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Tom Ellison
May 17th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Cut From Yahoo News:

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Transsexuals were cleared Monday to compete in the Olympics for the first time.

Under a proposal approved by the IOC executive board, athletes who have undergone sex-change surgery will be eligible for the Olympics if their new gender has been legally recognized and they have gone through a minimum two-year period of postoperative hormone therapy.

The decision, which covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases, goes into effect starting with the Athens Olympics in August.

The IOC had put off a decision in February, saying more time was needed to consider all the medical issues.

Some members had been concerned whether male-to-female transsexuals would have physical advantages competing against women.

Men have higher levels of testosterone and greater muscle-to-fat ratio and heart and lung capacity. However, doctors say, testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone therapy and sex-change surgery.

IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said the situation of transsexuals competing in high-level sports was "rare but becoming more common."

IOC medical director Patrick Schamasch said no specific sports had been singled out by the ruling.

"Any sport may be touched by this problem," he said. "Until now, we didn't have any rules or regulations. We needed to establish some sort of policy."

Until 1999, the IOC conducted gender verification tests at the Olympics but the screenings were dropped before the 2000 Sydney Games.

One of the best known cases of transsexuals in sports involves Renee Richards, formerly Richard Raskind, who played on the women's tennis tour in the 1970s.

In March, Australia's Mianne Bagger became the first transsexual to play in a pro golf tournament.

Michelle Dumaresq, formerly Michael, has competed in mountain bike racing for Canada.

Richards, now a New York opthamologist, was surprised by the IOC decision and was against it. She said decisions on transsexuals should be made on an individual basis.


"Basically, I think they're making a wrong judgment here, although I would have loved to have that judgment made in my case in 1976," she said.

"They're probably looking for trouble down the line. There may be a true transsexual — not someone who's nuts and wants to make money — who will be a very good champion player, and it will be a young person, let's say a Jimmy Connors or a Tiger Woods, and then they'll have an unequal playing field.

"In some sports, the physical superiority of men over women is very significant."

swimr4life
May 18th, 2004, 12:20 PM
That is just WRONG!!! Please tell me this is a joke!! Talk about an unfair advantage! They DQ a woman for having "suspicious" hormone levels from taking birth control pills but allow transexual men to compete. Where did common sense go?

Tom Ellison
May 18th, 2004, 12:22 PM
It’s been reported that the tiny Island Nation of Gimmieabreak is sending a transsexual swimmer to the Olympics in Athens this summer. Last month, during this tiny nations Olympic trials, a 34 year old female swimmer named Catherine Changamade was asked by her daughter if she would be swimming as her Mother, or as her Father. Catherine Changamade, born Carl Changamade; was apparently dumfounded by her daughters question to the point where she was almost unable to come up with an appropriate answer. Her muddled response was, “Of course I will be swimming as your Mother even though I used to be your Father."

Sources speculate that Catherine Changamade has a chance of medaling in the 100 Breast Strokes.

GFB Worldwide Sports Association

lefty
May 18th, 2004, 12:47 PM
The hormone levels of a transsexual female are approximately the same as a traditional female: if the transsexual female showed elevated levels, they would be disqualified like any other female. The advantage that a transsexual female could have is if they were able to carry forward the muscle mass that they developed as men. This is potentially mitigated by the 2 year post-opertive exclusionary period. The idea that this could be "abused" by someone who wants to make money is so out of left field. First it is doubtful that any doctor would perform the procedure if they suspected as much and second, how could you earn money doing this? Scorn, and raised eyebrows - sure. But money?

Leonard Jansen
May 18th, 2004, 01:26 PM
Interesting...

1) I wonder what the # of transsexuals is who desire to compete, and are of sufficient ability to do so, at the upper levels of sport.
2) Has anyone addressed various mechanical abvantages that males have that would NOT be affected by hormones? For example, height. It seems that for swimming, basketball, volleyball, high jumping, etc, height is an advantage, all else being equal, and males tend to be taller than females. Also, men usually have narrower hips relative to leg length than women - this can be an advantage in things like racewalking (less of an arc through which to move one's legs).

Transsexual olympians, gay marriage... what fascinating times to live in.

-LBJ

Tom Ellison
May 18th, 2004, 01:31 PM
Absolutely Leonard….an Olympic experience to say the least…where a person can actually go and watch his Mom... and.... his Dad compete in the same event, same lane, at the exact same time…how marvelous a time we truly live in…. Hey, maybe in a few more years we can clone a horse with a man and then the horse/man can compete as man….Ah, now their is a thought....the Mr. Ed of the Olympics….

swimr4life
May 18th, 2004, 01:32 PM
Are you saying that you don't think a transexual (male to female) would have an advantage? Men are usually taller. A 2 year waiting period would not change this. They naturally have far more muscle mass. I'm not sure whether or not some remnants of their male muscle mass would remain after a 2 year wait. I guess time will tell. I personally have a BIG problem with it and think it is unfair. Let them have their own competition! Call it the He/She/It Games!;) No male/female division. I hope USMS will not follow suit.

LindsayNB
May 18th, 2004, 01:56 PM
Men are usually taller. A 2 year waiting period would not change this.

Would you also like to ban unusually tall women? Or tall muscular women? Would you be ok with a short skinny male to female transexual competing? It seems to me that we all vary in numerous ways, why is this one special? I don't understand the argument here.

Personally I doubt the issue will ever come up at the Olympic level but I think it would be a special shame if transexuals were not allowed to fully participate at the masters level.

swimr4life
May 18th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB


Would you also like to ban unusually tall women? Or tall muscular women? Would you be ok with a short skinny male to female transexual competing? It seems to me that we all vary in numerous ways, why is this one special? I don't understand the argument here.

Personally I doubt the issue will ever come up at the Olympic level but I think it would be a special shame if transexuals were not allowed to fully participate at the masters level.

No. I would not want to ban unusually tall or muscular women. I have been told I am both. BUT...I am a woman!! An unusually tall woman is far shorter than an unusually tall male!

swimr4life
May 18th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by lefty
The hormone levels of a transsexual female are approximately the same as a traditional female: if the transsexual female showed elevated levels, they would be disqualified like any other female. The advantage that a transsexual female could have is if they were able to carry forward the muscle mass that they developed as men. This is potentially mitigated by the 2 year post-opertive exclusionary period. The idea that this could be "abused" by someone who wants to make money is so out of left field. First it is doubtful that any doctor would perform the procedure if they suspected as much and second, how could you earn money doing this? Scorn, and raised eyebrows - sure. But money?

While most doctors are honest and honorable practitioners that take their hippocratic oath very seriously, there are doctors out there that would do a surgery to make money. No one has implied that a transexual would have the operation to make money. Swimmers usually don't make much money!...not enough to gamble on changing their sex!

aquageek
May 18th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Are you all afraid the Olympics will be overrun by transsexuals? What you are all foamed up about is this scenario:

A world class athlete decides they want to change sexes during their peak athletic period.
A world class athlete essentially has to quit training during this time for the surgery.
A world class athlete then has to take up training again and overcome all the changes and then requalify for the Olympics.

How many transexuals do you think will attend, 1 or 2 out of 10,000+ athletes?

Does anyone think Ben Johnson will get a breast job and then take Marion Jones' medals?

Bob McAdams
May 18th, 2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by swimr4life
Swimmers usually don't make much money!...not enough to gamble on changing their sex!

Well, swimmers also don't make enough money to risk endangering their health with drug use, so you could argue on that basis that drug testing for swimmers is unnecessary. But sometimes the gleam of Olympic gold can have attractions beyond any gleam of money that may be associated with it.

swimr4life
May 18th, 2004, 04:16 PM
Bob, I agree! See my earlier posts. Aquageek...your're right. The scenario does seem far fetched. I just don't like the possibility even being there for someone to take advantage of.

gull
May 18th, 2004, 04:48 PM
I thought I read somewhere that Flipper is really a man trapped in the body of a porpoise and would like to compete in Athens. As long as the IOC can be flexible about genotype and the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, I don't see why we should be hung up on a concept like species. Of course he'd still have to submit to drug testing like the other competitors.

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 05:00 PM
so the only way these perv***ts get to win a gold is to get their ****ds chopped off?then put on a girl swimsuit??i think that in the pursuit of a gold medal there is just some levels to which i will not stoop thank you very much.....:D

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 05:03 PM
You're kidding, right? If not, how incredibly small minded and offensive.

lefty
May 18th, 2004, 05:06 PM
Sparx I wouldn't do it either, but probably because I have more to "give up" than you.

But seriously, referring to all transsexuals as "perverts" is out of line. For some silly reason I thought prudish homophobia only existed in the US.

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 05:14 PM
"its an abomination in the eyes of the lord"even quoted from the bible to wear the attire if the opposite sex.beware satan is on the prowl..as for smallmindedness no your wrong...i have relatives whom have had sex change opperations and believe me its no easy task...especially for those who have to come to terms with girl becomes boy or vice versa...the popular oppinion is to support these people but who gives support to the distraught....YES DISTRAUGHT family who are left to describe their only daughter is now a son????cmon get real:eek:

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 05:23 PM
I respectfully disagree with you. As far as family members are concerned, I have also known of quite a few folks who are extremely supportive of their transexual son or daughter/sister/cousin/parent, etc.

Although this can be an issue that is difficult to understand, being cruel and judgemental to those who have struggled with feeling "trapped" in the wrong sex is not helpful to anyone and fosters an environment of fear, judgement, and misunderstanding.

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 05:28 PM
i respectfully also must point out that not all the world welcomes with open arms homosexuality or transgenderism..and that oppinions expressed are although true ,not meant to harm.As the saying is true to trannys also is true to straights......free speach...thankyou for you time...:rolleyes:

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 05:43 PM
"By sparx35:

i respectfully also must point out that not all the world welcomes with open arms homosexuality or transgenderism..and that oppinions expressed are although true ,not meant to harm.As the saying is true to trannys also is true to straights......free speach...thankyou for you time...:rolleyes:"

Yes, you're correct. Not everyone in the world opens their arms wide to those who are different in any way; or even of another race or culture, or gender or sexual orientation or religion... shall I go on?

The problem I have is with those who choose to be racist and bigoted and base their beliefs solely on the color of a person's skin, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation, etc.

No need to roll my eyes....and no need for sarcasm on my end Sparx.

LindsayNB
May 18th, 2004, 05:44 PM
Perhaps it would be useful to get back to first principles here: what is the purpose of excluding transexuals from competition? I can see two plausible sounding lines of reasoning:

1) The anti-drug analogy of wanting to avoid having elite male swimmers feel pressured to have sex change operations and multiple years of hormone therapy in order to try to win an olympic medal as a female. I think this line of reasoning is clearly nonsense, no world class male swimmer is going to undergo a sex change in hopes of winning a medal.

2) It is unfair to the female competitors to have to compete and potentially lose to a formerly male swimmer, but how is that different from it being unfair to any swimmer to have to swim against someone else who is bigger and stronger than they are? Why is it fair for a woman to win a gold medal when there hypothetically could be one or more male swimmers of equal or lesser stature and equal or lesser muscle mass who are faster? Why is this one physical characteristic treated in such a special manner? I believe it is because women would be discouraged from participating and competing if they had to compete against men (although we all know that many women are faster than many men). Do we really believe that women will not participate and compete because they figure some male to female transexual might beat them in the Olympics? I really doubt it.

So what purpose will be served by excluding transexuals?

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 05:48 PM
ok ok already fish boy ...errr i mean grrl or whatever....gud luk in your persuits of an transgendered world....count me out....and as for competing i think all the cheets have now bin addressed...lets swim instead!!!!!

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 05:53 PM
You are so deluded by bigotry that you can't help but be insulting, rather than attempt to carry on a logical debate.

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 05:58 PM
smallminded racist bigotted bigottry....need i go on....these are just the names you have so far called me for being straight with an oppinion...let me not stoop to your level of name calling at this time of night...again good luck in your transgendered world in which your president becomes first lady....sorry couldnt resist.......lesby friends..????

Peter Cruise
May 18th, 2004, 06:01 PM
Don't really want to step into this one...but...purely on the point of who in their right mind would choose to undergo such a procedure just to win a gold medal? Look no further than the hosts of the 2008 Olympics (China) and the cloud of suspicion that already hangs over their female swimmers. Remember the East German swimmers had little choice in the matter of their doping.

Howard
May 18th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by sparx35
smallminded racist bigotted bigottry....need i go on....these are just the names you have so far called me for being straight with an oppinion...let me not stoop to your level of name calling at this time of night...again good luck in your transgendered world in which your president becomes first lady....sorry couldnt resist.......lesby friends..????

Ion gets kicked off and this is OK?

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 06:09 PM
"smallminded racist bigotted bigottry....need i go on....these are just the names you have so far called me for being straight with an oppinion...let me not stoop to your level of name calling at this time of night...again good luck in your transgendered world in which your president becomes first lady....sorry couldnt resist.......lesby friends..????"

Yep, you got me on that one! Although I don't know you, your posts project an attitude of bigotry.

Bigot: one obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices

(kinda sounds like you!)

I never called you a racist though, and I apologize if that is how my posted sounded - it certainly wasn't meant to be directed to you. I was just try to make a point.

Question: why do you have such an attitude toward people who are transgendered? Is it just the idea of them participating in competitive swimming or....?

Kari - who is also straight with an opinion!

Cheers

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Fishgrrl
"By sparx35:

i respectfully also must point out that not all the world welcomes with open arms homosexuality or transgenderism..and that oppinions expressed are although true ,not meant to harm.As the saying is true to trannys also is true to straights......free speach...thankyou for you time...:rolleyes:"

Yes, you're correct. Not everyone in the world opens their arms wide to those who are different in any way; or even of another race or culture, or gender or sexual orientation or religion... shall I go on?

The problem I have is with those who choose to be racist and bigoted and base their beliefs solely on the color of a person's skin, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation, etc.

No need to roll my eyes....and no need for sarcasm on my end Sparx.

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 06:20 PM
by the way i said perv***ts not perverts so did retain some political deplomacy..in my premier posts to this disturbing development in normal swimming.....g night all except *****ts:D

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 06:27 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Fishgrrl
[B]"smallminded racist bigotted bigottry....need i go on....these are just the names you have so far called me for being straight with an oppinion...let me not stoop to your level of name calling at this time of night...again good luck in your transgendered world in which your president becomes first lady....sorry couldnt resist.......lesby friends..????"

Yep, you got me on that one! Although I don't know you, your posts project an attitude of bigotry.

Bigot: one obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own opinions and prejudices

(kinda sounds like you!)

I never called you a racist though, and I apologize if that is how my posted sounded - it certainly wasn't meant to be directed to you. I was just try to make a point.
TO HIS OWN.OPPINIONS AND PREDJUDICES...doesnt this suggest sexism too?sparx out!!!SORRY PS TO BE ARGUMENTATIVE BUT ARENT YOU???

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 06:49 PM
Sure, we're all argumentative off and on at times. No need to apologize for that.

Cheers,
Kari

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 06:55 PM
YEA cheers well agree to differ on this subject then...and maybe will agree on a different subject some time in the future...maybe..?

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 06:57 PM
Sounds good to me!

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 06:59 PM
gnight fshgrll ...sleep tight....see you tommorrow x:D

Fishgrrl
May 18th, 2004, 07:04 PM
Sweet dreams yourself, Sparx! It's only 4 in the afternoon here though....(sigh).

sparx35
May 18th, 2004, 07:07 PM
tis gone midnight......i must retire to sleep...but fsh grll has me interested!!!!!!!!!!!!@@@...im only mortal; man/////in uk....

aquageek
May 18th, 2004, 09:05 PM
With all the glaring issues in sports today - roids, gambling, athletes out of control, escalating salaries - it seems ludicrous that the IOC, or whatever governing body, would choose this topic for some great (im)moral stand.

This seems the equivalent of worrying about a split end when you have inoperable cancer.

Leave it to Ellison to spark some controversy.

breastroker
May 19th, 2004, 12:51 AM
There are several problems with the arguments presented so far so let me clarify what I have seen.

1) There are many countries where Olympic athletes make millions of dollars, Euros etc. This includes swimmers. Just because Americans and English (GB) don't make significant money to justify a sex change doesn't mean the financial incentive is not there.

2) Even in Masters swimming I have seen men who were using steriods. Ever 5 years these men would gain 25 pounds of muscles, pimples on their backs, tearing of their muscles, all sorts of steroid symptoms. There is no money in Masters swimming (at least none I know of) so this steroid use was done for other weird reasons. Younger swimmers would do ANYTHING to win a Olympic Gold Medal.

3) Just like women using steroids, the strength advantage would last for many years. With some world class swimmers now swimming in 4 Olympics, this could give a lifetime advantage to transsexuals.

4) What is to say a state sponsored program of genetically altered or surgically altered athletes start dominating sports events? First Germany, then China, it can happen again. How about webbed feet and fingers? Gills?

This news event went over real nice at my work, NOT!!!!

Bob McAdams
May 19th, 2004, 01:31 AM
Another question is how the public would react if a woman-who-used-to-be-a-man won a gold medal in a women's event, but clearly did not perform well enough to have won any kind of medal in the corresponding men's event.

aquageek
May 19th, 2004, 04:44 AM
Originally posted by breastroker

4) What is to say a state sponsored program of genetically altered or surgically altered athletes start dominating sports events? First Germany, then China, it can happen again. How about webbed feet and fingers? Gills?



Yeah, a state sponsored transsexual program, that's a likely scenario.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 08:11 AM
"Leave it to Ellison to spark some controversy."

