Letter

Legislation Not Supported by Evidence

Athletic governing bodies have already decided what is fair in athletic competition

By Caryl and Tom Cox

HB 112, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” requires interscholastic trans-athletes to participate within their sex assigned at birth. This legislation illustrates a remarkable lack of awareness of the current thinking in medical and athletic communities regarding transgender athletes. Moreover, athletic governing bodies have already decided what is fair in athletic competition. 

In 2004 the IOC created guidelines for transgender athletes to compete: gender reassignment surgery, legal recognition of their assigned gender, two years of hormone therapy. In 2016 those guidelines were updated based upon the best advice of medical and scientific communities: surgery is no longer required, trans women must have a testosterone level below a certain cutoff point for a year.

The NCAA doesn’t require surgery for transgender athletes and requires one year of testosterone blockers for trans women. Their medical experts state the following: “… any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman … may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy the assumption that a transgender woman competing on a women’s team would have a competitive advantage outside the range of performance and competitive advantage or disadvantage that already exists among female athletes is not supported by evidence.

Caryl and Tom Cox
Polson

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