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Forums - Politics Discussion - J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues

Shinobi-san said:

I am WAY more accepting of a trans woman who has undergone transition, to compete with other woman. In that case it becomes somewhat viable. But the transition is not mandated...and I was basing all my points on the fact that a gender can be chosen by a male, with no prerequisite of transition, and then go and compete in competitive sports.

Glad to hear that.



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sundin13 said:
AsGryffynn said:

Individual assessment? It's treating everything with a blanket mentality that has led to the insane amounts of dysfunction we have to deal with now. 

I'm not sure what you are trying to say here.

Treat every case as unique and set requirements: if they meet them or they keep with the average dude/lass, have them have a go at it.   



Torillian said:

I think the phrase "trans-women are women" is not a statement reaffirming a dichotomy so much as stating the trans-women are as much in the category of women as any other subgroup of women. The category of women can still be a broad continuum while making this statement. It's not to say that there are no differences between trans- and cis-women, but that part of affirming the identity of those who are trans is including them in the gender category to which they believe themselves to be a part. With this statement in mind, that most people would care about the difference between cis and trans women when choosing dating partners would be a difference between trans and cis rather than a different between trans and women. I think that the issue with not agreeing that trans women are women is that when you differentiate between trans women and women there's an implied "real" in there that is detrimental. 

I think this specific point cuts both ways. Saying that transwomen are women carries an implied "real" too, so that's why there is rejection to that particular statement.



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https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/scientist-racing-discover-how-gender-transitions-alter-athletic-performance-including

Without jumping into the overall discussion (which is usually futile regardless of what stance one has), I just wanted to point out the highly flawed conclusion of assuming that transitioned men would hold to athletic advantage over biologically born women based on a study like this. The reason is simple; females have a proportionately much higher percentage of slow-twitch (type 1) muscle fibers, which is an advantage in endurance events, whereas men have a much higher concentration of fast-twitch (type 2) muscle fibers, lending more towards explosivity and short boosts of power. In addition, females burn less energy per meter traveled due to their smaller torso and overall lower bodyweight which holds less overall muscle mass and thus requires less energy (there are also differences in metabolism). Another advantage for endurance events is an overall higher subcutaneous fat mass per pound in women, allowing for more liquid retention and thus lessening issues with dehydration, cramps, and other associated problems over distance. Females have a natural biological and evolutionary advantage in endurance type events (although sociologists and those of similar ilk would be hard-pressed to validate something as blunt and stupid as biology and evolution since all things are merely socially constructed). 

Long-distance running or something of similar nature is likely the only type of event where a transitioned man would hold little advantage, depending on one's physique and training background, they might even have a slight disadvantage depending on size etc. However, the vast majority of sports and athletics, be it team sports or other events, are built on explosive bursts and/or intermittency of such. Here, a taller physique with stronger bones and a considerably higher overall skeletal-muscle mass consisting of more type 2 muscle fibers will provide a huge advantage, with very few exceptions. Look at it this way; the male body is a tuned car with lots of power, it can reach immense speeds and accelerates quickly, whereas the female body has less overall horsepower and torque but is less likely to break down and consumers considerably less gasoline.

Look at how long-distance runners are built and compare it to a sprinter. A hulking frame with lots of type 2 muscle fiber will make for a terrible long-distance runner, a lanky and type 1 fiber dominated frame will be left in the dust in a sprint. That cited study proves precisely nothing, all-in-all, I would personally call it merely cherrypicking, and even that would be a kindness.

Above is Kenenisa Bekele, a marathon runner.

Compare that to Asafa Powell below.





Last edited by Mummelmann - on 05 July 2020

Mummelmann said:

Look at how long-distance runners are built and compare it to a sprinter. A hulking frame with lots of type 2 muscle fiber will make for a terrible long-distance runner, a lanky and type 1 fiber dominated frame will be left in the dust in a sprint. That cited study proves precisely nothing, all-in-all, I would personally call it merely cherrypicking, and even that would be a kindness.

Yeah, this is something that's always looked a bit weird to me. Sprinters are just your sterotypical athletes. Big and strong. While professional marathon runners look anorexic or something.



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Ka-pi96 said:
Mummelmann said:

Look at how long-distance runners are built and compare it to a sprinter. A hulking frame with lots of type 2 muscle fiber will make for a terrible long-distance runner, a lanky and type 1 fiber dominated frame will be left in the dust in a sprint. That cited study proves precisely nothing, all-in-all, I would personally call it merely cherrypicking, and even that would be a kindness.

