Olympics Trannsgender Swimming Rule Endangers Childre
iSports Wire/10269649

Legal Challenge in Switzerland Ignores Negative Impact on Young Boys

WASHINGTON - iSportsWire -- Lia Thomas, a M2F swimmer, is challenging an Olympic rule (https://theathletic.com/5230886/2024/01/26/lia-...) "that effectively excludes transgender women who have undergone male puberty from participating in women's races,"

But the problem with the rule which has been largely overlooked is not that it prohibits men who transitioned after puberty from competing against women, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Rather, he says that the rule provides a strong dangerous incentive for young boys to begin medical transitioning treatments at an age when in many cases their immaturity prevents them and their parents from making a truly informed judgement.

While many medical professionals and their organizations agree that transitioning to the opposite sex is warranted in many situations, most also admit that there may be improper diagnosis among very young children, especially those who may suffer from mental or emotional problems.

More on iSports Wire
Since there is no recognized test to be sure that a boy saying he is or wants to be a girl is truly a M2F transgender child who would benefit from early medical intervention at a very young age, even those who generally support so-called "gender reaffirming" medical treatment for children are wary of having it begin prior to puberty or before the child has reached a certain level of maturity.

The Mayo Clinic notes (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/precocious-puberty/symptoms-causes/syc-20351811) that "most of the time, puberty occurs after age 8 in girls and after age 9 in boys. However, Black, Hispanic, and Native American children might naturally reach puberty earlier."

Thus Banzhaf argues that the Olympic rule makes this decision even more difficult, and possible incorrect, because it puts a thumb on the scale in favor of irreversible medical interventions as a very young age.

More on iSports Wire
If a boy of 6 or 7 shows great promise in youth competitive swimming, a parent hoping to have an Olympic champion may be tempted, especially if the signs of true "gender dysphoric" aren't crystal clear, to err on the side of beginning and even concluding puberty-blocking and hormonal medical treatment before the boy reaches the age on 9.

In some situations the decision to begin and conclude medical treatments at such a young age might be a wise one, but in some cases it will not be because the child may exhibit some symptoms of gender dysphoria but not in fact be transgender.

Making such a life-altering decision should not be influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by an arbitrary age cutoff which could give the boy a major advantage in swimming meets if he finishes transitioning before age 9 so as to be eligible to compete as a female, argues Banzhaf.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf

GW Law

Source: Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf
Filed Under: Sports

Show All News | Report Violation


Latest on iSports Wire