Yes, I guess in practical terms, I sparked this controversy because I felt it needed discussion. Decisions such as this could have a wide ranging impact on our sport (and others) for generations to come. I weigh in with Wayne’s post that addressed the past STATE run drug programs in China and East Germany. It is not a far leap to connecting the dots to countries that will do anything to win gold medals in the Olympics. What is next? What ramifications and impact will this have on future Olympic Games? Are we soon to see past records with time lines such as BT (before transsexual) or AT (after transsexual) in woman’s sports?

As to my posts…Well, I attempted to use humor to get my point across. I am not homophobic, transgender phobic or anything else closely related to those titles. But, I have my opinions on how things should be in this world and my opinions are just as valid as the next guys or girls or transsexual or whatever….. I do not have to support these actions, but I do respect their right to do whatever they want and I hope my posts are an indication of such.

Lastly, I was concerned that I would get a vacation on this forum for expressing my views through humor….and…as it turned out…my posts are....shall we say..... pale in comparison.

laineybug
May 19th, 2004, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen
what fascinating times to live in.

-LBJ

A Chinese curse goes:

May you live in interesting times.

gull
May 19th, 2004, 08:25 AM
If the athlete is genetically a male (XY chromosomes) he should compete with the men. On the other hand, maybe we're too hung up on chromosomes. Perhaps we should enter a dolphin and kick some serious tail. I'm not a xenophobe and have no problem swimming against a fish (actually an aquatic mammal).

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 08:38 AM
Gosh, I swam against a fish everytime I swam the mile against Jim Mc Conicka (SP)

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by gull80
If the athlete is genetically a male (XY chromosomes) he should compete with the men. On the other hand, maybe we're too hung up on chromosomes. Perhaps we should enter a dolphin and kick some serious tail. I'm not a xenophobe and have no problem swimming against a fish (actually an aquatic mammal).

gull80, I couldn't have said it better myself!! Transgenderism is a choice. Even though I don't think it is "OK", it is an individual's choice to go through the surgery. To each his/her own. BUT, the fact remains that they are still genetically the same sex they were before the surgery!! I think sex in competition should be based on what you are GENETICALLY!

Call me politically "incorrect" if you want but, just as transgenders have their right to their opinions, I have every right to mine. I am not homophobic or transgenderphobic. I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE LIKE ME BEING MADE TO FEEL OPINIONPHOBIC........afraid to voice my opinion because I might offend someone! Yes, I'm traditional and old-fashioned. It doesn't mean that I should be made ashamed of my view and opinions. The silent majority should be able to voice their opinions too!

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 09:21 AM
I was silent once....

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 09:23 AM
Hush up Ralph....

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 09:29 AM
Speak up Ralph. Don't be afraid!;)

Leonard Jansen
May 19th, 2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by laineybug


A Chinese curse goes:

May you live in interesting times.

I've never thought of that as a curse, but then again, my parents had a hard time keeping me alive as a kid since I would do almost anything "because I thought it would be interesting to do." I find watching the things going on in society today to be along the same lines, except they don't cause me to have to visit the ER too often.

And I still want to know what the "S." stands for as your first name... I think it would be "interesting" to know.

-LBJ

gull
May 19th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Unfortunately we seem to be living in frightening times.

LindsayNB
May 19th, 2004, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by breastroker
There are several problems with the arguments presented so far so let me clarify what I have seen.

1) There are many countries where Olympic athletes make millions of dollars, Euros etc. This includes swimmers. Just because Americans and English (GB) don't make significant money to justify a sex change doesn't mean the financial incentive is not there.

There are two ways that Olympic athletes make money: sponsorships and state incentives. Do we really foresee sponsors offering big money to a transexual athlete? How many states will want to be seen winning Olympic events using transexual athletes? Countries that have used performance enhancing technologies in the past have always done so covertly, the idea was to deceive the world into thinking their athletes were superior. Will wins by transexual athletes serve the state's propaganda purposes?

2) Even in Masters swimming I have seen men who were using steriods. Ever 5 years these men would gain 25 pounds of muscles, pimples on their backs, tearing of their muscles, all sorts of steroid symptoms. There is no money in Masters swimming (at least none I know of) so this steroid use was done for other weird reasons. Younger swimmers would do ANYTHING to win a Olympic Gold Medal.

You might find it interesting to find out how many of these men who are taking drugs that make them muscular and buff would be willing to have their genitals removed, breasts added, and undergo two years of feminizing hormone treatment. It seems to me that being turned into a female is a considerably more immediate consideration than adverse health effects somewhere down the line. Before we can accept that young males will do ANYTHING for an Olympic Gold we have to establish what their motivations are, it certainly isn't just to possess the physical medal, I strongly suspect that undergoing a sex change would directly contradict basically all the motivations young men have for wanting to go to the Olympics. On top of that, winning a medal as a transexual would certainly be a completely different experience, knowing that most of the world looked down on you rather than admired you.

3) Just like women using steroids, the strength advantage would last for many years. With some world class swimmers now swimming in 4 Olympics, this could give a lifetime advantage to transsexuals.

It is possible but certainly open to question that a male to female transexual would have an advantage. Even if you take it as a given, the question remains, why would it be a bad thing for a transexual to win a medal? We've already had the "because I don't like/approve of transexuals" expressed, but that is hardly valid basis for policy. We ban performance enhancing drugs because they have adverse health effects not because they enhance performance, otherwise we would ban vitamins, ordinary supplements, and healthy living.

4) What is to say a state sponsored program of genetically altered or surgically altered athletes start dominating sports events? First Germany, then China, it can happen again. How about webbed feet and fingers? Gills?

Despite the above this is completely irrelevant to this discussion, the IOC did not create a blanket "any medical procedure is ok" policy. Interestingly, I believe webbed digits do occur naturally sometimes, if this were to happen in an otherwise talented individual should that individual be banned? Does the Olympics really come down to a test of who was born with the best genes? Certainly you have very little hope of medaling in the Olympics if you weren't born with a very rare set of genes, is that "fair"?

lefty
May 19th, 2004, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by swimr4life


gull80, I couldn't have said it better myself!! Transgenderism is a choice. Even though I don't think it is "OK", it is an individual's choice to go through the surgery. To each his/her own. BUT, the fact remains that they are still genetically the same sex they were before the surgery!! I think sex in competition should be based on what you are GENETICALLY!

Call me politically "incorrect" if you want but, just as transgenders have their right to their opinions, I have every right to mine. I am not homophobic or transgenderphobic. I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE LIKE ME BEING MADE TO FEEL OPINIONPHOBIC........afraid to voice my opinion because I might offend someone! Yes, I'm traditional and old-fashioned. It doesn't mean that I should be made ashamed of my view and opinions. The silent majority should be able to voice their opinions too!

Beth, there is a difference between expressing your opinion in a sensitive way, and being offensive like Sparx. Unfortunately, many good and sensitive people like yourself get labled "homophobic" because of people like Sparx. Stereotyping is exactly what people like me get so mad about but, ironically, we quickly apply stereotypes to anyone who disagrees with us; the cycle never ends and a healthy dialogue never developes. So respectfully I submit to you that I appreciate your concern on this issue but I disagree.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB We ban performance enhancing drugs because they have adverse health effects not because they enhance performance, otherwise we would ban vitamins, ordinary supplements, and healthy living.


I respectfully disagree. Performance enhancing drugs DO truly effect performance. It is CHEATING. Swimming regularly, eating a healthy diet, taking vitamins are not cheating. Comparing vitamins to steroids is not a valid point.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 10:09 AM
Thank-you Lefty! As long as we respect each others opinion.. even if we disagree.. and respect each others right to express them ,everyone wins!:D

lefty
May 19th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by swimr4life


I respectfully disagree. Performance enhancing drugs DO truly effect performance. It is CHEATING. Swimming regularly, eating a healthy diet, taking vitamins are not cheating. Comparing vitamins to steroids is not a valid point.

She was comparing not vitamins to steroids - she was CONTRASTING vitamins to steroids. Her point was that vitamins are NOT like steroids because they have no adverse health effect. The reason that steroids are banned is because of the health effects. If the IOC allowed steroid use, anyone who was not willing to (permanently) harm their body would be at a disadvantage.

Leonard Jansen
May 19th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by gull80
Unfortunately we seem to be living in frightening times.

"More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. " - Woody Allen

Every generation thinks that they live in bad times, just as every generation thinks that their children are hopelessly lost. Every generation is correct. But somehow, it all seems to continue and that is what is so fascinating.

-LBJ

lefty
May 19th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by breastroker
1) There are many countries where Olympic athletes make millions of dollars, Euros etc. This includes swimmers. Just because Americans and English (GB) don't make significant money to justify a sex change doesn't mean the financial incentive is not there.

SO just to be clear, Wayne, what you are suggesting is that it is all right for the United States (and to some extent GB) to dictate moral issues to the rest of the world? You said so yourself, this DOES NOT EFFECT the USA: So why do you care?

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 10:33 AM
I realize Lindsay was trying to make a point of contrasting vitamins and steroids. I didn't choose the right words. Performance-enhancing drugs DO enhance performance. Yes, they harm the user's health in the long run. There are MANY athletes that don't care about how it effects their bodies in the future. They just want to succeed NOW at any cost. My point is that vitamins, healthy living, etc...are not cheating. Steroids, sex changes, blood doping..etc ARE cheating due to obvious improvements in performance.

Howard
May 19th, 2004, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by breastroker


2) Even in Masters swimming I have seen men who were using steriods. Ever 5 years these men would gain 25 pounds of muscles, pimples on their backs, tearing of their muscles, all sorts of steroid symptoms. There is no money in Masters swimming (at least none I know of) so this steroid use was done for other weird reasons. Younger swimmers would do ANYTHING to win a Olympic Gold Medal.


You say this as if it's the absolute truth. Have you actually witnessed someone taking steroids? Know someone that has told you they are using steroids?

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by lefty
The reason that steroids are banned is because of the health effects. If the IOC allowed steroid use, anyone who was not willing to (permanently) harm their body would be at a disadvantage.

Very good point. This same rationale can be applied to transgenderism...."anyone not willing to harm their body would be at a disadvantage." Am I the only female that has a problem with this?

exrunner
May 19th, 2004, 10:48 AM
Interesting thread! I am having trouble deciding where I stand on this, so I've cooked up some test cases as a mental exercise. We'll start easy.

A woman happens to have an unusually muscular build, narrow hips, long legs and (say) 6'2" height, all without surgery or injected substances. I can think of no reason to exclude such a woman from women's events, and every reason to include her.

A person is born with double jointed knees and ankles, naturally webbed hands and feet, and a dorsal fin. In addition trains hard, etc. becoming a world class swimmer. I see no reason to exclude him or her from competition. The unusual physical traits are just part of that person, and thus constitute a fair advantage.

A boy by birth is accidentally mutilated during a circumcision, is subsequently given a sex-change, with the attendant hormoal supplements, lives life as a female, becomes a world class swimmer. Who among us would exclude her from competing in women's events? Not I.

A person got into a neck accident, damaged the thyroid, therafter needing hormone injections and cosmetic surgery. Gender not at issue. I would have no trouble permitting the person to compete (within the uncontested gender classification), despite the surgery and injections. Can a transsexual make a parallel argument? E.g., biochemical accident during fetal development caused incorrect sex organs, sex change was cosmetic, hormones restored normalcy? I would not be convinced by the case.

A world class male swimmer one day declares that he is really a woman, dresses like a woman, and lives life outwardly like a woman. Some schools of thought would recognize such a declaration as valid, but it clearly would not be justified to let this person compete for women's gold medals. What if s/he subsequently gets the female hormones but the surgery is delayed for valid medical reasons - should s/he be permitted to compete as a woman (i.e., is the IOC going to be checking everybody's plumbing from now on?), or banned because of the hormone injections? I am inclined to exclude this person from women's events, but the lines are getting blurred.

Maybe this is one of those situations where reasonable people of good faith can make principled arguments for either side, and where the best we can do is find a compromise that will please no one 100%, and that will not conform entirely to one ideal or another, but will give us a way of moving forward. The IOC's decision is one way to do this. So is declaring that you are what your chromosomes say you are (except I don't know what to do about the XXY's).

Does anyone see a clear way through this?

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 10:53 AM
exrunner, WOW...very good,thought provoking points. The lines will definitely be muddled. That is why I think the "you are what your genes say you are" rule is the best, clear way to decide this.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 11:01 AM
My thoughts are...

It should be WHAT you are...NOT...what you WANT to be or THINK you are....

LindsayNB
May 19th, 2004, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by swimr4life


I respectfully disagree. Performance enhancing drugs DO truly effect performance.

Lefty was right, by definition a performance enhancing drug enhances performance.

It is CHEATING. Swimming regularly, eating a healthy diet, taking vitamins are not cheating. Comparing vitamins to steroids is not a valid point.

By definition cheating is breaking the rules, if the rules permit a male to female transexuals to swim as a female then that is not cheating. My point is that the status quo is not an end in itself, the rules were designed to serve goals. Steroids are not banned because they enhance performance, they are banned because they have adverse effects on your health and we don't want people to have to ruin their health in order to be competative.

As a thought experiment, it would be interesting to think about how we would react if a hypothetical supplement was created that had performance enhancing effects but no adverse side effects. Would we treat it like steroids or vitamins?

Likewise, it is interesting to consider the basic motivation behind separate mens and womens competitions and awards. If we have separate competions for women because they are not as tall or as muscular wouldn't it be better to have height and weight classes instead? There was a thread started on April Fools about FINA introducing additional regions and/or catagories which was met with howls of protest about trying to make everyone feel good by winning at something. Strangely no one brought up that having separate male and female catagories has exactly that purpose, women would be discouraged if they had to compete with males at the very top levels of competition. Obviously there is more overlap at lower levels like masters.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
By definition cheating is breaking the rules, if the rules permit a male to female transexuals to swim as a female then that is not cheating. My point is that the status quo is not an end in itself, the rules were designed to serve goals. Steroids are not banned because they enhance performance, they are banned because they have adverse effects on your health and we don't want people to have to ruin their health in order to be competative. (quote)

Which is why I think the new rule allowing transgender, especially male to female, is wrong. They should not be allowed to compete with genetic women! I believe it is cheating and has long lasting effects on a swimmer's health! I noticed that most of the posters that are "fine" with this are men. I wonder how you would feel about this issue if you were a woman.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Lindsay.."Likewise, it is interesting to consider the basic motivation behind separate mens and womens competitions and awards. If we have separate competions for women because they are not as tall or as muscular wouldn't it be better to have height and weight classes instead? There was a thread started on April Fools about FINA introducing additional regions and/or catagories which was met with howls of protest about trying to make everyone feel good by winning at something. Strangely no one brought up that having separate male and female catagories has exactly that purpose, women would be discouraged if they had to compete with males at the very top levels of competition. Obviously there is more overlap at lower levels like masters."

Thats stretching it a bit. Lets face the biological facts. Men have more testosterone. They in turn have more muscle mass. Therefore they are the stronger sex....
:rolleyes: That was hard to admit..:D BUT it is the truth. Please don't give the IOC any more ideas to mess up our sport.

LindsayNB
May 19th, 2004, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by exrunner
...
Maybe this is one of those situations where reasonable people of good faith can make principled arguments for either side...


Exrunner's post was thought provoking, I think where the discussion has been stumbling is failure to outline what exact principles people are operating from.

I've identified two principles:
1) Athletes should not have to harm their health to be competitive (e.g. take steroids)
2) Participants should have at least some hope of being competitive (e.g. the prospects of a woman medalling in Olympic swimming events if competing against men are pretty limited and this would discourage female participation in competitive swimming.)

The argument has been made that male athletes will have sex change operations in order to be able to win as women. I don't believe this and I don't think there is any evidence to support it. I also don't believe that women will be discouraged from competitive swimming by the prospect of all the medals being taken by transexuals as I don't think that is a realistic fear.

A third principle can be read between the lines of a couple posts: transexuals and sex changes are bad (immoral, unnatural, unhealthy, etc.). People who disagree on this principle can argue back and forth from now to eternity about swimming in the Olympics without getting anywhere. Better to just agree to disagree on this principle and move on.

Not yet discussed is the interest of the post operative, post hormonal treatment person who changed their sex due to gender dysphoria rather than competitive ambition. There is some harm to them in excluding them from competing as their post operative sex. There is also an effect on other transexuals analogous to the effect on women at large in the case of seperate competitions for men and women.

So far most of the concern has been about men becoming women and winning medals, for people who advocate swimming according to your chromosomes, are you comfortable about a female to male transexual who has undergone months of (male) hormone therapy competing as a women?

But back to the point, I don't see any hope of the discussion progressing if we don't start by defining what the principles we are using to make judgements are.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
So far most of the concern has been about men becoming women and winning medals, for people who advocate swimming according to your chromosomes, are you comfortable about a female to male transexual who has undergone months of (male) hormone therapy competing as a women?

But back to the point, I don't see any hope of the discussion progressing if we don't start by defining what the principles we are using to make judgements are.

Although "she" would have "female" genes, a woman that changes into a man would have to take testosterone to maintain their chosen sex characteristics. Testosterone levels are checked at the international level. If they have acceptable, "female", levels of testosterone, there is no real reason they could not compete as a woman. I personally would feel weird swimming with them but, that is my honest opinion.

Lets agree to disagree!

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 01:06 PM
"are you comfortable about a female to male transexual who has undergone months of (male) hormone therapy competing as a women?"

