The recent controversies surrounding Laura Hubbard, a transgender weightlifter, is not without merit. Born a man, he hardly made a ripple in weight lifting before opting to change sex. Many claim she still possesses an unfair advantage being born a man.
The Commonwealth Games Committee made every effort to ensure that she has effectively transitioned to being female by ensuring undetectable testosterone levels for the preceding 6 months. The question is however, will this negate the unfair masculine strength that she was born with. Clearly the genetics still plays a role despite a feminine hormonal profile.
During the past Commonwealth Games, she was lifting weights way above her competitors, before disaster struck prevented her from winning gold and maybe even claiming a Games record.
So should transgender men be allowed to compete in women’s sports where clearly being a man itself gives someone the unfair masculine advantage. Let’s use another sport, basketball. Should transgender men compete in the women’s category where clearly the height advantage will not disappear with transitioning to a woman.
Estrogen also has muscle strengthening properties. Injecting supra-doses of estrogen can also have beneficial effects to the muscle.
Lowe et al, Mechanisms behind estrogens’ beneficial effect on muscle strength in females, Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2010 Apr:38(2):61-67
Should social justice supersede sporting fairness? Doing what is right socially, may not be that correct in sporting terms.