Yeah, this is something that's always looked a bit weird to me. Sprinters are just your sterotypical athletes. Big and strong. While professional marathon runners look anorexic or something.

Anorexic might be pushing it, but they certainly have thinner and more gangly bodies and overall body types. The biological advantage of women in endurance becomes more apparent as the distance increase, the male tendency to burn more intensely leads to greater overall pace and longer strides at the same height but it comes at the expense of fuel consumption.

If we look at the above mentioned Kenenisa Bekele, we can read that he stands about 165 centimeters tall and weighs about 56 kilos, his best marathon time is 2:01:41 (second fastest ever, only two seconds behind the fastest ever). The best female is Brigid Kosgei, she stands 170 centimeters tall and weighs 50 kilos, her best time is 2:14:04.

Now, we can see that the male is faster, but there are interesting things to note here, namely that despite Bekele being a full 5 centimeters shorter (roughly two inches), he still weighs 6 kilos more (about 12%), which shows us that his mass to height is much greater. Knowing that average females hold more subcutaneous fat than average males, one can also conclude that the majority of this weight difference is from lean mass of skeletal muscle mass. Furthermore, we know that most of this mass sits on the torso and upper extremities. And then we see the times themselves, the difference is around the 10% mark.

The world record 10.000-meter times are respectively 26:17:53 and 29:17:45 for men and women, this is about 11% difference.

World record 5000-meter time is respectively 12:37 and 14:11 for men and women, which is about 14% or so.

World record 3000-meter time is respectively 7:20:67 and 8:06:11 for men and women, which is about 12%.

World record 2000-meter time is respectively 4:44:79 and 5:23:75 for men and women, this is a large difference of around 18-19% and we're seeing how it plays on the strength of the male physiology, compared to a marathon, the advantage in percentage is nearly double.

World record 1500 meter time is respectively 3:26:00 and 3:50:07, which is around 15%, still a large advantage, but now we're approaching distances short enough that the distance itself limits the maximum advantage one can obtain. The trend is still the same though.

On the flip side, we can note that the fastest 100 kilometers ever by men and women differs by only about 6%, 6:09:14 versus 6:33:11, a third of the difference in 2000 meter, half that of 3000 meters and less than half of 5000 meters. And this is also taking into consideration that the male stride is generally longer and the average pace higher. The trend is quite clear. Due to the female physiology and its knack for ultra-endurance, one would also see that the female recovers more quickly from such events. Another big challenge when carrying more average muscle regardless of its composition (slow or fast-twitch) is the excess production of lactic acid.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-49284389

https://www.ft.com/content/0ead55ca-1d85-11e9-a46f-08f9738d6b2b

https://www.livestrong.com/article/286883-muscular-endurance-men-vs-women/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289124/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4285578/ - This is a decent and informative study on muscular endurance, it shows that the performance level in the male muscle drops significantly faster over a given period of time. This is usually down to simple exertion of a larger mass of fibers costing more but also ties into the varying metabolic and chemical factors int the male and female body overall. This is a good read for anyone wanting to learn more about the things I mentioned above. Edit; let's not forget the relative cost of limbic contraction and motion as limbs grow longer and heavier.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5349856/ - Another one, this one is more careful in its abstract but still support the notions that specifically running and cycling are where skeletal muscle differences and other mechanical and chemical factors come in (they appear to be mostly mechanical though, which strongly supports the notion that a biological male physique holds a significant advantage in explosive athleticism and a similar disadvantage in ultra-endurance).

https://www.triathlete.com/culture/study-women-muscular-endurance-men/ - This references a study. Mind you, this study is a very small sample size and the method is purely that of limbic contraction of the muscle to reach a conclusion, but the trend is the exact same; men produce more power from the beginning, but fatigue and drop exponentially more in power.

https://runningmagazine.ca/the-scene/women-are-outrunning-men-at-ultra-distances/

As I mentioned in my original post, in a discussion specifically about retained and transferable athletic advantages for a biological male transitioning to female (or simply identifying as such), using an area where females hold a natural advantage (perhaps the only area, save for some possible counts of flexibility) to make a point is immensely counter-productive. I don't really care all that much about Rowling or the people who either support or condemn her, but in the sports debate on transgender issues, there's a lot of silly reasoning going on and it's by far the toughest stance to defend overall due to the overwhelming evidence that the average advantage gained would be unfair. Of course, grievance studies disregard science all day long, it's even a necessity for their theories to even be applicable, to begin with.