Lindsay, I am not comfortable with ANY of this.....I believe it blurs the natural order of things.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 01:16 PM
I agree Tom. Honestly, I am not "comfortable" either. I think my head is spinning from the blurring of so many lines of order in the world today.

gull
May 19th, 2004, 01:33 PM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen


"More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. " - Woody Allen

Every generation thinks that they live in bad times, just as every generation thinks that their children are hopelessly lost. Every generation is correct. But somehow, it all seems to continue and that is what is so fascinating.

-LBJ

At no other time on earth has a species had the capability of destroying the planet. We have weapons of mass destruction (if we can find where we hid them) and people who are willing to use them.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Hey Craig:
I wish someone would send me the schedule ......

gull
May 19th, 2004, 01:47 PM
Tom, is it true you moved to New York to change your gender?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 01:51 PM
MANY, MANY, MANY things will happen in this world my friend...but THAT is not one of them....

I moved up here so Mr. Moose and Ralph could enjoy the cold weather....

Conniekat8
May 19th, 2004, 01:54 PM
In our general area there is a swimmer who has undergone the change.
I've met her. She is very nice.
My observations on this are:

- A person who is likely to make this change is probably not going to be doing it while they are peaking as a potential olympic athlete. It's very unlikely that a psycologysts would agree that the maturity level at that age 18-25 is there to be making that kind of a life decision.

- Seeing just a glimpse of what this woman has gone throug, the toll on the body and the psyche is tremendous, and I seriously doubt that anyone can maintain the peak level of physical fitness and mental composure needed to be an world class athlete.

- and if in spite of it all, they do manage to maintain the world class athlete status, then they deserve it, no matter what gender category they compete in.

- I think our medicine is advanced enough to be able to objsetively determine whether someone's physical abilities are closer to that of a male or a female, and what category they'd belong to, to be in fair competition.

- Having met this woman... On the personal level, once we all ghet past the curiosity and the novelty, trust me, you get over the discomforts or the prejudioces that you may initially feel. We all need to back off the streotypes, and deal with the people on a more personal level, get to know them before you judge them.

- Yes, it is odd and unusual, and it takes adjustment on our part to learn how to deal with it. Trust me, they don't bite and they're not bad people. If anything, they have a lot more turmoil in their lives dealing with what they're dealing with on daily basis that nay of us will have by meeting them or spending a few hours in their presence.
Get over the taboo, and look at it little more clinically. Look at the medical information on gender, and see just how many people get born with genetical goofups and gender bending anomalies... Be it physical, be it hormonal. A lot more than publically dare to admit to.

Medically, gender is not always as clear cut as public at large would like to think.

And for those who say it's not natural, it isn't so. There are lot of imperfect things in nature, and nothing is clear cut black and white, as we would like to think it is... I suppose to help us deal with the uncertainties, we want to categorize and compartmentalize people and things... and those that don't fit, make us nervous. But that's not the fault of the 'unfitting' that we can't figure out how to classify them.

It's okay, our instincts have hard wired us to gravitate away from the anomalies, that's nature's way of ensuring the survival of the fittest, and the contunuation of the species with the best gene pool available. For most people it's extremely difficult to reconcile those realities with the existance of humanities, as they understand them. Boils dow to, even though we would like to think we're an evolved 'human' (whatever that means) society, we're still very much driven by a lot of natural instincts that evolved ffrom the begining of time.

this whole discussion made me think of couple of books:
"Male and Female Realities: Understanding the opposite sex" By Joe Tanenbaum
and
"Shadows of forgotten ancestors" By Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan

There's another book sitting on my desk right now waiting it's turn to be read, by Richard Dawkins "The selfish gene"

There's no 'order' in nature, it's a self guided chaos, much like fractals are. As for the 'order of things in nature' it is by large a religious invention, much like society moralities and the commandments etc are... inventions to maximize societies chance of survival. But don't mix up the religious (mostly christian) meaning of 'natural' with what nature really - scientifically is. It's not the same thing.

And before get up in arms because things I said may conflict with your beliefs and get you all irritated and up in arms, I'm not pro or against any of this. Those things exist, regardless of how You or I feel about them, and there is a place for it all, the religion, the society and how it functions, the prejudices, the humanities, the anomalies etc.

Well, that's just my opinion.
I forgot who said this, but I really see it as a very appropriate quote for the moment: "Seek to understand before you judge"
well, this is the place I was able to fond it first:
http://www.one-world.org/engl100/logic.html

Conniekat8
May 19th, 2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
MANY, MANY, MANY things will happen in this world my friend...but THAT is not one of them....

I moved up here so Mr. Moose and Ralph could enjoy the cold weather....

I think you could call yourself Regina McMoo ;)

Conniekat8
May 19th, 2004, 01:57 PM
Oh, and I'm back to measuring the pools, tere is a lot more certainty there then there is with people :P
I feel safer over there.

Fishgrrl
May 19th, 2004, 02:06 PM
Outstanding post.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 02:07 PM
I want to make it 100% clear that NEVER have I judged any one or any of this. My thoughts and beliefs are mine, others thoughts and actions are theirs and regardless of our differences, it is NOT for me to judge anyone. I may not agree, I may not like it, I may think it is a tad bit out there, but I would not and have not ever judged anyone. THAT, is not me….

LindsayNB
May 19th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Kudos to Connie on a nicely written post.

Scansy
May 19th, 2004, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
MANY, MANY, MANY things will happen in this world my friend...but THAT is not one of them....

I moved up here so Mr. Moose and Ralph could enjoy the cold weather....

But are any of the voices in your head female?

Scansy
May 19th, 2004, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
I want to make it 100% clear that NEVER have I judged any one or any of this. My thoughts and beliefs are mine, others thoughts and actions are theirs and regardless of our differences, it is NOT for me to judge anyone. I may not agree, I may not like it, I may think it is a tad bit out there, but I would not and have not ever judged anyone. THAT, is not me….

There is really two separate issues addressed in this thread.

1. Is this type of change acceptable or right - in general terms? Is it fair to judge these individuals?

My feeling is that it makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it. If that makes me narrow minded, bigoted, etc. - fine. I just know that it makes me uncomfortable. I suspect that I would get over that if I had the chance to meet someone that I knew had gone through this. (I used to be uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality. But once I met someone who I knew was a homosexual and spent some time with them, I became comfortable with the idea.) I can say that if someone has the desire and the means to go through with this change, I say go ahead.

2. Is it fair to have these individuals compete in their "new" gender?

To me, the first item was very much driven by personal beliefs, emotion, religion, etc. It would seem to me that this second one could be very scientific. And it seems the IOC is trying to go this route - two years of hormone therapy is required, etc. I think if it can be proven that there is no competetive advantage caused by the change it is OK to compete.

Anyway, interesting debate. And a nice long thread - even without you know who.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 04:16 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Conniekat8
[B] There's no 'order' in nature, it's a self guided chaos, much like fractals are. As for the 'order of things in nature' it is by large a religious invention, much like society moralities and the commandments etc are... inventions to maximize societies chance of survival. But don't mix up the religious (mostly christian) meaning of 'natural' with what nature really - scientifically is. It's not the same thing.(quote)

Connie, you made some very good points. I think we are confusing two issues though. Just because I personally don't think transgendered people should be able to compete in their "changed" sex competition, it in NO way means that I think any less of them as human beings. I am not judging them either. I am being honest when I say they make me feel uncomfortable. Lets face it...they're not what you see everyday, we are not used to it. Medical science has advanced faster than society's ability to "adjust" at times.

I disagree with the generalization that Christian beliefs are invented solely for societal order. They are far more than that! Frankly, being a Christian myself, I am tired of all the generalizations...usually negative....about Christians. My beliefs are that we are to love each other without judgement. We don't have to agree with everything in society either. Please don't think that just because I don't feel comfortable with transgenderism, I would treat someone who has had this surgery any differently.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 04:32 PM
Paul...they are not voices....they are really me....Honest...

Gee, I don't have any female stuff in here....Hey, it is crowded enough as it is...Let's not confuse the already confused....

swimpastor
May 19th, 2004, 04:43 PM
Connie,

I would invite you to add "Origins of Life" by Dr. Hugh Ross to your reading list. He is an accomplished astrophysicist - a big bang-er - who cogently argues that nature is entirely intentionally ordered, and not the result of random chaos. His book is well written, very thoughtfully considered, and totally without the inanity that most 'naturalists' assign to Christian writers. "Christian scientist" is not an oxymoron, and does not necessarily apply refer to Mary Baker Eddy.

aquageek
May 19th, 2004, 04:50 PM
It always amazes me that Christians who use the Bible as their basis for living and hold a view because of that are frequently called closed minded or bigots while those that don't have a well founded belief system are called progressive because "anything goes."

In the unlikely event a transsexual person ever makes the Olympics as a male/female or whatever they choose to call themselves, what are those of you without a Christian/religious faith planning on telling your children? Sure, you can explain we should love all but that ain't gonna cut it with a kid who wants to know why a man cut off his willie to swim with the girls.

Tom Ellison
May 19th, 2004, 05:09 PM
Aquageek, that is what is so interesting about you....you can always find a way to reduce things to the very, very basics...

Bob McAdams
May 19th, 2004, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by exrunner
A boy by birth is accidentally mutilated during a circumcision, is subsequently given a sex-change, with the attendant hormoal supplements, lives life as a female, becomes a world class swimmer. Who among us would exclude her from competing in women's events? Not I.

A person got into a neck accident, damaged the thyroid, therafter needing hormone injections and cosmetic surgery. Gender not at issue. I would have no trouble permitting the person to compete (within the uncontested gender classification), despite the surgery and injections. Can a transsexual make a parallel argument? E.g., biochemical accident during fetal development caused incorrect sex organs, sex change was cosmetic, hormones restored normalcy? I would not be convinced by the case.

It should be noted that there is already a precedent for dealing with this sort of thing.

While there is a whole list of banned substances that Olympic athletes are not supposed to use, there is also a provision whereby an athlete who can show that he or she needs to use a banned substance for legitimate medical reasons can be allowed to use it. Ideally, the athlete is supposed to get approval before using the substance, but there is a provision that allows this requirement to be waived if the athlete's condition required use of the substance on an emergency basis.

A similar provision could easily be made for surgical alterations that are done because of medical necessity.

aquageek
May 19th, 2004, 05:24 PM
I wonder if all the trannsexual circumcision mutiliated Olympic calibre swimmers in the world are throwing a huge party now. There's got to be one somewhere, right?

sparx35
May 19th, 2004, 05:39 PM
right on aquageek....im gonna gate crash that party...but i'll have to find some circumcision scissors if i'm ever gonna fit in...(disclamation notification writen by sparx's lawyer :any content written herein during divulgence therein whomesoever discruntated without any dispromacavated response however caused throughout the former said"sparx" and without affecting statutory,ethical ,euro pro,racist unorthodox practices ,sexist and any other sect requiring the persecution,prosecution,downfall,etc...etc...etc of the aforementioned sparx is null and void!!!!!)

old dog
May 19th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Cut From Yahoo News:

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - Transsexuals were cleared Monday to compete in the Olympics for the first time. ....

One of the best known cases of transsexuals in sports involves Renee Richards, formerly Richard Raskind, who played on the women's tennis tour in the 1970s.

Richards, now a New York opthamologist, was surprised by the IOC decision and was against it. She said decisions on transsexuals should be made on an individual basis.


"Basically, I think they're making a wrong judgment here, although I would have loved to have that judgment made in my case in 1976," she said.

"They're probably looking for trouble down the line. There may be a true transsexual — not someone who's nuts and wants to make money — who will be a very good champion player, and it will be a young person, let's say a Jimmy Connors or a Tiger Woods, and then they'll have an unequal playing field.

"In some sports, the physical superiority of men over women is very significant."

I, too, doubt that transexuals could get by the physical and mental hurdles to compete as an Olympic athelete. I, too, agree w/ Ms. Richards that the IOC is making a wrong judgement here.

cinc3100
May 19th, 2004, 09:01 PM
Well, I agree this issue is probably one of the most complex ones, And like someone of you, I believe that you should keep the gender you are born with. But some people go ahead and change their gender and should they not be allowed to try out for a sport because of that. As someone said Ms Richards who had that operation herself said it should be done on a case by case basis. And as someone else stated certain authorian governments could use this to their advantaged.

gull
May 19th, 2004, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
We all need to back off the streotypes, and deal with the people on a more personal level, get to know them before you judge them.


Medically, gender is not always as clear cut as public at large would like to think.


There's no 'order' in nature, it's a self guided chaos, much like fractals are.

It's not about passing judgment on someone who's "different," nor is it about political correctness. It's about a very basic concept--gender and what defines male vs. female.

Medically gender is straightforward. Yes there are specific medical conditions where an individual does not develop the appropriate physical characteristics for their sexual genotype, but that's not what we're talking about here.

And finally, there is incredible order throughout nature--which is why scientists can believe in God. Chaos theory does not suggest that the universe is without order.

LindsayNB
May 19th, 2004, 11:03 PM
Originally posted by gull80

It's not about passing judgment on someone who's "different," nor is it about political correctness. It's about a very basic concept--gender and what defines male vs. female.


It seems to me that it is about whether a post-operative transexual should be excluded from competing as a female, which I see as a much more serious issue than people making personal judgements.

I don't think it should be at all about the definition of male and female, segregated competition based on sex is just a means to an end not an end in itself, it is the actual end/goals that we ought to be concerned with.

Personally I can't get that worked up over the issue at the Olympic level because I see it as so extremely unlikely to ever actual occur, in swimming at least. What really concerned me was the suggestion that transexuals be excluded at the masters swimming level of competition. To me excluding people goes against the things I like best about masters swimming and I just don't see the positive ends that are being served. If we accept "makes me uncomfortable" as a valid reason for excluding people we have to get rid of swimmers with body piercings, followed by gay and lesbian swimmers, followed by the women who are faster than the men, followed by... We are all entitled to feel uncomfortable but "makes me uncomfortable" is not sufficient reason for exclusion.

swimr4life
May 19th, 2004, 11:20 PM
They would be excluded because they would have an unfair advantage. PERIOD! The more this topic is expanded, the more this fact is being twisted and turned into a totally different direction.

cinc3100
May 19th, 2004, 11:35 PM
No one here said a transexual should be excluded from going to a masters swim meet. It would be up to the meet director to choose whether they would be in a male or female category depending upon how much hormore treatment they received. The olympics is a lot more important as well as the NCAA's or the worlds. Also, I image while there are Jews, or Muslims or chirstians that don't expect homosexual practices, I image most of them would not interfer with the gay games or mainly master gay swim clubs.

Phil Arcuni
May 20th, 2004, 12:52 AM
From what I understand, a 'transgendered female' is phenotypically female, in form and muscles, and even hormonally. They act in life as one of the female gender. We use female pronouns not only because it is polite, but because it is correct.

There are many cases of unclear sex, and the decision to be male or female (driven by our society) is decided by appearance, personal history, and which sex is easier to medically accomplish, not by XX or XY chromosome. (I read recently of a child who had some organs XX, others XY)

So I fail to understand Beth's argument, "because it is unfair." How is it unfair? Is it unfair because a women is taller? We deal with that type of unfairness all the time. I think it is far more unfair that a man is born to the wrong sex. Besides that, Beth's argument ignores and in effect ridicules the intellectual argument that is needed to make such a moral decision -- others here are very eloquently trying to explore the fundamental points of this issue, but evidently Beth did not do well in her philosophy or medical ethics courses.

Also, Aquageek, I would not try to explain why "a man cut of his willie to race with the girls." The whole tone and word choice of this question ridicules a serious issue -- people who put up with the social and physical difficulties of changing sex do not 'cut off their willie." The word is penus, not something silly like willie, and I don't think cutting it off is either necessary nor sufficient. I don't think anyone would change sex to swim with the 'girls,' and they are not girls, they are women.

It is too bad that perfectly good words are treated like insults. If you think that races should not mix, as I heard a man on the radio claim yesterday, then you are a racist. If you think people of one sex should only live certain gender roles, or not live others, you are a sexist. If you think that people should not change genders, you are a . . . . genderist (?)

Finally, it is the case that Tom, either wittingly or unwittingly, starts the most controversial threads. ;)

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by gull80

Medically gender is straightforward. Yes there are specific medical conditions where an individual does not develop the appropriate physical characteristics for their sexual genotype, but that's not what we're talking about here.


I tbelieve it is very much what we're talking about here.
A fully grown functioning and hormonally and genetically male is not likely to undergo the sex change operation.
There is often anomalies, not just physical, but hormonal, chemical and brain struture and early psychological development that thanscends the genital physical features.

People don't undergo sex change operations because they have been born and raised with a clear cut gender identity. If they were, then the sex change would never occur to them, and would be un-necessary.

People who undergo the procedure are not your clear cut males or females to begin with, so whether their genitalia or their genotype indicates on or the other, there is more to it than that. So, we are talking about those people that don't develop appropriate gender charachteristics, be it physically, mentally, hormonally, genetically or any other aspect that defines gender.

As for the political correctness, I'd be the last one to worry about that.

Order in nature... I would say order is too strong of a word. There is hierarchy to things in nature. It is not without fail or without deviation.

As for scientists believing in god....
There is a difference between science and personal beliefs. One is objective, the latter one leaves a lot to subjective interpretation. I'm not a fan of mixing the two, untill we get to into social scences and examining human behavior, individually, and at the level of a society.

