Sports

Transgender Women Face Sports Bans In Dozens Of U.S. States

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Mississippi US state has banned transgender athletes from school sports last week, claiming the move will protect women from “biological males” competitors . Dozens of states in the United States have already proposed banning transgender women and girls from competing in women’s sports until now. Idaho was the first U.S. state to ban trans women and girls from women’s sports leagues in schools and colleges in March 2020, but the law is currently suspended, after being challenged in court as discriminatory.

These bills ask the athletes from public schools and universities to compete according to their sex assigned at birth, rather than gender identity, requiring public schools also to designate sports teams based on biological sex as for “Males,” “Females” or “Coed.”

In total, there are an estimated 149 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the US, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBTQ civil rights group, including 76 that directly target transgender people and 37 that prohibit transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

LGBT+ activists say the sports bills are discriminatory, and they dispute trans athletes’ physical advantages, claiming that trans athletes have not consistently outperformed other female athletes in the 16 U.S. states that have trans-inclusive high school policies. But scientists say that the muscular advantage enjoyed by trans women only falls by about 5 per cent after a year of testosterone suppressing treatment, if they went through puberty before starting hormone therapy.

In any circumstances, these rules could affect few hundreds of trans athletes. Though it is difficult to determine the number of transgender people in the U.S., a Gallup survey released last month estimated that about 0.6 percent of the country’s adults identified as transgender, while out of 200,000 women in college sports about 50 are transgender, according to Joanna Harper, a researcher based in Loughborough University in Britain.


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