Last edited by Mummelmann - on 05 July 2020

Mummelmann said:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/scientist-racing-discover-how-gender-transitions-alter-athletic-performance-including

Without jumping into the overall discussion (which is usually futile regardless of what stance one has), I just wanted to point out the highly flawed conclusion of assuming that transitioned men would hold to athletic advantage over biologically born women based on a study like this. The reason is simple; females have a proportionately much higher percentage of slow-twitch (type 1) muscle fibers, which is an advantage in endurance events, whereas men have a much higher concentration of fast-twitch (type 2) muscle fibers, lending more towards explosivity and short boosts of power. In addition, females burn less energy per meter traveled due to their smaller torso and overall lower bodyweight which holds less overall muscle mass and thus requires less energy (there are also differences in metabolism). Another advantage for endurance events is an overall higher subcutaneous fat mass per pound in women, allowing for more liquid retention and thus lessening issues with dehydration, cramps, and other associated problems over distance. Females have a natural biological and evolutionary advantage in endurance type events (although sociologists and those of similar ilk would be hard-pressed to validate something as blunt and stupid as biology and evolution since all things are merely socially constructed). 

Long-distance running or something of similar nature is likely the only type of event where a transitioned man would hold little advantage, depending on one's physique and training background, they might even have a slight disadvantage depending on size etc. However, the vast majority of sports and athletics, be it team sports or other events, are built on explosive bursts and/or intermittency of such. Here, a taller physique with stronger bones and a considerably higher overall skeletal-muscle mass consisting of more type 2 muscle fibers will provide a huge advantage, with very few exceptions. Look at it this way; the male body is a tuned car with lots of power, it can reach immense speeds and accelerates quickly, whereas the female body has less overall horsepower and torque but is less likely to break down and consumers considerably less gasoline.

Look at how long-distance runners are built and compare it to a sprinter. A hulking frame with lots of type 2 muscle fiber will make for a terrible long-distance runner, a lanky and type 1 fiber dominated frame will be left in the dust in a sprint. That cited study proves precisely nothing, all-in-all, I would personally call it merely cherrypicking, and even that would be a kindness.

Above is Kenenisa Bekele, a marathon runner.

Compare that to Asafa Powell below.





I really wasn't even referring to men who transition into woman via surgery and hormonal treatment. I would imagine that undergoing something so extreme would have a major impact on performance. And for me personally, I feel it is an honorable thing to do especially if you are planning on competing with other biological females competitively (at any level other than casual). This is the reason why I didn't even bother bringing up aspects such as muscle fibers which has really become a studying point of late, especially in combat sports. Not to mention another citation would have been requested. lol.

My initial argument was how it is not practical to have a person decide their sex, and then demand be treated as that chosen sex in all facets of life including sport. This is especially not practical, since a physical/hormonal transition can never and should never be imposed on anyone. This can lead to a case where a fully fledged uncompromised biological man directly competes with biological females. Given the opinions that opposed JK Rowling and some of the opinions in this thread, it is implied that this is okay. Which makes zero sense to me.

This is why i felt Sundin's citation was completely irrelevant, as at least in that study they are targeting transitioned woman. This is also why i felt no citation was necessary on my part as it is largely accepted that men out perform females across the majority of physical based sports (on average). 

That being said, Sundin takes aim at the fundamental concept of fairness in sports. My response to this is the relative band or variation of performance in each sex, that when translated into another sex usually pushes it into a new band or performance level - which in competitive forms of sports make a world of difference at least to those sportsman.



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Shinobi-san said:
Im curious though, how do we actually tackle the sports question?

Just let everybody compete together.

At some point women themselves will revolt against this nonsense and trans people will start competing in their own category. As of now most women are afraid of speaking out but this will change over time. Or let women start using testosterone to try to equate the problem.

Now if it is a woman that became men trying to compete in men's sports, it doesnt happen very much (or at all) so it is a non issue I believe. Unless we start to have quotas, which may happen at some point due to "it is unfair my daughter cant play football with the boys".

Last edited by EnricoPallazzo - on 06 July 2020

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