When it comes to medicine, physics, math, chemistry and such, I'm not into attempting to apply religious symbology to scientific events and findings. Science can stand on it's own, without religious interpretations.

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by swimr4life
They would be excluded because they would have an unfair advantage. PERIOD! The more this topic is expanded, the more this fact is being twisted and turned into a totally different direction.

What if there is a female that was born with a lot of male characteristics, the height, the build, the hormonal makeup closer to a male than a female... but with female genitalia.
Is it fair for a genetic anomaly like that to compete amongst women?

What if a male undergoing a sex change to a woman is already a small framed feminine kind of a guy, smaller and weaker than the above example? Who has the unfair advantage there?

We need to look at all posible sides before deciding just what would define the unfair advantage.

pinkflamingo
May 20th, 2004, 03:51 AM
Gender is not always so straightforward. There are several Sex Differentiation Disorders, which are medical conditions and are often underlying a decision of a person to have a "sex change" operation. A greater understanding of these conditions and the lives of transgendered people might lead to greater acceptance....

Klinefelter's Syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects males. In Klinefelter syndrome, a male has two X's and a Y. The condition is COMMON and affects 1 in 500 males. The infant with Klinefelter's appears normal at birth, and the condition usually becomes apparent in puberty when secondary sexual characteristics fail to develop (or develop late). At this time, testicular changes occur that usually results in infertility. Symptoms include: small penis; small firm testicles; diminished pubic, axillary, and facial hair; sexual dysfunction; enlarged breast tissue; tall stature; abnormal body proportions (long legs, short trunk). The the severity of symptoms may vary from case to case, and some cases go undetected.

Turner's Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that affects females. It occurs when one of the two X chromosomes normally found in females is missing or incomplete. This disorder is often accompanied by several medical complications. One aspect of treatment is hormone therapy so that the affected person can develop secondary female sexual characteristics.

A Hermaphrodite is a person born with both male and female sex organs. There are 3 types of Hermaphrodites: True, Male Pseudo and Female Pseudo.

A True hermaprodite is born with both ovary and testicular tissue, this could be 2 seperate gonads (one of each) or a combination of both in one (an ovotestes). The genitalia can vary from completely male or female, to a combination of both or even ambiguous looking. The chromosome can be XX, XY,, XX/XY or XO. Those XX with female genitalia on the outside (testicular tissue inside) are raised female while those XY with male genitalia outside (ovary inside) are raised male. The children born XX/XY or XO with genitalia male or female are raised in the sex they look most like. Those born with ambiguous genitalia usually have doctors assign them a sex, and surgery is done at an early age. The way the child is raised and/or the early surgery sometimes doesn't work for the child or the adult that the child becomes, and some hermaphrodites who were assigned a sex as children change their sex again as adults through sex change operations and hormone treatments.

A female pseudo hermaphrodite is a person born XX with normal female internal organs but with "masculanized" genitalia. They can appear more male then female or a combination of each.

A male pseudo hermaphrodite is a person born XY with testes (usually in the abdominal cavity). The external genitalia are usually female but can be ambiguous.


Discovery Health Channel (I think it was) recently had a series of documentaries on trangendered people and hermaphrodites. I recommend seeing this series if it comes on again. One of the documentaries profiled several people who had or were having sex change operations. Their decisions (and lives) are not easy, nor are the gender issues clear.

swimr4life
May 20th, 2004, 08:14 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
[B] Besides that, Beth's argument ignores and in effect ridicules the intellectual argument that is needed to make such a moral decision -- others here are very eloquently trying to explore the fundamental points of this issue, but evidently Beth did not do well in her philosophy or medical ethics courses. (quote)


Obviously, you do not know me. I resent the implication that just because of my beliefs on this issue, my ethics, medical or life, are in question. HOW DARE YOU! I am a very kind, tenderhearted person. Accuse me of being judgemental after you have watched me care for a cocaine addicted baby and treated her mother with the upmost respect when she comes in to see her baby. Accuse me of being unethical after working one day alongside me in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. You don't know what I have done in my life. You have really hit a nerve with your pompous remark!

Phil, you said this,"The word is penus, not something silly like willie, and I don't think cutting it off is either necessary nor sufficient.".......I did do well enough in school to know it is spelled "penis"...change the u to an i.



You also said,"It is too bad that perfectly good words are treated like insults." Yes, it is indeed. You sir are no gentleman. Accusing me have not having ethics is a pretty low blow. I AM OUT OF THIS DISCUSSION! I am tired of self-rightous people that accuse others of being judgemental and unethical just because they have a different point of view.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni

Also, Aquageek, I would not try to explain why "a man cut of his willie to race with the girls." The whole tone and word choice of this question ridicules a serious issue -- people who put up with the social and physical difficulties of changing sex do not 'cut off their willie." The word is penus, not something silly like willie, and I don't think cutting it off is either necessary nor sufficient. I don't think anyone would change sex to swim with the 'girls,' and they are not girls, they are women.


This whole situation is silly. First, a person is a man or a woman, period. It's not hard to figure that out. For the .0000000000000001% of folks who have some physical abnormality that makes the determination impossible, does anyone really think they will be Olympic swimmers?

You may not like my choice of words but it speaks to the truth. For a man to claim to become a woman he has to hatchett the johnson and then have all sorts of odd surgeries thereafter.

I probably should have used the word "woman". The PC police at work again.

Then we have pinkflamingo talking about hermaphrodites. Give me a break! What does that have to do with who swims in the Olympics? Did the Discovery Channel show feature any of these genetic mutants swimming in the Olympics.

If you are a woman/girl, swim with the women/girls. If you are a man/boy, swim where you belong as well.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by Conniekat8


When it comes to medicine, physics, math, chemistry and such, I'm not into attempting to apply religious symbology to scientific events and findings. Science can stand on it's own, without religious interpretations.

Bologna! Bologna!

There is nothing that precludes religion from science. Matter of fact, if you believe God created everything and everything is part of his plan, then all things, including science and math, are his doing. There isn't a God part of life and a science part of life. They are one.

gull
May 20th, 2004, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by Conniekat8


People who undergo the procedure are not your clear cut males or females to begin with. . .

On what do you base this statement? The focus of this discussion keeps shifting. I specifically excluded individuals with a disorder of sexual differentiation/development. When the term transsexual is used, it implies someone who is both phenotypically and genotypically male or female and decides to change gender. A male can undergo surgery, take hormones, live and dress as a female, but every cell in his body will have XY chromosomes. How society treats that individual is the subject of this discussion (or so I thought).

Tom Ellison
May 20th, 2004, 08:39 AM
“Finally, it is the case that Tom, either wittingly or unwittingly, starts the most controversial threads.”

Interesting observation, and factually it is unwittingly. With respect to this thread, I saw this article in Yahoo News and thought it was a topic that needed discussion. This topic has wide ranging implications for sports in general. Obviously, as we see here it also has some rather interesting moral and ethical implications as well. Looking back on the time line when I posted this thread, it’s plain to see that I waited an entire day to comment and when I did comment, I attempted to convey my thoughts in a humorous manner.

Unfortunately life is not always black and white; even though I tend to lean towards the side where things are black and white. In my case, reducing this topic to humor has no relevance to the seriousness, sensitivity or wide ranging implications surrounding this topic. It has to do with my inability to rationally find a comfort zone where I can honestly and openly convey my thoughts and feelings on this extremely controversial topic. By doing so, I allow myself the opportunity to read others thoughts and feeling on this matter and at the same time, continue to embrace the basic and fundamental ideas and principals that make me who I am.

SWinkleblech
May 20th, 2004, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by aquageek


Bologna! Bologna!

There is nothing that precludes religion from science. Matter of fact, if you believe God created everything and everything is part of his plan, then all things, including science and math, are his doing. There isn't a God part of life and a science part of life. They are one.


My thoughts exactly!

I think everyone needs to understand we all have our own beleifs and feelings on this issue. To go and start name calling and cricticzing others because they feel differently about the issue doesn't need to happen. I myself have my own feelings and beleifs about this but in no way does it make me less of a person. Do I feel it is right? no. Do I except people for who they are? Yes. I think many of those writing on this can say the same.
I am not going to get into any arguments over this because it will not change my veiw and I don't think I can change anyone elses either.

Tom Ellison
May 20th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Phil:
I weigh in with Beth and her reaction to your post.....I think you were way out of line there....WAY OUT!

Phil Arcuni
May 20th, 2004, 10:58 AM
Was I way out? I questioned her intellectual rigor, not her ethics, or her morals, which I am sure are fine. I never claimed that people should not be judgemental, and I am judgemental of people who try to stop conversations by assertions of unsubstantiated fact. I am not nor will be a PC police, but state my beliefs clearly.

Do I have to repeat things to be sure that I am not misunderstood? Please read more carefully.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
I am not nor will be a PC police, but state my beliefs clearly.

Do I have to repeat things to be sure that I am not misunderstood? Please read more carefully.

When you insisted girls was wrong, you assumed the role of Chief PC Man for this forum. It's refreshing to have a PC cop on board since that always does wonders for true debate.

And, Ion, I'm sorry, we'll re-read your posts until we understand better.

LindsayNB
May 20th, 2004, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by cinc310
No one here said a transexual should be excluded from going to a masters swim meet.

My comment derived from the following statement in a posting on page one of this thread:

I personally have a BIG problem with it and think it is unfair. Let them have their own competition! Call it the He/She/It Games! ;) No male/female division. I hope USMS will not follow suit.

I guess that you could argue that forcing a post-operative, post-hormone-treatment male-to-female transexual to compete in the male heats is not excluding them but I think it has the same effect.

I still find it surprising that people claim that whether a person has XX or XY chromosones, something that can't be determined without quite advanced medical technology, is the sole determining factor in determining whether a race is fair, ignoring all the other variations from person to person. It seems like a very strange definition of fair.

Really though, I think the root of the disagreement here is mostly that the anti-IOC-policy side of the debate assumes the transexual competitor will be someone who changed sexes in order to win a medal while the pro side of the debate assumes the competitor will have changed sexes for medical/gender dysphoria reasons. In not wanting USMS to allow transexuals to compete as their post-operative sex the logical implication is that people are willing to have a sex change in order to do better in masters competition, something totally beyond being taken seriously.

lefty
May 20th, 2004, 11:56 AM
Phil I agree, you did not attack her morality nor her character. You stated that her argument, "It's not fair" was, well, lacking depth. I agree. But then you said "evidently Beth did not do well in her philosophy or medical ethics courses." Out of line? I don't know, but really not very nice!

I have noticed that Aquageek is obsessed with two things: "Willies" as he likes to call them and Ion. Interesting.

Phil Arcuni
May 20th, 2004, 12:08 PM
I am guilty of intellectual arrogance by not realizing that "did not do well in medical ethics class" could be interpreted as having bad ethics instead of does not have the experience/training/aptitude to apply rigorous analysis to difficult moral and ethical situations. So I was surprised by the content of Beth's angry response (though I expected an angry response), and I apologize for not making myself more clear to everybody.

And I see aquageek, in

When you insisted girls was wrong, you assumed the role of Chief PC Man for this forum. It's refreshing to have a PC cop on board since that always does wonders for true debate.
and

And, Ion, I'm sorry, we'll re-read your posts until we understand better.
twice uses the honorable ad hominum debating technique. Who is damaging the debate? Just because the girl/women is the stereotypical PC issue does not mean that was the way I brought it up. You know you used 'girl' deliberately to make your statement more funny and more ridiculous, and I called you on it.

I think LindsayNB's summary of the fundamental differences in this debate is on the mark.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 12:13 PM
Yes, my two comments do definitely suggest an obsession. Maybe if I say it a third time gull80 can give me a psychiatric diagnosis and then the IOC can spend time deciding if I can swim with the boys or girls. Oops, sorry Phil, I mean men and women, my apologies.

Lefty, I could be wrong but I do recall you (maybe) calling me Ion a few weeks back. Maybe you are the obsessed one, but with whom is the question? Do you lean towards Mr. Beza or the Swampyone? What does this say about you? Delve into your XY chromosomes, swim on it, and get back to us.

Tom Ellison
May 20th, 2004, 12:21 PM
LindsayNB Wrote:
“In not wanting USMS to allow transexuals to compete as their post-operative sex the logical implication is that people are willing to have a sex change in order to do better in masters competition, something totally beyond being taken seriously.”

Gosh, I do not see this as a logical implication at all! I see this thought process or line of thinking to reflect a possible unfair advantage. You are correct in your assumption that it is preposterous to think a Masters Swimmer would undergo a sex change operation to swim faster times as a female swimmer within USMS. It is very logical however to assume an unfair advantage may/could arise out of a former man---competing against a woman--- as a surgically altered woman....knowing good and well that 99.99999999999999999999 % of them would have had this operation for reasons OTHER then swimming fast USMS times.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
LindsayNB Wrote:
It is very logical however to assume an unfair advantage may/could arise out of a former man---competing against a woman--- as a surgically altered woman....knowing good and well that 99.99999999999999999999 % of them would have had this operation for reasons OTHER then swimming fast USMS times.

This is where I get confused (confusion is a constant state for me). Are you really a surgically altered woman if all you have done is ---ALERT LEFTY, WILLIE REFERNCE COMING -- pump yourself full of hormones, take to wearing female clothes and -- LEFTY, ALERT, ALERT -- have your jimmy removed?

Aren't you just still a man, -- LEFTY, ANATOMICAL REFERNCE COMING -- just without a certain part?

lefty
May 20th, 2004, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
Yes, my two comments do definitely suggest an obsession. Maybe if I say it a third time gull80 can give me a psychiatric diagnosis and then the IOC can spend time deciding if I can swim with the boys or girls. Oops, sorry Phil, I mean men and women, my apologies.

Lefty, I could be wrong but I do recall you (maybe) calling me Ion a few weeks back. Maybe you are the obsessed one, but with whom is the question? Do you lean towards Mr. Beza or the Swampyone? What does this say about you? Delve into your XY chromosomes, swim on it, and get back to us.

Sorry, you have me confused with someone else. I think it was Madsen, and I think he made the comment more than once. It is worth pointing out that when someone is accused of something that is true, the guilty immediately accuse someone else.

PS: the difference between you and me is that if someone called me gay, I would think they were ignorant. You actually take it as an insult. Now THAT is funny!

EDIT: just to clarify for Geek, the reason it is FUNNY is because - and I don't mean this to be condescending it just inherantly is - you really do act like a 3rd grader. It is funny to imagine an adult actually acting how you do! If I call your mama fat you are probably going to try to fight me at the park!

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 12:45 PM
Lefty - has the heat and humidity of Houston finally seeped into the frontal lobe?

I'm not sure what I'm guilty of. Guilty of swimming, yes. Guilty of thinking your assertions are silly, yes. Guilty of thinking Ellison is sitting back chuckling to himself, yes, yes, yes.

And, what are you talking about with me being called gay? I could care less if someone calls me gay. Maybe I am gay. Maybe you are gay, so what. What does being gay have to do with any of this?

Holy swimming hijinx - dude, you are way off base here. Surface for air, oxygen induced loopiness.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by lefty


If I call your mama fat you are probably going to try to fight me at the park!

My mom was fat and, oh the fights I had over that, especially with her wearing combat boots and all. She lost a lot of weight so don't try to date her now that she is more attractive.

Maybe we can fight halfway to the park since she is half her old size now. We'll meet at the pool where I'll dress as a transsexual and we'll have a gentically altered Texas-Death-Match-Loser-Leave-Town swimming showdown.

I enjoy adults who think of themselves as more mature. I bet you are a blast at parties.

Tom Ellison
May 20th, 2004, 12:55 PM
Aquageek Wrote:
"Guilty of thinking Ellison is sitting back chuckling to himself"

Now, now...What would give you that idea my friend?

laineybug
May 20th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Boy, uh, man, uh whatever, am I glad I've been too busy to get into this one.

I've only skimmed over the posts so I'm not sure if anyone has raised this point... We probably don't know yet, whether or not it is going to be 'fair' for a transexual (male to female) to compete against women. I would be willing to bet that there isn't a whole lot of literature on the subject of transexual athletes. Maybe when the school term is over and I have some time on my hands I will google a little bit and see if there is any scientific research on whether a male to female transexual loses his/her physical advantage after several years of hormone treatement? Has the medical community measured strength, etc in male to female transexuals before surgery, after surgery, during the course of hormone treatement. What were the results?

Lainey

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by aquageek


Bologna! Bologna!

There is nothing that precludes religion from science. Matter of fact, if you believe God created everything and everything is part of his plan, then all things, including science and math, are his doing. There isn't a God part of life and a science part of life. They are one.

I said that ***I*** don't mix the two.
That's just what I do. Anyone else can do whatever siuts them.
For me, *my* religion and how I practice is a private spiritual matter, not open to discussion in this forum.

So, is it my turn to get up on the soapbox and start calling your statements bull and start being insulting? Nah, you're allowed to disagree.

I respectfully call your attention to the recently posted "forum etiquette" guidelines.

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by SWinkleblech



My thoughts exactly!

I think everyone needs to understand we all have our own beleifs and feelings on this issue. To go and start name calling and cricticzing others because they feel differently about the issue doesn't need to happen. I myself have my own feelings and beleifs about this but in no way does it make me less of a person. Do I feel it is right? no. Do I except people for who they are? Yes. I think many of those writing on this can say the same.
I am not going to get into any arguments over this because it will not change my veiw and I don't think I can change anyone elses either.

So, who is calling whom names?

