Opprobrium over transgender female participation in athletics is just another means of expressing religious disapproval of transgender persons. It’s all about defending scripture.
It is quite possible that a female athlete believes that she has been unfairly treated. Her biases might be confirmed by cynical religious conservatives. The NCAA policy has remained the same for nearly ten years.
Monday, according to the Christian Post: ‘Women are going to be watching their own sports from the sidelines,’ student-athlete warns at CPAC. She is referring to collegiate varsity competition. At the outset that is an absurd, hyperbolic proposition.
It gets more hyperbolic with the text:
Moderated by Terry Schilling, the executive director of the socially conservative American Principles Project, participants in the discussion were student-athlete Linnea Saltz and South Dakota state Rep. Rhonda Milstead.
“There’s nothing more under attack today than women’s sports,” Schilling said as he kicked off the panel discussion, which was titled “My Pronouns are First Place and Winning: Protecting Women’s Sports.”
Saltz told Schilling that she did not have to compete against biological males for the majority of her athletic career. Circumstances changed during her senior year, her fourth year of eligibility to participate in the NCAA.
“My coaches called me over the summer of 2019 and let me know that an athlete that … I had previously been seeing competing in the male category was now going to be competing in the female category.
Saltz, a sprinter, attended Southern Utah University. She went on to claim that in her fourth year she competed against a faster trans woman. She goes on at considerable lenght with “Unfair.” She doesn’t include any information about actually competing with this transgender woman.
Furthermore, in her senior year (2020) She did rather well for herself:
It is possible, if not probable, that this trans woman does not exist. The NCAA requires one year of testosterone suppression for a trans woman to compete in varsity athletics.
According to the policy publication:
Providing medical advice and understanding of the complexities of the transitioning student-athlete are: Eric
Vilain, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Human Genetics, Pediatrics and Urology, Director of the Center for Gender-Based
Biology and Chief of Medical Genetics in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics, member of the International Olympic
Committee medical advisory board … [plus two other doctors].
Dr. Vilain is quoted as saying:
Research suggests that androgen deprivation and cross sex hormone
treatment in male-to-female transsexuals reduces muscle mass; accordingly, one year of hormone therapy is an appropriate transitional
time before a male-to-female student-athlete competes on a women’s
Another advisor to the NCAA was R. Nick Gorton, M.D., Emergency Medicine Physician, Sutter Davis Hospital,
Primary Care Provider, Lyon- Martin Women’s Health Services–San Francisco, Medical-Legal Consultant for transgender health care for Lambda Legal, the Transgender Law Center, the Northwest Justice Project, the New York Legal Aid
Society, National Center for Lesbian Rights Sports Project and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project…
Dr. Gorton is quoted as saying:
Transgender student-athletes fall within the spectrum of physical traits
found in athletes of their transitioned gender, allowing them to compete fairly and equitably.
Getting back to Linnea Saltz, there is another potential credibility issue. Salz claims to have a fifth year of eligibility due to the coronavirus. However, she is not on the 2021 roster.
Salz doesn’t realize that she has validated the arithmetic I outline below. One trans woman over five years of competing means that there aren’t a whole lot of those people. As you review the numbers keep in mind that Saltz’s experience amplifies the issue.
Saltz attended a school with 12,000 students which is considerably higher than the average that I use which means was a there was a far greater probability of having a transgender athlete. Yet there was supposedly one trans female over four (possibly five) years.
About 0.5 to 0.6% of the population are transgender. Using paper-napkin arithmetic, at the high end about 0.3% of the population are transgender females. Track & field is the usual issue. It is what Ms. Saltz is complaining about. According to the NCAA about 6.2% of female high school athletes become varsity track & field athletes. Other sports have different rates of participation.
It is reasonable to speculate that the overall female participation rate in track is considerably less than 6.2%. But let’s stick with the high end. If 0.3% of college students are transgender women and 6.2% of those are able to compete on a varsity level. That works out to 0.00186% of college students are trans women competing in varsity athletics.
According to U.S. News: “The average, across all ranked colleges that reported the undergraduate headcount, was 6,445 students.” Trading my paper napkin for a calculator, for every ten colleges there might be one trans woman competing in track & field.
What? You do not like my arithmetic? Any way you look at it the number of trans females competing in varsity track & field is miniscule. That begs the question of how many “Women are going to be watching their own sports from the sidelines?”
Bottom line to my narrative which is longer than I expected is this. Linnea Saltz probably has a religious objection to the existence of transgender people. Furthermore, some of her story seems fabricated in order to bolster her religious disapproval. One more paragraph from the NCAA policy statement (emphasis added):
As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators. We seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career
opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion improve the learning environment for all student-athletes and enhance excellence within
In other words, it is important for transgender athletes to compete at a varsity level if they are able to do so. Me? I am not trans and I am a klutz. While I enjoy watching sports, my idea of participation is “speed-pushing” buttons on a remote control.