep it a secret. This strong want to keep their disorder a secret then leads to dysfunction. Men suffering from TD will go to any lengths to hide their secret. This then causes extreme dysfunction in their lives, which leads to a lessened quality of life.

Less than three percent of males suffer from TD in the American population, as such, it is classified as a deviant lifestyle as it deviates from the norm of the population. It causes distress due to them not wanting their secret to be discovered. This, in turn, leads to dysfunction where the individual cannot live their daily lives to the fullest due to their abnormal disorder. It finally leads to danger due to their secret beginning to consume their lives so that they’re not discovered.

There are ways to treat TD. Usmani et al (2012) follow a case study in which a 17-year-old Indian male who had occurring desires to wear his mother’s clothes. He then would masturbate in his mother’s clothes to alleviate himself. This continued on for two years so he could pleasure himself. He was caught by his parents wearing his mother’s clothes and was beaten by them for it. He then said that it is a compulsive behavior and cannot be helped. This case also shows the obsessive compulsive side to TD. They have an urge so strong they cannot help but to do it compulsively to alleviate their sexual desires. He also said that the occurring thoughts then affected his schoolwork as he was so preoccupied with the thought of wearing women’s clothes. All of his brain scans were found to be normal, so what brought on this case in the individual in the case study? He was then diagnosed with TD and prescribed fluoxetine, an antidepressant SSRI. The dose was started at 20 mg and increased by 40 mg once a day for two weeks. In his six-month follow-up, he reported lessened desire to masturbate with women’s clothes (Usmani et al, 2012).

Paraphilias and other related disorders have been thought of as sexual addictions. Though it has been argued that they are not sexual addictions, but are sexual compulsions (Stein et al, S 1992). The researchers reviewed 13 patients who showed signs of TD and were administered serotonin reuptake blockers.  The symptoms of those individuals were then divided into paraphilias, non-paraphilic sexual addictions, and sexual addictions. Stein et al discovered that paraphilias had the least improvement with the reuptake blockers whereas sexual compulsions showed the best improvement. They end up concluding that paraphilias and other related disorders are on the impulsive end of the spectrum compared to the compulsive end. These impulsions, then, have those men suffering from TD have the urge to dress in women’s clothes to fulfill their sexual impulsion.

TD is co-morbid with obsessive compulsive disorder (Abdo, Hounie, de Tubino Scanavino, and Miguel, 2001). They used longitudinal case studies in which they assessed two individuals who had OCD as well as TD. They conclude that some cases of TD may be OCD related and not always be caused by gender dysphoria. Since OCD and TD are co-morbid, by treating symptoms of OCD, the want to cross-dress will lessen, which will then lessen the symptoms of TD. Treatments could include SSRI and fluoxetine, as previously stated in the paper. Other treatment for TD should be looked at, such as treatment for OCD due to the co-morbidity between the two. By doing so, feelings of wanting to cross-dress may lessen due to one of the underlying causes (OCD) of TD being treated.

Autogynephlia could also explain transgenderism.Transvestism can be called both a paraphila and a sexual orientation. Lawrence (2004) says that it can explain mid-life MtF transitions, progression from transvestism to transgenderism, the prevalence of other paraphilias among MtF transsexuals and the late development of male intrest in MtF transsexuals. However, when Lawrence says that “Hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery can be effective treatments in autogynephilic transsexualism”, that is incorrect. The prevalence of suicide attempts among transgenders is 41 percent according to the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, in comparison to 4.6 percent for the average population. That’s almost ten times higher than the national average. Clearly, surgery doesn’t do anything to alleviate the feelings of gender dysphoria, and as shown in this paper, therapy and drugs like Prozac can better help to alleviate feelings of gender dysphora in transsexuals due to them being extremely similar to eachother. These two disorders greatly mirror each other. Since Lawrence (2004) observed that there is a progression from transvestism to transgenderism, using similar techniques that work on those with TD may also work on those with gender dysphoria.



TD can be helped with the correct therapy as well as right medication. With those, impulsions to wear women’s clothes, as well as impulsions to commit abnormal acts will be greatly lessened and quality of life will be restored to a somewhat normal level. Due to co-morbidity between TD and OCD, treating OCD will, in turn, better help the patient suffering from TD. When more studies are carried out on those suffering from TD, we can see whether or not SSRI drugs and fluoxetine will have the desired effect in alleviation of the symptoms of TD. The individual in the Usmani study reported lessened symptoms and impulsions of cross-dressing, so by identifying which parts of the brain are and were activated during the fluoxetine therapy, we can then better give better care and treatment to those suffering from TD. We can also use some data from TD cases for transgenders, as TD and transgenders have a lot of things in common. With therapy as well as, maybe even fluoxetine (which is just Prozac), and high doses of testosterone/estrogen, this could possibly help to alleviate ‘gender dysphoria’. It could also lower the suicide rate as it’s completely possible that these interventions could fix them mentally.



There is little current literature in treating TD, due to it being a shameful disorder and many men not speaking about what they suffer from. One major way in which to help those with TD is to administer SSRI drugs, in which compulsion to cross-dress, and other attitudes associated with TD lessened. Blanchard (1989) proposed the autogynephilia theory for those transgenders who are not attracted to men. With the obseration by Lawrence (2004) on how autogynephilia and transgenderism are related, this can better help those with transgenderism, as they can get correct help and the right hormones they need, instead of the opposite hormones. SSRI therapy is a good candidate in treating TD, as drastic changes in deviant behavior are seen while the patient is taking the SSRI drug. Seeing as most cases of TD begin in childhood before puberty, by better identifying warning signs of these disorder, we can better treat those children who are at risk of developing these disorders before they become a big problem later in life. As more men come out and say that they suffer from these disorders, more studies can be carried out that corroborate the findings in the studies laid out here. It is extremely promising that these disorders can be treated with common drugs already on the market. In those individuals suffering from TD as well as OCD, by treating the OCD first (which may be an underlying cause) the symptoms of TD may be lessened and the individual may eventually have the ability to lead a life without TD. In using these measures on those with transgenderism, this could possibly alleviate suicide rates and other negative variables associated with these paraphilic disorders and sexual orientations.



Abdo, C.H.N., Hounie, A., de Tubino Scanavino, M., & Miguel, E.C. (2001). OCD and transvestism: Is there a relationship?. ACTA Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 103(6

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Blanchard, R. (1989). The Concept of Autogynephilia and the Typology of Male Gender Dysphoria. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 177(10), 616-623. doi:10.1097/00005053-198910000-00004

Griffiths, M. (2012, February 28) Dressed to thrill? A brief overview of transvestic fetishism. Retrieved from

Lawrence AA . Autogynephilia: An Underappreciated Paraphilia . In: Balon R, Hrsg . Sexual Dysfunction: Beyond the Brain-Body Connection. Adv Psychosom Med 2011 ; 135 – 148

Långström, N., & Zucker, K. J. (2005). Transvestic fetishism in the general population: Prevalence and correlates. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 31, 87–95

Moser, C. (2009). Autogynephilia in Women. Journal of Homosexuality, 56(5), 539-547. doi:10.1080/00918360903005212

Stein DJ, Hollander E, Anthony DT, Schneier FR, Fallon BA, Liebowitz MR, Klein DF: Serotonergic medications for sexual obsessions, sexual addictions, and paraphilias. J Clin Psychiatry 1992; 53:267–271

Usmani et al, (2012) Treatment of Transvestic Fetishism With Fluoxetine: A Case Report. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2012 Autumn-Winter; 6(2): 100–101