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8


I said that ***I*** don't mix the two.
That's just what I do. Anyone else can do whatever siuts them.
For me, *my* religion and how I practice is a private spiritual matter, not open to discussion in this forum.


You clearly invited responses when you brought up your spritual beliefs. It didn't come up magically.

LindsayNB
May 20th, 2004, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
LindsayNB Wrote:
“In not wanting USMS to allow transexuals to compete as their post-operative sex the logical implication is that people are willing to have a sex change in order to do better in masters competition, something totally beyond being taken seriously.”

Gosh, I do not see this as a logical implication at all! I see this thought process or line of thinking to reflect a possible unfair advantage. You are correct in your assumption that it is preposterous to think a Masters Swimmer would undergo a sex change operation to swim faster times as a female swimmer within USMS. It is very logical however to assume an unfair advantage may/could arise out of a former man---competing against a woman--- as a surgically altered woman....knowing good and well that 99.99999999999999999999 % of them would have had this operation for reasons OTHER then swimming fast USMS times.

The logical implication arises from the paragraph prior to the one you quoted, i.e. that people opposed to the new policy were opposed based on the premise that it would be used as a way to "cheat".

BUT, the real issue with respect to logic, which I keep trying to bring up and which keeps being ignored is that the whole argument based on fair/unfair is circular! People assert that a race between someone with XX chromosomes and someone with XY chromosomes is unfair, period. What is your definition of fair? So far, the only definition of fair that fits the argument is that it is only fair if the two people have the same chromosomes! For the sake of the argument, when you give your definition be sure to state it in a way that makes it "fair" for a five foot, 100lb woman to race a six foot lean 170lb woman but makes it "unfair" (to the woman) for a five foot, 100lb man to race the same six foot woman. It is absolutely true that many men are bigger and stronger than many women but it is equally true that many women are bigger and stronger than the average women but no one is arguing that we exclude (naturally) bigger stronger women from competition!

Anyway, please define "fair" in this context.

mattson
May 20th, 2004, 03:26 PM
So many different issues being mangled together. I am going to set aside the "competitive advantage" argument, and ask a more basic one: should a transgendered person compete in their old sex, or their new one?

One viewpoint that has been brought up is to decide by genetics: Y chromosome is male. While that is a valid test, it is simplistic to think it is that simple. Environment means as much as genetics. Developing "male" or "female" depends on hormones released during development. Normally the hormone levels match the XX or XY genetics, but what about those cases where it doesn't?

I remember hearing about a brain pattern study. Men and women have different patterns. They found that some of the patients considering changing sexes had brain patterns consistent with the opposite sex (and not with their genetics).

So any of these standards (genetic, hormones, brain patterns) will work with the majority. But how do you deal with those, where the answer is not so clear cut? (I don't know. Just trying to point out that things are not as simple as some people are trying to argue.)

(As for chaos theory, one aspect is that you can have self-organization (order) in an inherently chaotic situation. So the presence of "chaos" or "order" is not proof or refutation of anyone's religious beliefs.)

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by aquageek

You clearly invited responses when you brought up your spritual beliefs. It didn't come up magically.

For one, responses and opinions are one thing, putdowns are something else.

Also, I didn't bring up my 'spiritual beliefs' at all.
I brought up the fact that I keep them separate from scientific discussions.
You on the other hand aluded that my unstated spiritual beliefs are baloney, without even having a clue what they are.

Back off and think things through before you fire off an emotional subjective and confrontatinal response.
Your argument and attempt to deflect it back on me aluding that I started it holds less water than my goggles did this morning. Several people have aluded to god and god's order of things in nature before I mentioned religion.

Also the fact that I touched upon a subject doesn't mean that you have to be derrogatory with your assumption of what my spiritual beliefs may or may not be.

If you'd bother to look up the forum guidelines, you may have noticed that being derrogatory or antagonistic about (well anything, but especially someones religious beliefs) is unacceptable way to respond in this forum, regardless of whether they have been 'mentioned' or not in a previous conversation.

Sorry aquageek, your response is non sequitur.

Or let me oversimplify it for you... since your nickname is public knowledge in this group (has been brought up) is it okay for me to start atacking it and putting it down???:rolleyes:

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 04:20 PM
mattson:

Good post. I think a person should compete in their sex because that cannot be changed. There is no such thing as your old sex or your new sex. A person's physical appearance, mannerisms and socialization can be altered but not your sex. As gull80 said, you can't change your chromosomes, you are either a male or female. The rest is window dressing so to speak.

Plus, as the Bug pointed out, how many shots do you have to take to suppress all that maleness or femaleness? For how long?

I use euphemisms now to comply with the PC police and not to be futher accused of 3rd grade behavior.

aquageek
May 20th, 2004, 04:30 PM
Say what you want Connie but you brought up religion. As a Christian there is no part of my life that doesn't involve God. Everything I do is to glorify Him. There is no separation of religion from anything I do. I do not compartamentalize my faith for convenience. Your right to bring up religion doesn't usurp my right to fire back.

As to forum guidelines, you aren't in charge of that so please let the folks in charge do their chastizing of me if they feel it necessary. This discussion has tackled a touchy subject, full of all the pitfalls - sexuality, religion, politics to a certain degree - all loosely tagged with swimming.

Please provide latin translations when you use fancy latin phrases. I'm not very bright in that regard.

Lastly, ridicule me all you want. I've been given a bunch of nicknames on this forum, I prefer Swampything as an alternative.

tjburk
May 20th, 2004, 04:46 PM
This is incredible! I have followed this thread from the beginning, and what amazes me is that the differences of opinion in here are so profound it kind of reminds of......well......life! I would say the average age of everyone in here is at least an adult! But sometimes I really wonder how many people really understand what ego state they are talking in? And how it can affect a response from the receiving party. We ALL KNOW everyone has differences of opinion....get over it! SMILE:D And enjoy the fact that we are all different! Life would really, really suck if we weren't.

Conniekat8
May 20th, 2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
Say what you want Connie but you brought up religion. As a Christian there is no part of my life that doesn't involve God. Everything I do is to glorify Him. There is no separation of religion from anything I do. I do not compartamentalize my faith for convenience. Your right to bring up religion doesn't usurp my right to fire back.

As to forum guidelines, you aren't in charge of that so please let the folks in charge do their chastizing of me if they feel it necessary. This discussion has tackled a touchy subject, full of all the pitfalls - sexuality, religion, politics to a certain degree - all loosely tagged with swimming.

Please provide latin translations when you use fancy latin phrases. I'm not very bright in that regard.

Lastly, ridicule me all you want. I've been given a bunch of nicknames on this forum, I prefer Swampything as an alternative.

I can see you missed my point.

In the interest of peace, I'm putting you on my ignore list, as I'm not interested in seeing any of your 'firing back'.

Phil Arcuni
May 20th, 2004, 08:26 PM
Here is an interesting and well presented article, definitely anti:

http://nytimes.com/2004/05/20/sports/othersports/20roberts.html

Which argues that athletes will go to any lengths for a gold medal. I still don't see much money coming from an olympic gold medal for a transgendered athletes, especially if there is a suspicion that the operation was done for that purpose.

Another good point of this article is that it will be extremly difficult for the drug testers to do their job -- the hormonal environment of the athlete will be totally artificial.

LindsayNB
May 20th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
Here is an interesting and well presented article, definitely anti:

http://nytimes.com/2004/05/20/sports/othersports/20roberts.html



I was actually rather unimpressed with the article. Sample:

Think a sex-change operation is too radical to contemplate? As late as the 1980's, East Germany had a state-sponsored system that left female athletes with masculine features. In some underdeveloped nation, officials may wonder if surgery could reap the glory of gold. Who would know, anyway?

An Olympic caliber male swimmer deciding to have a sex change is equated with a female swimmer being left with masculine features? Give me a break!

Who would know? Well the drug testers for starters, the idea that it won't be totally obvious that a person has just undergone at least two years of heavy hormone theropy is just silly.

Isn't the purity of sport essential? Isn't that what Balco is all about?

What is purity and what does it have to do with this? It's supposed to be about avoiding unhealthy performance-enhancing drugs.

The I.O.C. only complicated this search for purity by allowing a surgically enhanced route to the finish line.

A sex change is a performance degrading procedure!

I'm very disappointed the NYT published such poor quality stuff.

Peter Cruise
May 21st, 2004, 12:15 AM
our own little dysfunctional swimming family...reality TV has nothing on this thread.

Msparks378
May 21st, 2004, 09:14 PM
Just how does one determine sex and/or gender at a swim meet? Is there an established guideline? Do we have an official inspector?

Any volunteers?


Michael

Conniekat8
May 21st, 2004, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by Msparks378
Just how does one determine sex and/or gender at a swim meet? Is there an established guideline? Do we have an official inspector?
Any volunteers?
Michael

Would that be kind of like 'zipping up the suits?'

Blue Horn
May 25th, 2004, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
The logical implication arises from the paragraph prior to the one you quoted, i.e. that people opposed to the new policy were opposed based on the premise that it would be used as a way to "cheat".

BUT, the real issue with respect to logic, which I keep trying to bring up and which keeps being ignored is that the whole argument based on fair/unfair is circular! People assert that a race between someone with XX chromosomes and someone with XY chromosomes is unfair, period. What is your definition of fair? So far, the only definition of fair that fits the argument is that it is only fair if the two people have the same chromosomes! For the sake of the argument, when you give your definition be sure to state it in a way that makes it "fair" for a five foot, 100lb woman to race a six foot lean 170lb woman but makes it "unfair" (to the woman) for a five foot, 100lb man to race the same six foot woman. It is absolutely true that many men are bigger and stronger than many women but it is equally true that many women are bigger and stronger than the average women but no one is arguing that we exclude (naturally) bigger stronger women from competition!

Anyway, please define "fair" in this context.

If we take your argument to its logical (or illogical) conclusion, there should be no distinction between men and women in sports. I suppose that you think we should just get rid of women's competitions all together and treat everyone equally based upon their god given ability. Should all sports be unisex and only based upon the player's ability regardless of their sex?

Hook'em
Blue

Mark in MD
May 25th, 2004, 09:29 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Would that be kind of like 'zipping up the suits?' Shouldn't that be unzipped? :p

JC_FLY
May 25th, 2004, 09:51 PM
I totally disagree with this! I could enter myself as a woman and play hockey.

LindsayNB
May 25th, 2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Blue Horn
If we take your argument to its logical (or illogical) conclusion, there should be no distinction between men and women in sports. I suppose that you think we should just get rid of women's competitions all together and treat everyone equally based upon their god given ability. Should all sports be unisex and only based upon the player's ability regardless of their sex?

As I have said in my earlier posts I think that the justification for separating men's and women's competitions is based on encouraging women to participate in sport, not on fairness according to any definition of fairness that I can think of. And so far no one on the board has been able offer a definition of fairness that makes a race between any two people with different chromosomes unfair but a race between two people with the same chromosomes but different physiques fair.

My conclusion is not that we eliminate competitions for women but that we recognize that fairness is a non-issue in the debate about whether transexuals should be able to compete in their post-operative gender.

LindsayNB
May 25th, 2004, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by JC_FLY
I totally disagree with this! I could enter myself as a woman and play hockey.

Are you saying that you would actually be willing to be surgically altered to a female anatomy and undergo heavy female hormone treatment for at least two years in order to play hockey on the women's team?

JC_FLY
May 25th, 2004, 11:52 PM
ME, No! but there are some people who will do ANYTHING to win an Olympic medal.

Rob Copeland
May 26th, 2004, 08:32 AM
Lindsay has asked for a definition of fairness that makes a race between any two people with different chromosomes unfair but a race between two people with the same chromosomes but different physiques fair.

Okay, according to Webster’s dictionary, A definition of fairness is “conforming with established standards or rules”.

USMS rules specifically allow for Men’s and Women’s competition. Therefore, by definition and by rule, competition amongst men is fair and competition amongst women is fair. USMS rules have no specific provisions for transsexuals, therefore any organizational view of fairness would either need to come down as a new rule or policy. This could lead people to conclude that the specific inclusion of men and women and the exclusion of transsexuals, within USMS code would constitute a difference.

Obviously Lindsay and everyone else is entitled to draw their own conclusion on recognizing fairness as an issue or non-issue, however USMS rules of competition are “designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and promote uniformity in the sport so that no swimmer shall obtain unfair advantage over another”. So for me fairness and sporting behavior are issues of great importance in Masters swimming competition.

tjburk
May 26th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Lindsay...the XX or XY chromosomes determine how your body composition will turn out. Men's major leg muscles turn out to me more vertical, hence the ability to piston the legs straighter and faster, because a woman's leg muscles are actually more angled to the side. That is why you will probably never see a woman swim or run faster then a man. Men's records will always be faster then women's. That is one of the reasons why it is not fair to combine women and men.

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 08:39 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by LindsayNB

"As I have said in my earlier posts I think that the justification for separating men's and women's competitions is based on encouraging women to participate in sport, not on fairness according to any definition of fairness that I can think of."

I think that is a sexist statement. Women do not need encouragement to compete in sports. They simply need a level playing field, and in MOST cases, competition against men is not a level playing field. Men, by in large, are stronger, and that is a FACT. NEXT….

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by JC_FLY
ME, No! but there are some people who will do ANYTHING to win an Olympic medal.

Strangely this seems to be a common reaction, "No way would I do that" but "some people" would. The reality of the situation is that the motivations that people have for wanting an Olympic medal are defeated by undergoing a sex change to get one. Likewise for state motivations.

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland
Lindsay has asked for a definition of fairness that makes a race between any two people with different chromosomes unfair but a race between two people with the same chromosomes but different physiques fair.

Okay, according to Webster’s dictionary, A definition of fairness is “conforming with established standards or rules”.

USMS rules specifically allow for Men’s and Women’s competition. Therefore, by definition and by rule, competition amongst men is fair and competition amongst women is fair. USMS rules have no specific provisions for transsexuals, therefore any organizational view of fairness would either need to come down as a new rule or policy. This could lead people to conclude that the specific inclusion of men and women and the exclusion of transsexuals, within USMS code would constitute a difference.

Obviously Lindsay and everyone else is entitled to draw their own conclusion on recognizing fairness as an issue or non-issue, however USMS rules of competition are “designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and promote uniformity in the sport so that no swimmer shall obtain unfair advantage over another”. So for me fairness and sporting behavior are issues of great importance in Masters swimming competition.

I absolutely agree that fairness in the sense of conforming to the rules is very important. What we are discussing however is a change in rules that the IOC has made. By the "competition is fair if it conforms to the rules" definition of fairness under the new rules allowing transexuals competition will still be fair, by definition. So that particular definition of fairness is clearly not relevant to the question of whether the new IOC rules are fair or whether similar new USMS rules would be fair.

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
Lindsay...the XX or XY chromosomes determine how your body composition will turn out. Men's major leg muscles turn out to me more vertical, hence the ability to piston the legs straighter and faster, because a woman's leg muscles are actually more angled to the side. That is why you will probably never see a woman swim or run faster then a man. Men's records will always be faster then women's. That is one of the reasons why it is not fair to combine women and men.

I suppose it would be a cheap debating point to point out that some women swim and run faster than some men? ;) But seriously, if your definition of fair is that people of different physiques racing each other is unfair then surely competition among men and among women is also unfair as physique varies widely (as much?) within the sexes? People have a sense of fair that is purely based on current rules, the point is that if you change the rules the degree of fairness doesn't change. According to the "it is fair if the two people have the same abilities" definition of fair races should be between people of equal ability not people of identical chromosomes.

Another way to think about it is to question what makes an advantage unfair compared to any other advantage?

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
QUOTE: Originally posted by LindsayNB

"As I have said in my earlier posts I think that the justification for separating men's and women's competitions is based on encouraging women to participate in sport, not on fairness according to any definition of fairness that I can think of."

I think that is a sexist statement. Women do not need encouragement to compete in sports. They simply need a level playing field, and in MOST cases, competition against men is not a level playing field. Men, by in large, are stronger, and that is a FACT. NEXT….

No Tom, by definition having separate competitions for men and women is sexist (discriminatory on the basis of sex). But it is socially justifiable sexism.

And Tom, I'm still waiting for your definition of "fair" or alternately your definition of "unfair advantage" or "level playing field" that makes competition between any two men or any two women, regardless of physical characteristics, fair while making competition between any man and woman, even of similar physical characteristics, or characteristics that favor the woman, unfair.

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 10:37 AM
Lindsay, life is not fair....it's just life....and if any of us think it is fair...well, let me simply take you to a children's hospital.

Competition between two men or competition between two women is just that….it is competition. In any competition, someone will win and someone will lose. By definition, having someone lose could be debated until the cows come home or frogs begin to fly, with respect to “what is fair”.

I am not going to waste anymore of my time and energies debating my navel on issues that common sense dictates are fair. Athletic competition between men and women does not meet my understanding of the word fair, and to debate otherwise is akin to whizzing in the ocean to raise the tide.

SWinkleblech
May 26th, 2004, 11:27 AM
It is a known fact that woman and men are built different. Have you ever done the chair test. If you lean against a wall with your head against it, lift the chair, and then try and stand up straight. Most men can not stand up. Why? Because mens equalibriam(or whatever the word is) is different from a womans. Men are more built to do heavy work while a woman is built to have babies. As a woman I hate admitting that a man is stronger but you just can't argue a fact. Yes some stronger woman can beat some men, but if you put the strongest woman against the strongest man the man would win. That being said I will say that a man may be stronger in body but a woman is stronger in mind.

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 11:42 AM
Shannon Wrote:
"but a woman is stronger in mind."

