Op-ED: “Trust the Science” and Protect Women’s Sports

By Senator Doug Mastriano

Over the past few decades, it has been amazing to observe the growth of female participation in sports.

Once off limits for females, they are now able to gain the same benefits from athletic competition that males have always been afforded. Self-discipline and sportsmanship are just some of the skills that are developed from participation in sports activities.

Since the passage of Title IX, female participation has skyrocketed. College women’s athletic participation has increased from 15% in 1972 to 43% in 2001. High school girl’s athletic participation increased from 295,000 in 1971 to 2.8 million in 2002-2003, an increase of more than 840%.

In 2004, the average number of teams offered for females per college/university was 8.32, up from 2.50 per school in 1972 (Carpenter & Acosta, 2005). In 1981-82, women’s championships became a part of the NCAA program. Today, the NCAA sponsors 40 women’s championships, 38 men’s championships, and three combined championships in all three of its divisions.

Among the 66 medals earned by American female Olympians in the 2022 Tokyo Summer Olympics were gold-medal performances by the U.S. basketball, volleyball, water polo and beach volleyball teams. Eighteen medals were earned by the U.S. women swimmers, 15 by female track and field athletes, and the U.S. women’s softball and soccer teams won silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In the past 30 years of the Olympic Games, the United States has dominated the women’s team sports of basketball (nine golds), soccer (four golds, one silver, one bronze) and softball (three golds, two silvers)—not to mention the untold number of medals in track and field.

But imagine if those female athletes never got that chance to compete for their nation in the Olympics? What if they fell short in a qualifying trial and instead lost their slot to a biological male? Or what if they never even get a scholarship to compete in college because the final spot on the roster was given to a biological male? Sadly, what was once lunacy is now a realistic possibility.

Over the past two years, those of us who questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns and mandates were told to shut up and “follow the science.” But that empty platitude is quickly forgotten when there is a discussion about the biological differences between men and women.

Men produce 570% more testosterone than women do, leading to major differences between the sexes in muscle complexion, bone thickness, skeletal muscle mass, and red blood cell count.

Men produce more Type Two muscle fibers (which are fast-twitch muscles) than they do Type One muscle fibers (which are slow-twitch). This gives men more power than women and helps make men stronger and faster.

There is a myth perpetuated by opponents of this bill who say that transgender male athletes lose any physical advantages after female hormone injections. This is simply not true.

The Journal of Medical Ethics published a study concluding that transgender athletes born male have an “intolerable,” or overwhelming, advantage over biological women in athletic competition. The paper stated healthy male test subjects “did not lose significant muscle mass (or power)” when their testosterone levels were suppressed below the International Olympic Committee guidelines for transgender athletes. Further, it found these biological males could retain their muscle mass through training and that because of muscle memory, their mass and strength could be “rebuilt” through training. The study also found that giving opposite-sex hormones to transgender people post-puberty did not alter the athletic-enhancing effects of testosterone on the male body.

These biological facts are indisputable, and the discrepancies between the two sexes has been very apparent in athletic completion.

Of course, in our own state, we have a Penn swimmer who went from 467th competing against males to first place when competing against females in the 500-yard freestyle NCAA Championships.

Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who tied with Lia Thomas for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle NCAA swimming championships recently stated that: “The majority of us female athletes, or females in general, really, are not okay with this, and they’re not okay with the trajectory of this and how this is going and how it could end up in a few years,” referring to the NCAA’s unwillingness to change the rules in an effort to protect female competitive sports.

There are many other female athletes who are “not okay with this.” Many are afraid to speak out because they will inevitably be targeted by a woke mob.  

Here are some other examples of the lunacy:

  • Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand powerlifter who used to compete poorly in the men’s division, took first place at the 2019 Pacific Games, beating the female Commonwealth Games champion in both categories.
  • Two biological males recently finished first and second in the 55-meter dash at the Connecticut high school girls’ indoor track championships.
  • A biological man, Craig Telfer, completely dominated the NCAA Division II Women’s Track National Championship in the 400-meter hurdles. Telfer beat the second-place runner by two seconds. The second-place runner bested third place by 0.28 seconds. The year before, Craig had been competing for Franklin Pierce University’s male track team. His ranking that year was 200th out of 390 among the men’s 400-meter hurdles.

It simply defies all logic and reason to infer that a biological male competing in female sports doesn’t have a clear and distinct athletic advantage. A strong majority of Americans understand that this is an unfair advantage.

A March 2022 Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found that 63% of Americans were against gender-transitioning athletes competing in opposite-sex sporting events.  

As a member of the Senate Education committee, it was a no brainer for me to vote YES on the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” (Senate Bill 1191), which will prohibit male students from participating in athletic teams or sports that are designed for women or girls.

As John Adams once said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

While it may be inconvenient to acknowledge, it is a FACT that biological males have a clear unfair advantage over females in athletic competition.

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