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Recent Study Confirms Common Sense: Men Shouldn’t Compete in Women’s Sports

Charles Snow
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Recent Study Confirms Common Sense: Men Shouldn’t Compete in Women’s Sports

A recent study matches what athletes, and indeed most people, know to be true about the common advantages of biological males in sports.

The study published by three New Zealand scholars in the Journal of Medical Ethics reaches the not-so-surprising conclusion that biological males possess physiological, and therefore performance, advantages over biological females in sports.

The authors address the fairness of International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines which allow men who identify as women to compete in women’s sports if they have a certain level of testosterone.

According to the study, “the normal healthy female testosterone range is 0—1.7 nmol/L.” The IOC allows men to compete as women if their testosterone is “held below 10 nmol/L.” This means these athletes are permitted to have a testosterone level more than five times higher than that of a normal healthy female.

Why is testosterone one of the deciding factors?  According to the authors, testosterone affects a range of factors, including body fat, muscle mass, bone strength, speed, and more. “Together the scientific data point to testosterone providing an all-purpose benefit across a range of body systems that contribute to athletic performance for almost all sports,” the authors write.

So, are the IOC guidelines fair? The study’s authors say no. They write that “after assessing the scientific and normative arguments, we conclude that the IOC guidelines are poorly drawn and do not adequately address the fairness principle in elite sport.”

The scholars go on to address the issue of inclusion, which they conclude “does not outweigh the importance of fairness” for female athletes.

Study Matches Common Sense

The authors rightly conclude that a fair playing field should not be sacrificed in the name of gender identity ideology.

High school track athletes Selina Soule and Alanna Smith agree. Since 2017, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has allowed biological males who identify as girls to compete in high school women’s sports. Alanna and Selina have lost podium spots because of this policy. Since the CIAC changed its policy, two male athletes have won 15 state championship titles that were previously held by 9 different girls.

With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, Selina and Alanna have filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Title IX was created to ensure that girls had the same opportunities in education and athletics as boys. But policies like CIAC’s are creating an unfair playing field for female athletes, reversing the progress Title IX has created.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argues that “no research” supports the conclusion that men who identify as women competing in women’s sports “maintain a competitive advantage.”

The ACLU and other ideologues have given themselves over to gender identity ideology, denying basic biological realities and common sense in the process. The ACLU is the same organization that recently declared “Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men.”

Ideology distorts reality. We shouldn’t.

This ongoing debate is ultimately a philosophical one. What does it mean to be human? What is reality? Until recently, the universal view was that humans are created male and female. Man and woman. Boy and girl.

Debates on the nature of reality soon stray into practical applications, such as biological males competing in women’s sports. It’s the transgender worldview in motion—and it’s hurting women and girls more than anyone.

Voices across the ideological spectrum recognize that allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports erases a level playing field for women. Research backs that up. So should policy.

That’s why Selina and Alanna are standing up for their opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

If you want to make your voice heard, visit to sign our petition urging lawmakers to stand on the side of #FairPlay.

Charles Snow, Senior Copywriter & Editor
Charles Snow
Senior Copywriter & Editor
Charles Snow serves as Senior Copywriter & Editor at Alliance Defending Freedom, where he supports ADF's communications and fundraising efforts.