I had a mind once.....
:(

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison

I am not going to waste anymore of my time and energies debating my navel on issues that common sense dictates are fair. Athletic competition between men and women does not meet my understanding of the word fair, and to debate otherwise is akin to whizzing in the ocean to raise the tide.

Tom, life is not fair....it's just life....and if any of us think it is fair...well, let me simply take you to a children's hospital. :D

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by SWinkleblech
It is a known fact that woman and men are built different. Have you ever done the chair test. If you lean against a wall with your head against it, lift the chair, and then try and stand up straight. Most men can not stand up. Why? Because mens equalibriam(or whatever the word is) is different from a womans. Men are more built to do heavy work while a woman is built to have babies. As a woman I hate admitting that a man is stronger but you just can't argue a fact. Yes some stronger woman can beat some men, but if you put the strongest woman against the strongest man the man would win. That being said I will say that a man may be stronger in body but a woman is stronger in mind.

Hi Shannan, I absolutely agree that the average man is stronger than the average woman and that the best male swimmers are faster than the best women swimmers. No argument at all. These are matters of fact. The issue I am trying to press is that if one believes that people need to be of equal size and strength for a competition to be fair then the entire world of swimming competition is unfair, and it is disengenuous (perhaps even unfair? :)) to only apply this standard of fairness to transexuals and not to everyone else.

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Ok, I'll bite here....if competition is so unfair and disingenuous, what is your ideal vision of competition? Should men and woman compete in the same events? Should man (humans) race against animals and swim against fish? Gosh, PETA thinks lab rats have the same rights as humans, so, should we compete with lab rodents, fish, foul and anything else to make sure your idea of fair is practiced. Or, should we come to our senses and realize that the basic foundation of competition is found partly in luck (our body through genes), hard work, determination, skill and dedication?

Heck, if I am to embrace your thoughts on what is a fair competition, Mr. Moose and I are going to the Olympic Trials…..heck, sign us up!

tjburk
May 26th, 2004, 01:16 PM
Lindsay, I'm with Tom on this one! I'll be in the lane next to you Tom!!! Is all you have to do is look at the world records in just about any physical sport and see who has the fastest times, lifts the most weight, etc. MEN!! Swimming ANY Woman in the world today against Phelps, Crocker, Thorpe, ETC they get to see nothing but wake the whole race! Is that your definition of fair! They wouldn't have a chance!

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 01:33 PM
Oh, and one more thing to get out in the open. There are absolutes (givens) in this world; for instance, it is theoretically impossible to compress water, entropy increases in closed systems, -270 C is as cold as it gets, you screw around with Superman you’re going to get hammered. Now that we have established a few absolutes (givens) in this world, we find very few absolutes in managing the variables of sports competition. Sports bodies have historically chosen to separate the genders for obvious reasons. Men are inherently stronger then woman. That is an absolute ….and to make men and women compete on the same field of play would remove a variable designed to make sports competition as fair as possible.

old dog
May 26th, 2004, 01:58 PM
Everything is relative.

Except YOUR relatives....They are absolute. ;)

{unless maybe your father becomes a transexual??? :confused: }

Tom Ellison
May 26th, 2004, 02:18 PM
I covered that topic last week Old Dog...Then he would be your Mother.....:o

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 02:52 PM
I thought my reply to Shannan made it pretty clear that I am aware of and acknowledge the differences between men and women. Was my statement there in some way unclear?

The point of disagreement is whether "fairness", in any sense beyond "conforming to the rules", has anything to do with transexuals competing in the Olympics or USMS meets.

One the one hand people claim that competitions between men and women are unfair because men are bigger and stronger. On the other hand people claim that competitions between bigger stronger women and smaller weaker women are fair. I hold that there is a contradiction between these two claims.

Either it is all some sort of historical accident or, at some point, someone somewhere believed that there is some sort of social purpose achieved by separating out the best women in the world from the other 99.999999% of the populace that also aren't fast enough to compete with the best of the men, that also aren't as big and strong as the elite males. I wasn't there when the decision was made so I am open to hearing the real scoop. It's even possible that they too never noticed the circularity and contradiction in the fairness argument. Who knows.

nyswim
May 26th, 2004, 03:10 PM
The Left runs amuck

God bless GWB!

SWinkleblech
May 26th, 2004, 03:25 PM
If you agree that men are stronger then woman how can you say that it is fair that a man becomes a woman and competes against woman. The woman who used to be a man still as the same genetics that he/she was born with.

As for larger woman competeing against smaller woman I am not so sure is as much an issue. Is their any research out there that says the larger woman really has that much more of an advantage. I have seen some pretty small woman out there that are pretty tough. If you take some of the top woman swimmers are you going to say the largest swimmer will be the winner.
When it comes to some sports such as gymnastics they actually say the smaller the better.

swimr4life
May 26th, 2004, 03:41 PM
I agree nyswim! I get the feeling that some are saying,"Let's just not have competition any more! It might not be fair to everyone involved.....gosh, someone might not feel like they are being treated fair because their self image is hurt by being beat by the big, bad woman that trains harder. That wouldn't be fair!":rolleyes: Ya'll are WAY out in left field. Are you saying that because some women are taller than others and that is unfair..some women can beat some men... and some women are bigger and stronger than some men we should not divide women's competition from men's?!? What are you suggesting? We have a mixed competiton so that everyone will be "equal"? I think this argument for "fairness" is sooo out there, soon some will suggest that we all will have to weigh the same thing in competition.... the lighter swimmers will have to drag weights to "equal" the playing field! A time penalty will be given to swimmers that have the audacity to train harder!? Look at Janet Evans! She was far shorter and smaller than most of the swimmers she competed with but, she beat them hands down because of hard work, dedication and determination..... The American ideal is that if you work hard in life, you will be rewarded.

aquageek
May 26th, 2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by swimr4life
The American ideal is that if you work hard in life, you will be rewarded.

You seem to be forgetting the new American ideal - whine, moan, complain and sue and you will be rewarded. It's no longer about how good you are, it's about how good you think you are. And, apparently if you think you are good enough, you are entitled to as much as those who are actually good.

Right on, Beth!

gull
May 26th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Originally posted by swimr4life
I think this argument for "fairness" is sooo out there, soon some will suggest that we all will have to weigh the same thing in competition.... the lighter swimmers will have to drag weights to "equal" the playing field!

Interesting idea. It would be like horse racing--Seabiscuit had to carry a lot of weight at the end of his career (not because he was lighter but because he was so fast). I don't know if he ever considered "sex reassignment" surgery; you'd have to get that from the horse's mouth.

Conniekat8
May 26th, 2004, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
No Tom, by definition having separate competitions for men and women is sexist (discriminatory on the basis of sex). But it is socially justifiable sexism.


You say that as if you're implying that here is something bad about that. At least that is the way it comes across.

Conniekat8
May 26th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Mark in MD
Shouldn't that be unzipped? :p

Well, that would be the fun part ;)

Conniekat8
May 26th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Strangely this seems to be a common reaction, "No way would I do that" but "some people" would. The reality of the situation is that the motivations that people have for wanting an Olympic medal are defeated by undergoing a sex change to get one.

How is that?

There is a lot more benefit to winning the gold'carries, than an ego trip.

Conniekat8
May 26th, 2004, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Heck, if I am to embrace your thoughts on what is a fair competition, Mr. Moose and I are going to the Olympic Trials…..heck, sign us up!

Mr. Moose would win, hands down!

Conniekat8
May 26th, 2004, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by old dog
Everything is relative.

Except YOUR relatives....They are absolute. ;)

{unless maybe your father becomes a transexual??? :confused: }

How about Inlaws? Are they relatives, and how relevant are they?
And they're definately not absolute ;)

old dog
May 26th, 2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
How about Inlaws? Are they relatives, and how relevant are they?
And they're definately not absolute ;)

You'd have to meet my ex-mother-in-law to understand...:D :mad:

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
You say that as if you're implying that there is something bad about that.

Not at all.

At least that is the way it comes across.

How so?


For the record I am in favor of separate competition for the women at the Olympics, I just don't believe that it can rationally be supported on the grounds of fairness. The only sense of the word fair that applies to Olympic level competition is the sense of everyone competing according to the rules.

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
How is that?

There is a lot more benefit to winning the gold'carries, than an ego trip.

There is the admiration of your peers - oops, how much admiration will you get as a transexual who changed sexes for the purpose of winning a medal?

There are the lucrative sponsorship deals - oops, how many companies want to sponsor a transexual who changed sexes for the purpose of winning a medal?

There is the satisfaction of being the best you can be - oops, the surgery and hormone treatment has actually made you slower...

There is the propaganda value of demonstrating the superiority of citizens of your nationality - oops, the world doesn't think much of your nation now does it?

[I am not going to change the wording of the original as that could confuse the discussion but I want to be perfectly clear that "your nation" refers to whatever nation the hypothetical person who has changed their sex for the purpose of winning a medal is swimming for. Just as the "you" and "your" in the previous three points were not intended to address any particular reader the your in the fourth point was not intended to address any particular nation and I'll be explicit that they do not refer to the USA even though these boards belong to USMS. The point was that the world would not be impressed with any (hypothetical) nation that used sex change operations to win medals.]

Um, what were those other benefits?

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 07:58 AM
LindsayNB

"oops, the world doesn't think much of your nation now does it?"

Gosh, that depends on who you ask! If you ask some tin horn gangster nation that supports the slaughter of millions of people by providing terrorism bases, money, infrastructure and a safe haven, then yes, I guess our nation might not be so popular. Conversely, if you ask nations that value freedom, decency and democracy, then you will find our nation to be very popular. Heck, even the nations around the globe that the United States of America saved from the ravages of nazi Germany in WW 11 find us to be pretty good guys.

Your smug innuendo that our great nation is unpopular around the globe is off base….but then again, arguing the fairness of competition for the sake of argument is a tad off base as well…..

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2004, 08:12 AM
Come now Tom, in the context of the post that line clearly referred to a hypothetical state that was supposed to be reaping the benefit of having one of its citizens win a medal, and the fact that if a country is winning medals by getting its athletes to have sex change operations they are not going to reap much in the way of prestige, rather more likely that they will be ridiculed.

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 08:31 AM
I read what you wrote....and I understand what you worte....I also stand by my response....

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 08:57 AM
Why does this have to breakdown into attacking Canada ? How is it related to the topic?

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 09:03 AM
I did not attack Canada...I took issue with the slam against the USA....

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:03 AM
I can't speak for the rest...is all I did was raise a hypothetical:D

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Wasn't slamming Canada in any way....heck, personally, I would miss the beer;)

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
I did not attack Canada...I took issue with the slam against the USA....

I must have missed it. Can you point out the slam against the USA?

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2004, 09:30 AM
Ok, I'll bite here....if competition is so unfair and disingenuous, what is your ideal vision of competition?

Disregarding that I never called competition disingenuous (I did call certain arguments about competition that I found self-contradictory disingenuous) and that the only sense in which I called competition unfair was in the sense that not all the competitors come to the competition with equal physical gifts (e.g. the top male swimmers are bigger and stronger than the top female swimmers), I think that masters swimming has achieved a reasonable model of competition.

Despite the general ridicule that is aimed at anyone suggesting that competition is more fair when the competitors are more evenly matched (unless the distinction is male vs. female) I think that the way masters meets divide results by age group is a good thing, even in spite of the fact that there is no clear differentiation of ability in the middle age groups in many events. I particulary approve of the way competitions are organized by seed time, especially when people enter real times as their seed times.

Truth is, I don't view competition as an end in itself but a means to an end. In the case of the Olympics I think the goal is to encourage people to push to the limits of human ability and thereby provide inspiration to the rest of us. In the case of Masters swimming I think there is more emphasis on participation and personal best. Probably as a result of the fact that I am a mediocre swimmer in the big scheme of things I use competitions primarily as a motivational tool and a context for setting personal bests rather than wins. If the person in the next lane is a little bit faster that tends to help me push a little harder so my ideal competition is among people of similar speed, regardless of sex or age. I therefore prefer meets that seed strictly by time without regard for sex or age but I recognize that some people derive extra motivation by winning their heat in the process of winning their age/sex catagory so it is all good in my books.

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:31 AM
Howard, if you go back and look at Lindsay's original post, i.e. "oops" it could be taken as a slam against US, she has since edited the post to clarify what she meant.

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Lindsay, I take back everything I ever said or thought about you!:D Just kidding....I agree with your last post whole heartedly about the way Masters is set up! And I hope it stays that way! Keep competition designed as a means to an end....to better ones self!

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
Howard, if you go back and look at Lindsay's original post, i.e. "oops" it could be taken as a slam against US, she has since edited the post to clarify what she meant.

I read the whole thing and think if you want to see it as a slam to the USA then you will. I didn't/don't see it as a slam to any particular country. Lindsay was pointing out that there may not be any benefits. How that is perceived as a slam to the USA is a mystery to me.

The resulting comments directed at Canada show no class. It doesn't help and adds nothing pertinent to the discussion.

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2004, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
Howard, if you go back and look at Lindsay's original post, i.e. "oops" it could be taken as a slam against US, he has since edited the post to clarify what he meant.

Just for completeness, the edit of the post was confined to adding the comment in [] I did not change any of the original wording. In retrospect it would have been better to use "one" where I used "you" but I am still surprised that one would interpret the fourth example as applying to the USA as in the previous discussion it was always assumed that it would be some totalitarian former-East-German-type state that would take advantage of the rule change. I hope no one took the first three examples as personal slams!

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:50 AM
Ok, other than Geek (he's always joking around like that) where are the "Slams" against Canada? I didn't slam Canada, who did?

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Lindsay!!! And I say this with a smile, and am laughing...you know what happens when we assume things:D

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
Ok, other than Geek (he's always joking around like that) where are the "Slams" against Canada? I didn't slam Canada, who did?

Either I am losing my mind even faster than I realized (go ahead, I realize how open I'm leaving myself with that one! :D ) OR
The posters have removed their posts
OR
The moderators have removed some posts.

Hopefully one of the latter two!

Lindsay!!! And I say this with a smile, and am laughing...you know what happens when we assume things

Yup, all too well. :D

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by tjburk
Ok, other than Geek (he's always joking around like that) where are the "Slams" against Canada? I didn't slam Canada, who did?

I'll drop it. Geek is joking and that makes it OK.

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 10:13 AM
Let's cut to the chase here...The word YOUR makes that a slam...As in, YOUR...... being the USA.

tjburk, LindsayNB is M not F...as listed in his USMS info section....

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 10:14 AM
About losing ones mind.....join the club!!! Like Tom, I haven't lost it...one of the alter egos in there takes over every once in a while!!!:D

tjburk
May 27th, 2004, 10:18 AM
Tom...OOPS, there I go assuming things:D I'll never learn:D

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Let's cut to the chase here...The word YOUR makes that a slam...As in, YOUR...... being the USA.

tjburk, LindsayNB is M not F...as listed in his USMS info section....

Why couldn't YOUR mean England?

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Because we are UNITED STATES MASTERS SWIMMING...not ENGLAND.....

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 11:03 AM
You decided that YOUR = USA instead of seeing it as a generic YOUR because the host of the conversation is USMS. That correct?

If that's correct then at least I understand where you're comming from. I don't agree with your thinking but at least I understand.

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 11:11 AM
Ok, please shine the flash light in my ear here….USMS is in the USA, I’d say MOST of us live in the USA, I live in the USA, what other perspective could I possibly view this from but the USA? When addressing a forum in the USA, mostly writing to people who live in the USA, ….well golly gee, I guess I thought he was referring to the USA….Gosh, that is about as much of a leap as stepping off the curb….no big jump there to connect the dots.

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Ok, please shine the flash light in my ear here….USMS is in the USA, I’d say MOST of us live in the USA, I live in the USA, what other perspective could I possibly view this from but the USA? When addressing a forum in the USA, mostly writing to people who live in the USA, and even referring to the USA….well golly gee, I guess I thought he was referring to the USA….Gosh, that is about as much of a leap as stepping off the curb….no big jump there to connect the dots.

Just a difference of perspective. I read it and thought that he/she was trying to make a generic point. You read it and thought he/she was pointing directly to the USA. Different interpretations of the same thing. Happens all the time.

I honestly didn't see what you referred to. I see it now and while I don't agree, I understand.

Tom Ellison
May 27th, 2004, 12:00 PM
Howard, it is ok my friend....that is why they make Buicks and Chevy's....;)

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
For the record I am in favor of separate competition for the women at the Olympics, I just don't believe that it can rationally be supported on the grounds of fairness.

I think you need to define faines, as you see it, before you can logically continue the discussion that you're carrying on, and then discuss it within the defined parameters. If not, and you attempt to discuss fairness on a philosophical level, people are not necessarily respond on a philosophical level.

To discuss the fairness in competition, then you need to discuss it within the universally accepted parameters of fair sports competition.
If you want to doiscuss fairness, on a philosophical level,then you need to define a new set of parameters.

Seems to me that people are misunderstanding you, because there are several pretty complex concepots that you have in your discussions, and they could be defined a tad more clearly.

If you really want get into fairness on the philosophical level, take it to it's ultimate level, where noon but the pair of identical twins should be allowed to compete against each other, to make the playing field as perfectly level as nature would allow. Or someone competing against themselves and their recent results.

Anything less than that needs a set of parameters assigned to it, and agreed upon by all parties involved. Then you can sit and discuss if those parameters are as 'fair' as you want the competition to be.

