Call it the Tweet Ridiculed Around the World. Over the weekend, NPR published a “news” report detailing the growing effort of world sports organizations to restrict women’s competition to biological females. Both the article and the original tweet argued — and there is no better word for it — that there was “limited scientific evidence of physical advantage”:
The international governing body for track and field will ban trans women athletes from elite women’s competitions, citing a priority for fairness over inclusion despite limited scientific evidence of physical advantage.https://t.co/X6wySybGlY
— NPR (@NPR) March 24, 2023
NPR deleted that tweet after an avalanche of criticism. The replacement tweet offered an almost equally bad argument, that “there is limited scientific research involving elite transgender athletes” to back up the actions taken:
The international governing body for track and field will ban trans women athletes from elite women’s competitions, citing a priority for fairness over inclusion, despite limited scientific research involving elite trans athletes. https://t.co/CcYOVuDVlR
— NPR (@NPR) March 26, 2023
This reality-bending argument appears in context just how it did on Twitter:
At the center of the issue is whether transgender women athletes have a physical advantage over other female competitors, even after lowering their testosterone levels. But there is limited scientific research involving elite transgender athletes — which the council also acknowledged.
World Athletics Council said that they have conducted their own research over the past decade and that they found there can be an impact in performance. Several international groups including the Human Rights Watch have called the council’s evidence flawed.
Ahem. This is tantamount to the old humorous punchline: “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” We have records of over a century of competitions among both men and women that clearly demonstrate the biological disparity of outcomes. Even if that doesn’t strictly qualify as “scientific research,” those decades of measurements of the differing performances of men and women in identical sports still amounts to an impressive and reliable amount of data.
For instance, Florence Griffith-Joyner set the current women’s 100-meter sprint record in 1988 at 10.49 seconds. The men’s record is almost a full second faster — 2009’s 9.58 seconds by Usain Bolt. Griffith-Joyner’s world record would not have even placed her in the finals of the 2022 World Track and Field Championships men’s 100m, where the slowest time (10.07 from Canada’s Aaron Brown) was a full half-second faster than her world record. Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the championship with a 10.67-second finish, while American sprinter Fred Kerley finished at 9.86.
Feel free to compare the other sports at that competition, if indeed one needs any reinforcement for the obvious. For instance, the winning distance in the women’s shot put was 20.49 meters by Chase Ealey, who became the first woman ever to win the world title. The last-place finisher among men in the finals was 20.93 meters, while the winning distance was two and a half meters beyond Ealey (22.94, by Ryan Crouser). Marathon times also show this disparity: Ethiopia’s Gotytom Gebreselase finished with 2:18:11, which is eleven minutes behind the 8th-place finish among men (2:07:35). In the pole vault, USA’s Katie Nageotte won with 4.85 meters, which was a full meter behind the eighth-place men’s result (5.8 meters).
Male competitors at the “elite” levels of sport have a clear biological advantage in speed, strength, and stamina over even elite females in the same sports. Even a cursory look at record books demonstrate this fact, which used to be so obvious as to be beyond debate. In fact, that is the very reason why separate records are kept for world and national records for these sports, and the very reason why sports are organized specifically for female competitors. The existence of women’s sports is to allow biological females a chance to compete meaningfully in sports against each other in an equitable setting. And what the push to allow transgender-claiming males to compete in women’s sport allows is for largely non-elite males to win sports competitions by exploiting the biological disadvantages women face, and eliminating them from meaningful access to competition.
Bearing in mind that these competitions and the records involve elite athletes by any definition, read NPR’s modified-limited-hangout ‘correction’ issued last night:
Correction: An earlier tweet incorrectly stated there is limited scientific evidence of physical advantage. Existing research shows that higher levels of testosterone do impact athletic performance. But there’s limited research involving elite trans athletes in competition.
— NPR (@NPR) March 26, 2023
Supposedly, the argument is now that hormone therapy will eventually erode the biological advantages males have over females in competition. However, there is no scientific evidence for that hypothesis, and at least some research that points to a conclusion that it doesn’t eliminate the advantage. Two years ago, the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that a full year of hormone treatments doesn’t eliminate the biological advantage, negating the International Olympic Committee’s threshold for entering competitions. They suggested two years, but even their own data didn’t support that proposal:
For the first two years after starting hormones, the trans women in their review were able to do 10 percent more pushups and 6 percent more situps than their cisgender female counterparts. After two years, Roberts told NBC News, “they were fairly equivalent to the cisgender women.”
Their running times declined as well, but two years on, trans women were still 12 percent faster on the 1.5 mile-run than their cisgender peers.
Once males have gone through puberty, their biological advantages are almost certainly permanent. Furthermore, the use of hormones to supposedly suppress those advantages — which we’d call “steroids” in any other sports contests — introduce incentives for engineering intakes to spike performance enhancements prior to competitions. What makes this kind of juicing virtuous when the IOC and every other sports authority bans juicing in its competitions?
Once again, the solution to this seems painfully obvious. If sports orgs want to allow trans athletes to compete as such, create separate categories for them and let them compete against each other. The separation of competitions for men and women are entirely rational in their basis, and ensure that women can compete meaningfully. The efforts to force women to compete against biological males is nihilist and arguably misogynist as well. It sacrifices women for the sake of politically correct virtue signaling.
As for NPR, they have a similar problem. They have sacrificed journalistic integrity, science, and objective truth to pander to the identity Marxists of wokeism. Even their correction — which notably doesn’t appear in their news report — ignores the hard truth and millennia of human experience, not to mention a century or more of competitive athletic competition. Its’s absurd, and NPR deserves every bit of ridicule they are receiving for it.