4 myths about testosterone: Don’t let sports competitions be shaped by misguided ‘T talk’

4 myths about testosterone: Don’t let sports competitions be shaped by misguided ‘T talk’
Transgender women athletes have distinct advantage over biological women. (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – More gibbering nonsense from Scientific American arguing testosterone isn’t relevant for influencing athletic performance. I wonder why it’s a banned substance in nearly every sports league on Earth and is considered a ‘performance enhancing’ drug?]

In May of this year, the sports world’s self-appointed judiciary, the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), upheld a controversial regulation that prevents women with naturally high testosterone (T) from competing in the women’s category in long sprint and middle distance running events. South African middle-distance runner Caster Semenya brought the case, with Athletics South Africa, against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), arguing that IAAF’s rule is unscientific, unethical and discriminatory.

The CAS panel affirmed that the rule is discriminatory because it only applies to the women’s category, and only to some women within that category. But in a two-to-one decision, CAS deemed the discrimination to be “justified” based on the IAAF’s arguments about sex differences and T. Men are, on average across athletics events, 9–12 percent better than women. The IAAF claims that T is “the main driver” of this difference. By extension, it also claims that women with T levels in the typical male range have an “insuperable advantage” over women with T in the typical female range.

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