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Originally posted by Conniekat8
You say that as if you're implying that there is something bad about that.

Not at all.

At least that is the way it comes across.

How so?

You asked how so....
Well, you picked a rather confrontational and sensitive subject to start with, and then you choose terms like sexism and discimination that coloquially tend to carry a lot of negative connotations, and you don't calrify that perhaps you're thinking on a philosophical level, most people tend to take the meanings of those words in their every day use.
And Ya gotta admit that you don't hear 'dicrimination' and 'sexism' in the positive context very often nowdays, so without a heavy disclaimer and explanation, most people will continue the patters they're used to, and see those words in their negative connotations.

Perhaps people are misunderstanding what you are trying to say?

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Howard, it is ok my friend....that is why they make Buicks and Chevy's....;)

I am perfectly happy with the way things are.

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
There is the admiration of your peers - oops, how much admiration will you get as a transexual who changed sexes for the purpose of winning a medal?

I can't recall their names of ft he top of my head, but I know there has been more than one top level athlete that has done this. I know one is a race car driver, who still has a ton of lucrative contracts and a very successful carreer.



There are the lucrative sponsorship deals - oops, how many companies want to sponsor a transexual who changed sexes for the purpose of winning a medal?

As many as will not want to get entangled with ACLU and the legalities of discimination based on sex. Being that sports industry's target market are young people, and that market segments is not as concerned with moralities as perhaps a 60-80 year old group, I'd say, there would be quite a few sponsorships, especially with the right marketing campaign.
So, no, I don't think youer argument is all that realistic.


There is the satisfaction of being the best you can be - oops, the surgery and hormone treatment has actually made you slower....

Your argument here leaps to troo many conclusions based on vague assumptions. I can't really address it as something realistic.


There is the propaganda value of demonstrating the superiority of citizens of your nationality - oops, the world doesn't think much of your nation now does it?.

I t hink this is a huge leap of judgement here and a very loose assumption of what the world may or may not think. The assumption here is representative of your value system. I can't say that your personal value system is representative of the majority in the world.

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Come now Tom, in the context of the post that line clearly referred to a hypothetical state that was supposed to be reaping the benefit of having one of its citizens win a medal, and the fact that if a country is winning medals by getting its athletes to have sex change operations they are not going to reap much in the way of prestige, rather more likely that they will be ridiculed.

You're getting yourself in a hot water coming across as pretty negatively judgemental, by not choosing your words very carefully.
Then on the other hand, you seem to try and carry on a philosophical discussion, which would imply that you are quite capable of choosing what you say carefully. That makes it very tough for people to accept your 'disclaimer' as sincere.

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Howard
Why couldn't YOUR mean England?

Cause the audience being addressed is in US, large majority, so when one adresses an audience of, let's say, Latvians, and they refer to "Your Country" that carries an implied meaning of "the country that you people are from".

Howard
May 27th, 2004, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
Cause the audience being addressed is in US, large majority, so when one adresses an audience of, let's say, Latvians, and they refer to "Your Country" that carries an implied meaning of "the country that you people are from".

It was clear to me he wasn't using "your" to refer to the US. I can see how others might see it differently and can accept the different perspective. I thought your average person would see it the same as I.

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by Conniekat8
I think you need to define fairness, as you see it, before you can logically continue the discussion that you're carrying on, and then discuss it within the defined parameters. If not, and you attempt to discuss fairness on a philosophical level, people are not necessarily respond on a philosophical level.


Hi Connie,
If you review my previous posts you will see that my position is that there is no reasonable definition of fairness that can simultaneously say that a man and a woman competing is unfair because of differences in size and strength while also saying that a bigger stronger woman competing with a smaller weaker woman is fair. I have asked repeatedly for someone to post such a definition and no one has obliged. My claim is therefore that people who claim that the one is unfair while claiming the other is fair are being logically inconsistant.

I can't recall their names off the top of my head, but I know there has been more than one top level athlete that has done this. I know one is a race car driver, who still has a ton of lucrative contracts and a very successful carreer.

I suspect that this race car driver changed sexes due to gender disphoria as I can see no advantage to changing sex in terms of driving races. I guess if it was a female to male change the hormones might result in greater strength. Or if women were excluded from competition this would allow them to compete at all. But neither consideration applies to the situation at hand as far as I can see. I am open to correction. I believe in the current context we are talking about changing sexes for the purpose of gaining competitive advantage, if that is the case in the instance you are citing I am genuinely curious to hear more.

As many as will not want to get entangled with ACLU and the legalities of discimination based on sex.

Unless a corporation was offering a blanket sponsorship to anyone who won a medal and made a specific exception there would be no basis for a lawsuit.

I t hink this is a huge leap of judgement here and a very loose assumption of what the world may or may not think. The assumption here is representative of your value system. I can't say that your personal value system is representative of the majority in the world.

If you can give an example of a nation that would assign prestige to another country that had athletes change sex for the purpose of winning a medal I might concede this point.

You asked how so....
Well, you picked a rather confrontational and sensitive subject to start with, and then you choose terms like sexism and discimination that coloquially tend to carry a lot of negative connotations, and you don't calrify that perhaps you're thinking on a philosophical level, most people tend to take the meanings of those words in their every day use.
And Ya gotta admit that you don't hear 'dicrimination' and 'sexism' in the positive context very often nowdays, so without a heavy disclaimer and explanation, most people will continue the patters they're used to, and see those words in their negative connotations.

Perhaps people are misunderstanding what you are trying to say?

I didn't start the discussion of transexuals in the Olympics.
The word sexism was introduced to the discussion by someone calling my statements sexist, I just pointed out that my statement wasn't sexist, just the opposite. I even pointed out that my use was "by definition" and went on to say that the discrimination was justified.

Some people are definitely misunderstanding what I am trying to say, and I take a certain amount of responsibility for sloppy wording. I put a lot of effort into trying to be clear and precise but it is extremely difficult to be completely unambiguous and in some cases people ridicule one for being too precise, e.g. naval gazing, violating common sense, wanting to go to ridiculous extents in the name of fairness, etc.

Out of curiousity, when you read my original post with the four points about how motivations were defeated, did you interpret the fourth point to be an attack on the USA? I still hold that in context, i.e. following the first three points, it is most naturally read that "your nation" refers to the nation of the person who has undergone the sex change not the nation of the reader, especially given the repetition of form in each point. If so, did you also interpret the you or your in the first three points to refer to the reader?

gull
May 27th, 2004, 02:58 PM
I seriously doubt anyone would undergo a "sex reassignment" operation (Dr. Renee Richards' terminology) for the sole purpose of achieving athletic success. The sheer magnitude of the whole ordeal dwarfs the relative simplicity of taking a performance enhancing drug. That having been said, this debate would have more validity if the operation did in fact result in a true change of sex.

Rob Copeland
May 27th, 2004, 03:15 PM
LindsayNB writes “Out of curiosity, when you read my original post with the four points about how motivations were defeated, did you interpret the fourth point to be an attack on the USA?”

Now which “You” are you, Linsday, referring to? Is it the hypothetical transsexual, Connie, the other readers of this post, or the world in general?

I’ll admit that when I read “the world doesn't think much of your nation now does it?” that I inferred the “your” was “USA”, but I now understand that was not your intent.

gull
May 27th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Connie is a hypothetical transsexual? I did not know that.

Bob McAdams
May 27th, 2004, 04:31 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by LindsayNB
my position is that there is no reasonable definition of fairness that can simultaneously say that a man and a woman competing is unfair because of differences in size and strength while also saying that a bigger stronger woman competing with a smaller weaker woman is fair.

The difference is that one can be defined easily while the other can't.

When you compare women to one another, the first question is what characteristics you should compare. Is height the important thing? Or weight? Or physical strength? And how many categories do you create? And where do you place the boundaries? You also have the problem that some of these things can be changed by training. So should somebody be placed in a different competition category just because they didn't train as hard as somebody else?

Comparing men to women, on the other hand, is black and white. You're either one or the other (so there are, by definition, only two categories and only one clearly defined boundary), and there is a whole set of physiological differences that go along with which one you are. We don't need to concern ourselves with what those differences are, or which ones matter, or whether they are an advantage or a disadvantage, because they are all inextricably connected.

Now, will a typical man-who-becomes-a-woman have an advantage over a woman who has an unusually high amount of strength and bulkiness for her sex? Perhaps not. But will a typical man-who-becomes-a-woman have an advantage over a typical woman? It sure looks that way! And will man who has an unusually high amount of strength and bulkiness for his sex, and who then becomes a woman, have an advantage over a woman who has an unusually high amount of strength and bulkiness for her sex? Once again, it sure looks that way!

I certainly don't think that someone should be barred from the Olympics just because they have had a sex change operation, but I agree with Renee Richards that the decision about which sex they should compete with ought to be made on a case-by-case basis.

Bob McAdams
May 27th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
I think that the way masters meets divide results by age group is a good thing, even in spite of the fact that there is no clear differentiation of ability in the middle age groups in many events.

No disagreement here. But it should be noted that one of the main values of dividing masters competitions into age groups is that it enables us to draw conclusions like "there is no clear differentiation of ability in the middle age groups in many events."

Conniekat8
May 27th, 2004, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB

Out of curiousity, when you read my original post with the four points about how motivations were defeated, did you interpret the fourth point to be an attack on the USA? I still hold that in context, i.e. following the first three points, it is most naturally read that "your nation" refers to the nation of the person who has undergone the sex change not the nation of the reader, especially given the repetition of form in each point. If so, did you also interpret the you or your in the first three points to refer to the reader?

It took me reading it several times and reading several of peole's fesponses after the fact to figure out that you didn't mean "USA" when you said "Your Country". At first it looked like there is a very heavy implication that Your country refered to the US (Especially in light of a lot of US bashing that has gone on in general, the sensitivities are hightened)

Had you worded it something to the effect to "The world wouldn't think much of the country taht condones their athletes undergoing sex change operations for the purpose of getting a medal" My gut reaction would not have been that yuo meant US, but still, being that you're addressing audience that is mostly people from the US here, it weould have raised a slight doubt about whether that was a little bit of an underhanded implication about the US. But not enough for me to respond to it, or get up in arms about it.

But yea, my first gut reaction was, oh brother, another anti-US remark. :rolleyes: but I decided to not address that part, as I don't like to get into political discussions, which tend to get rather temperamental.
Then as I read on, I realised that you probably didn't express (himself/herself?) very precisely, and things are coming across differently than intended.
That's why I decided to make a commentary on your choice of words, or communicating styule, if you will.

LindsayNB
May 28th, 2004, 12:02 PM
Hi Bob,

The issue of practicality is an interesting one that I have grappled with when thinking about whether there are potential improvements to masters swimming competitions and I agree that practicality is an important consideration. Having impractical criteria invites unfairness in the "adhering to the rules" sense of the word. I would note however that practicality and fairness are very different concepts, being more practical does not make something more fair.

I see two issues here:

is it fair for transexuals to swim against people of unlike chromosomes?
is it practical to segregate competion in a way that allows transexuals to compete in their assigned sex


I believe the IOC has determined a set of objective criteria that allows them to decide which competition a transexual should compete in, so I believe the second question has an affirmative answer. That puts us back to square one in answering the first question.

The IOC has defined three catagories of people, men, women, and transexuals. Like women, people in the transexual catagory are at a disadvantage compared to the men. Some people in the transexual catagory may have an advantage over women (this is not as obvious to me as it seems to some, as far as I know there is no instance of a transexual that can swim at an Olympic medal level). To me the question comes down to whether a transexual should be catagorized by their body or by their chomosomes.

Fundamentally, I think transexuals should be treated in all respects according to their new body type. I don't think that fairness is compromised to any greater extent by the possibility of a transexual with an advantage than by a non-transexual with an advantage.

My problem with the case by case basis is that it seems to me that implies no rule at all, either you can define the basis for the distinction or it becomes arbitrary and the basis for "fair" in terms of conforming to the rules is lost.

As I said earlier, I am much more concerned with the idea that transexuals should be forced to compete according to their chromosomes at the masters level. The thought of a person who has the physique and legal status of one sex being forced to swim in the heats of the other sex is worse than the thought of someone losing the race to that person. At the masters level the issue goes both ways, depending on the level of the meet it is quite possible a formerly female athlete could win a male age group.

Bob McAdams
May 28th, 2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
I believe the IOC has determined a set of objective criteria that allows them to decide which competition a transexual should compete in

I hadn't been aware of that. I thought IOC had simply said that all transexuals would compete under their new sex. Was I mistaken about this?


To me the question comes down to whether a transexual should be catagorized by their body or by their chomosomes.

Fundamentally, I think transexuals should be treated in all respects according to their new body type.

I agree, and my impression is that most of the participants in this thread would agree. The problem is that the "body type" of a transexual may not fit cleanly into either of the two traditional categories.


My problem with the case by case basis is that it seems to me that implies no rule at all, either you can define the basis for the distinction or it becomes arbitrary and the basis for "fair" in terms of conforming to the rules is lost.

The fact that there is no fixed rule doesn't mean that there is no rule at all. A basis can be defined for making the decision, even though the decision is ultimately not black and white, but involves varying shades of gray.

A similar situation exists with regard to use of banned substances by athletes for medical reasons: An athlete can apply for an exemption, but no black-and-white criteria for the decision are specified in the rules. Such applications are considered on a case by case basis.

The committee's questions would be: Can the athlete demonstrate that he has a medical problem that would be treated by use of the banned substance? Are alternative therapies available that wouldn't involve use of a banned substance? Will the athlete's use of the banned substance be restricted to the amount needed to actually treat his/her condition?

But what if there is an alternative therapy, but the athlete's doctors feel that it would be harmful for the athlete to use it for some reason? In the end, this is going to require a judgement call by the committee. But this doesn't mean that their judgement will be arbitrary, or that, as a consequence, there will be "no rule at all."

In the case of transexuals, the basis would be: Does the athlete's body have more of the athletic characteristics of a male or of a female? And the answer might even vary depending on the sport and on the physical characteristics that are deemed most important to that sport. In the case of, e.g., an XY athlete who had malformed genitalia, and who was therefore surgically altered during infancy and given female hormones, the decision is likely to be fairly clear cut. In the case of, e.g., an XY weightlifter who was raised as a male, was competing successfully as a male, but who then got a sex change, and whose muscle masses still look more or less like they did before the sex change, the decision might go the other way.


As I said earlier, I am much more concerned with the idea that transexuals should be forced to compete according to their chromosomes at the masters level. The thought of a person who has the physique and legal status of one sex being forced to swim in the heats of the other sex is worse than the thought of someone losing the race to that person. At the masters level the issue goes both ways, depending on the level of the meet it is quite possible a formerly female athlete could win a male age group.

I believe that masters competitions should simply use legal sex, without any questions being asked. And I believe this for the same reasons that I don't favor mandatory drug testing for masters swimmers: There is little justification for the invasion of privacy this entails for anyone who is not competing in elite-level competitions, and USMS does not have the resources to handle the workload of case-by-case decisions that would be required.

LindsayNB
May 28th, 2004, 07:11 PM
From this page on the IOC site (http://www.olympic.org/uk/news/media_centre/press_release_uk.asp?id=855) :


The group confirms the previous recommendation that any “individuals undergoing sex reassignment of male to female before puberty should be regarded as girls and women” (female). This also applies to individuals undergoing female to male reassignment, who should be regarded as boys and men (male).

The group recommends that individuals undergoing sex reassignment from male to female after puberty (and vice versa) be eligible for participation in female or male competitions, respectively, under the following conditions:

-Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy

-Legal recognition of their assigned sex has been conferred by the appropriate official authorities

-Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimise gender-related advantages in sport competitions.

In the opinion of the group, eligibility should begin no sooner than two years after gonadectomy.

It is understood that a confidential case-by-case evaluation will occur.

In the event that the gender of a competing athlete is questioned, the medical delegate (or equivalent) of the relevant sporting body shall have the authority to take all appropriate measures for the determination of the gender of a competitor.

I wish I had gone directly to the source to start with. It could make one cynical about the media that they reported the recommendations so poorly, leaving out the fact that there will in fact be a case-by-case evaluation and the criteria that the hormones must have been administered for a sufficient period of time to minimize gender-related advantages.

Now that I've read the actual policy I support the it more than ever. As stated on the web page the criteria are just a statement of criteria to be used in the case-by-case evaluation.

Bob McAdams
May 28th, 2004, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Now that I've read the actual policy I support the it more than ever. [/B]

So do I!

aquageek
May 29th, 2004, 06:45 AM
And yet, oddly enough, the policy says nothing about the fact the person is still a biological male/female.

The chromosomes are still male/female. A dress and hormone shots don't change your sex.

I find it insulting that there is a policy that allows males/females to now swim as the opposite only becuase of shots, clothing and a legal document saying John is now Jane.

LindsayNB
May 29th, 2004, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by aquageek
And yet, oddly enough, the policy says nothing about the fact the person is still a biological male/female.

The chromosomes are still male/female. A dress and hormone shots don't change your sex.

I find it insulting that there is a policy that allows males/females to now swim as the opposite only becuase of shots, clothing and a legal document saying John is now Jane.

Aquageek, did you miss the part where it said:


"-Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy"

aquageek
May 29th, 2004, 10:52 AM
No, I did not miss that part. In fact my post specifically addressed it. A person is not a "new" sex only by removing certain parts, that was my point. Chromosomes are still intact and there are a lot more cells in the body than external genitalia, probably by a few million or so.

Remember in the 70s those kits you could put on the front of a VW Bettle that made it look like a Rolls Royce? Still wasn't a Rolls any more than removing genitalia makes someone a new sex.

LindsayNB
May 29th, 2004, 02:57 PM
However the gonadectomy removes the testis which produce the hormones which give the characteristics that give males advantages over females. Having XX or XY chromosomes, in itself, does not make any difference to a person's swimming ability and is therefore an inadequate basis for justifying segregation of competitors. To be sure, it is a quick and dirty test that will usually catagorize people correctly, but not always. A person who has sex reassignment surgury at birth for instance, and there are a lot of these, will have XY (or XXY if that is what they were born with) chromosomes and yet will be indistinguishable from other females in any way other than a sophisticated medical test. To argue that someone who is otherwise indistinguishable from other females ought to swim with the males violates the justifications for segregation in the first place. Chromosomes are only relevent to the extent that they confer an advantage.

Clearly one can construct examples where the mere fact of surgery and hormones are inadequate, but the policy addresses those cases via the guidelines and case-by-case evaluation. The IOC policy allows them to exclude someone with an advantage but to include someone who has no advantage, this seems like a good thing.

aquageek
May 29th, 2004, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
Having XX or XY chromosomes, in itself, does not make any difference to a person's swimming ability and is therefore an inadequate basis for justifying segregation of competitors.

On what scientific basis do you base this? Are you stating the entirety of the difference between male and female athletes are gonads?

It doesn't take a sophisticated medical test to figure someone 6'0" with long arms and legs but lacking only gonads is at a clear advantage.

The policy is bunk. It assumes the only differences between the two sexes are a bra, a jock strap and hefty doses of hormones. Why does a person have to continue to take hormones? It's because the body thinks they are what they were born as, not some surgically altered, psychologically counseled alternative.

LindsayNB
May 29th, 2004, 07:31 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
On what scientific basis do you base this?

On the basis that chromosomes are microscopic groupings of genes in DNA strands internal to cells and as such play no role in the act of moving through the water.

Are you stating the entirety of the difference between male and female athletes are gonads?

Obviously not. I am saying that chomosomes act indirectly, primarily through hormones and their effect on tissues and growth.

It doesn't take a sophisticated medical test to figure someone 6'0" with long arms and legs but lacking only gonads is at a clear advantage.

But that is true whether the 6'0" person has XX or XY chromosomes. This is not the logical way to approach the issue. If you want to know whether chromosomes are the key issue you should consider the case of the infant that has sex reassignment surgury practically at birth. These people are indistinguishable from people with XX chromosomes, in the pool or out. The logical conclusion is that chromosomes are not the issue. The real issue is the changes brought on, primarily via hormones, at puberty and thereafter. Which, unsurprisingly, is why an international panel of medical experts recommended that all persons whose reassignment occured prior to puberty be treated as their assigned gender while people who underwent reassignment after puberty be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The policy is bunk. It assumes the only differences between the two sexes are a bra, a jock strap and hefty doses of hormones.

Just like the previous characterization of the policy:

"a policy that allows males/females to now swim as the opposite only becuase of shots, clothing and a legal document saying John is now Jane."

was incorrect because it neglected both surgery and the case-by-case evaluation, this characterization is completely untrue. The policy makes no such assumption:


...
In particular, a male puberty would mean an influence of testosterone, which could, in theory, be of importance even after a reassignment to female gender.
...
The present recommendation is the result of an updating of the IAAF guidelines by a panel of experts and to which clear requirements have been added with respect to eligibility for competition under the new gender following sex reassignment after puberty. The most debated aspects have been: (A) For how long will the hormonal influence of the earlier puberty be of importance? (B) Will the testosterone influence on the muscular strength during male puberty ever disappear? (C) For how long should the treatment with female hormones last in order to be considered sufficient? (D) How can one make sure that the required treatment with female hormone does really take place? All those questions were addressed by the panel, which also sought advice from further outside experts, before the enclosed recommendations were agreed upon.

Peter Cruise
May 30th, 2004, 01:30 AM
Be it resolved that we can have a long & contentious thread without Ion's participation. All in favor vote 'Aye'; the 'ayes's have it- let's put this one to rest. Next topic, Tom?

gull
May 30th, 2004, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
A person who has sex reassignment surgury at birth for instance, and there are a lot of these...

In the first place, there are not a lot of these (where do you get your information?), and second what we're really debating are the "gender dysphoric" individuals who decide as adults to undergo the procedure (rather than pseudohermaphrodites).

As for minimzing the role of chromosomes ("Chromosomes play no role in the act of moving through water"), read On Human Nature by Edward O. Wlison, a professor at Harvard.

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2004, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by gull80
In the first place, there are not a lot of these (where do you get your information?),

Mea culpa for using a subjective term like "a lot", in any case the number is irrelevant to the logic of the argument.

and second what we're really debating are the "gender dysphoric" individuals who decide as adults to undergo the procedure (rather than pseudohermaphrodites).

As I've said before, the argument that whether a person has XX or XY chromosomes is the one and only factor that ought to be considered is saying that a person whose sex is reassigned at birth, and has not undergone any of the typical male developmental changes that lead to male advantages in post-adolescent swimmers but still has XY chomosomes, should none the less swim according to their chromosomes. This is logically inconsistant with the claim that females should not have to compete with males due to their disadvantage as the person whose sex was reassigned at birth has the same disadvantages. I therefore assert that chomosomes are not of themselves a sufficient basis for the decision.

The IOC policy uses case-by-case evaluation to determine which sex a post-pubescent transexual competitor should compete in. Either one objects to the post-pubescent qualification or one believes that there should be an absolute rule rather than a case-by-case evaluation to determine whether an advantage actually exists. This argument says that actual advantage is irrelevant, undermining the rational for the original male/female distinction.

As for minimzing the role of chromosomes ("Chromosomes play no role in the act of moving through water"), read On Human Nature by Edward O. Wlison, a professor at Harvard.

Wilson deals with the effect of genes on human nature, what I asserted was that the genes themselves do not directly (i.e. physically) help you swim (microscopic strands of DNA internal to cells that they are) but indirectly through the changes they cause in the body. The outcrop of this logic is that it is better to base decisions directly on whether the advantage actually developed. One could argue that the advantages endowed by XY chromosomes extend into the mental realm, but I'm certainly not going to!

gull
May 30th, 2004, 12:56 PM
The point is that one's sex is determined by one's chromosomes. A pseudohermaphrodite has XX or XY chromosomes but does not exhibit the typical female or male characteristics due to a disorder of sexual development/differentiation. This is a medical condition quite distinct from "gender dysphoria" and should properly be considered separately (which the IOC seems to have done). To ignore the distinction and conclude that genetics are of secondary importance is inconsistent and misguided.

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by gull80
The point is that one's sex is determined by one's chromosomes. A pseudohermaphrodite has XX or XY chromosomes but does not exhibit the typical female or male characteristics due to a disorder of sexual development/differentiation. This is a medical condition quite distinct from "gender dysphoria" and should properly be considered separately (which the IOC seems to have done). To ignore the distinction and conclude that genetics are of secondary importance is inconsistent and misguided.

We seem to be in agreement that XX vs XY is not always the determining factor, it is just a question of what other factors should be considered. I don't think this forum is intended for discussing the nature of gender dysphoria and whether it is analogous to the case of, for example, a pseudohermaphrodite and so, while I am tempted to argue about the inconsistant part, it is clear that our basic differences are rooted in differences in personal values, the discussion of which is not the purpose of this board. I think I have covered all the points of logic, sometimes a couple of times, so I'll leave it at that until I see something fundamentally new posted.

Cheers,
Lindsay

aquageek
May 30th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
it is clear that our basic differences are rooted in differences in personal values,

This has nothing to do with values. The fact is that by having surgery to remove/add/enhance body parts, living as the opposite sex, filing a form with the government declaring you are now a M when you were a F (or vice versa) and taking shots of hormones you do not change your sex biologically.

What clearly is a value statement is to ignore basic biology (and some might argue religion) and declare men to be women or women to be men based solely on the fluctuating and fickle societal norms of the day. Just because current society accepts a man is now a woman in no way means that person is actually a woman at all. There seems to be a great deal of confusion that one's sex is a choice.

gull
May 30th, 2004, 02:50 PM
This has absolutely nothing to do with a difference in personal values. Besides, you have no more knowledge of my values than I do of yours (although perhaps you have made assumptions on the basis of my posts). Clearly there is a difference in perspective and perhaps scientific background, but I fail to see where values enter the picture.

As for what is appropriate on this forum, the subject of the thread was the decsion by the IOC to allow transsexuals to compete against members of their "reassigned" sex. The distinction between a pseudohermaphrodite and a "gender dysphoric" individual is germaine to the discussion and apparently entered into the decision-making of the IOC.

The existence of pseudohermaphrodites does not invalidate the definition of gender on the basis of XX and XY chromosomes. Quite the contrary, that definition factors into the decision as to how to raise these indivduals after the diagnosis has been made.

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2004, 10:50 PM
Values could enter the equation if one was considering the relative merits of two different sets of rules. One person might say that the most important thing is to preserve the meaning of the word sex as meaning XX or XY chromosomes. Another person might say that the most important thing is to respect the transexual's desire to be treated according to their assigned gender. Another person might say the important consideration is whether the transexual has a demonstrable physical advantage outside the normal variation for women.

One could argue that how a person ranks different issues in importance will be determined by their values and that therefore values play a role in the discussion.

aquageek
May 31st, 2004, 06:53 AM
Values have no place in this discussion. You have returned to the notion that the entirety of sex is determined by clothing, a document, hormones and shots. This is about competition, not values. You can't change your sex, it's that simple.

mattson
May 31st, 2004, 11:20 AM
Did a little Google search, and found this: About Gender UK site (http://www.gender.org.uk/about/index.htm). This would appear to be a goldmine of scientific, medical, and psychological information. (As opposed to the personal opinions that have been expressed here, myself included.)

In their definition section, found this:
Sexual identity. The objective categorisation of a person's physiological status as male or female.

Sexual identity, especially, gives problems. Does it mean genetic status as XX or XY, or does it mean the sum of our development up until birth? Or is it simply the social label applied to us by our birth certificates?

Under the section Genetic Errors of Metabolism (http://www.gender.org.uk/about/04embryo/46_mterr.htm), they discuss Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (XY who can develop as girls), and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (which can lead to XX who have been raised as boys). These are "natural" conditions where the gender lines have been blurred.

gull
June 1st, 2004, 08:08 AM
With gender evolving into such a "blurry" issue (could be too much chlorine), pehaps we need more categories for competition. For example, what do we do with the transsexual who later becomes gender dysphoric again? Do we force him/her to compete with their new gender, or do we allow them to compete with the gender they were "assigned" at birth? I guess we can just wait until the About Gender UK site is complete to give us all the answers. Alternatively, we could just do away with separate competitions for men and women (as LindsayNB suggests) and compete as one species (although we may need to establish some criteria for that).

aquageek
June 1st, 2004, 09:03 AM
Some items to ponder:

1. The very first thing the doctor says at birth is either "boy" or "girl." There are no reference manuals, gender dysporia or sex continuum slide rules to consider. Pretty simple, boy or girl.

2. Do men who have the surgery go to OB/GYNs for their health care issues down there? If not, are they really women?

3. If a female swimmer who use to be a male swimmer, stops taking their shots or reduces their shots for a week or so prior to competition, does that constitute unfair advantage?

LindsayNB
June 1st, 2004, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
For the record I am in favor of separate competition for the women at the Olympics


Originally posted by gull80
With gender evolving into such a "blurry" issue (could be too much chlorine), pehaps we need more categories for competition. For example, what do we do with the transsexual who later becomes gender dysphoric again? Do we force him/her to compete with their new gender, or do we allow them to compete with the gender they were "assigned" at birth? I guess we can just wait until the About Gender UK site is complete to give us all the answers. Alternatively, we could just do away with separate competitions for men and women (as LindsayNB suggests) and compete as one species (although we may need to establish some criteria for that).

Since Craig's post could be read to say that I prefer that we do away with separate competition let me put myself on the record yet again: my prefered solution is to separate competition by gender, dealing with cases where there is a conflict between gender based on chromosomes and surgically assigned gender according to the guidelines developed by the international group of experts on a case-by-case basis.

aquageek
June 1st, 2004, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
where there is a conflict between gender based on chromosomes and surgically assigned gender according to the guidelines developed by the international group of experts on a case-by-case basis.

There is no such thing as a conflict between gender based on chromosomes and cosmetic surgery. What makes you think that the removal and reconstruction of external parts is the sum total of a person's sex and all that contributes to that sex? You cannot be assigned sex by having a surgical procedure any more than you can glue wings on a pig, throw it off a barnyard roof and call it an eagle. Also, I have yet to ever see any panel of so called experts on any controversial issue ever reach concensus.

This isn't some drag show. This is serious competition where the lack or addition of body parts may or may not make anydifference. You willing to water it down that far?

Howard
June 1st, 2004, 11:14 AM
Aren't you the one that saw no point in debating/arguing things you had no control over?

aquageek
June 1st, 2004, 11:19 AM
I can glue wings on a pig. I also believed I clarified that.

LindsayNB
June 1st, 2004, 01:12 PM
I used the word gender not sex, I even put it in italics.

If you want to define sex as immutable all that does is change the question to whether sex, so defined, is the appropriate way to divide the competition. As indicated by my use of the word "appropriate" the answer to that question will come down to a value judgement.

mattson
June 1st, 2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
1. The very first thing the doctor says at birth is either "boy" or "girl." There are no reference manuals, gender dysporia or sex continuum slide rules to consider. Pretty simple, boy or girl.

You have been pretty vocal about using chromosomes to determine sexual identity. Have you changed that? You appear to have switched, to what is written on the birth certificate by a doctor. (The examples given show that some doctors chose "boy", some chose "girl", for the same type of baby. That decision is often made based on development up until birth.)

(I'm not claiming to have an answer. I'm just trying to argue that there are (rare) cases that are not so cut and dry.)

tjburk
June 1st, 2004, 02:08 PM
The physiology of a male vs. female is what gives males the advantage. Go do some research on why men swim or run faster than women. It is because of muscle/bone structure, all the hormones in the world do not change your initial structure, be it male or female.

mattson
June 1st, 2004, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by tjburk
The physiology of a male vs. female is what gives males the advantage. Go do some research on why men swim or run faster than women. It is because of muscle/bone structure, all the hormones in the world do not change your initial structure, be it male or female.

So Tracy, you are saying that gender should be based on development up until birth (or maybe up until puberty?), and not chromosomes? I gave the example of AIS and CAH, where physiological development does not match genetics.


Originally posted by gull80
I guess we can just wait until the About Gender UK site is complete to give us all the answers.

Craig, when I read this, it came across as a snide remark. Was that your intent? I listed that site because it had a wealth of facts and information that seemed appropriate for this discussion. I assumed that there were some people out there, besides myself, who never really considered the issue of gender (before this thread), and do not have an informed opinion. I do not see how providing more information can be considered "giv(ing) us all the answers". (If you decide they are wrong somewhere, you can prove it because they cited their references.)

This is a medical condition quite distinct from "gender dysphoria" and should properly be considered separately (which the IOC seems to have done).

I had missed this comment before. How does the IOC decide for medical condition?

aquageek
June 1st, 2004, 02:45 PM
mattson:

Good catch, I had trouble explaining it. There are a lot of components of sex but you are still one sex, not subject to change. The baby example was my (poor) attempt to state it's easy early on to figure it out and it doesn't get any harder even if you do all sorts of strange things to your body. You are always fundamentally the sex you were born. Societal notions change with time on this but you are always a man or a woman.

If a person wants to change gender, that's fine by me but I'm not convinced that person still doesn't have a competitive advantage. My point with chromosomes has always been you can't take all the man/woman out of a person to make them the other sex, not now anyway.

I've always wondered about people who change sexes as saying they are a mistake, they shold be a man when they are a woman or vice versa. Who made a mistake?

tjburk
June 1st, 2004, 03:40 PM
Mark, not just up until birth, you can not change chromosomes through hormones, your individual body structure is determined by genetics, it can not be changed by cutting things off or adding things on. Each individuals' structure even amongst male/female is slightly different. But the norm for males is different from the norm for females. Unless I am wrong (won't be the first time), the example of AIS and CAH is not the norm but rather the exception. Exceptions exist for almost every rule and law in nature and physiology. Those should be looked at one by one.

gull
June 1st, 2004, 05:45 PM
Mark:

Apparently the IOC has made a distinction between those who are "reassigned" before puberty and those who do so after. Interestingly, in congenital adrenal hyperplasia surgery is performed (in early childhood) not to reassign sex but rather to match external appearance with the chromosomal and gonadal sex of the child. I see this as a very different situation from that of the gender dysphoric individual.

As for the About Gender site, my point was that this is not exactly an online medical textbook, and consequently the information presented should be taken with a grain of salt.

Swimmer Bill
October 30th, 2007, 07:55 PM
OMG, how in the world did I miss this thread?!?

:wiggle:

scyfreestyler
October 30th, 2007, 08:01 PM
This thread was before my arrival to the swimming scene.

How about a new thread..."Transexuals in USMS"?

SwimStud
October 30th, 2007, 09:21 PM
This thread was before my arrival to the swimming scene.

How about a new thread..."Transexuals in USMS"?


Who is going to keep that list???


:rofl:

"Can you prove you're weren't born a male?"

Swimmer Bill
October 30th, 2007, 09:39 PM
Who is going to keep that list???

Not I.