A perfect example of the muddled thinking regarding testosterone, advantage and sports categorisation.

‘T means better performance. It’s debatable whether that’s a sports advantage.’

There are two concepts of ‘advantage’ used in the wider discussion. I think of them as Start and Finish Line positions.
The Finish Liners look at results - ‘no trans Olympians’ - and assert this demonstrates no advantage.

‘No trans Olympians’ is not simply a function of physical capacity but also participation.
Nobody from Bangladesh has ever won an Olympic medal. Does that mean Bangladeshis have no physical capability for sport, or are there actually societal barriers like money, access, sport as a low priority or non-Olympic sports prioritised?
And very few people are capable of winning Olympic medals anyway. If you subdivide into smaller demographics, it’s no surprise that you don’t see winners.

My husband has never won an Olympic medal. He should be allowed to compete with females?
On the flip side, the Start Liners consider ‘advantage’ as a function of the physical body, and results are irrelevant (although they may flag ‘acquired unfair advantages’).
If you have broadly the same *capacity* as your fellow competitors, it is the essence of sport to then sort you by *ability*.
*Capacity* may be a feature selected for in sports (like height in basketball) or, more relevant here, a category designed around known physical differences that affect performance, *regardless of ability*.
To evoke a long-standing doping analogy I make:

We recognise doping as unfair because it confers advantage over and above ones innate capacity, and this contravenes the general principles of sport. We fight over SuperShoes for the same reason.
The finish position of the doping athlete is irrelevant. We don’t give free passes to dopers if they aren’t challenging medals.

We recognise they have physical advantage (unavailable to the field) that makes them a better athlete *in reference to their innate capacity*.
The same logic holds for male/transwomen/female, where ‘innate capacity’ is a placeholder for ‘female version of self’.

First principles - what we know about T and the male body - tell us there is advantage, even if there is no *ability*.
When the Karkazises and Strangios of this world say ‘no advantage’, they are subsuming a heap of non-sports stuff into that statement, hence they lose clarity when it comes to actual analysis of physical advantage, which is what matters on a start line.
This is a great example of the Finish Line argument.

‘A peak age female should be allowed to compete against 70 year old females in their age class if the skill level of the peak age female is ‘compatible’ (that is, if they finish a race at about the same time).’
The Tweeter fails to consider it relevant that a 70 year old female who, despite advanced age and associated health/fitness impact, can manage to run 100m at the same time as a peak age female is actually a better runner than that peak age female, and should be rewarded as such.
But that is the position Finish Liners are forced into, as a logical progression of their arguments - that categorisation by capacity should not happen.

@runthinkwrite may wish to extend here.
And thanks to @boysvswomen for putting the article in front of me!
I’d would be very interested to talk to @Karkazis about this conflation.

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More from @FondOfBeetles

19 Apr
Homo = same.
Zygote = of the zygote (fertilised egg).

It means that, for a given DNA sequence, you have the same information on both copies of it. As each copy came from a different parent, it means your parents had the same information as each other.
A common cause is related parents.

If you analyse someone’s entire DNA set, you can get a feel for exactly *how closely related* the parents were. The more events where the sequence is the same in both copies = higher degree of relatedness.
For some genetic diseases, you need two ‘bad’ copies of DNA to have the disease. The chances of you having the disease are therefore higher if your parents are related.
Read 5 tweets
10 Apr
This is an excellent analysis of an article typical of the genre seeking to deny the material reality of sex. @lecanardnoir
This photo is key to Andy’s analysis.

“But which of them is male and which is female? They look different with different wing markings, but unless you are a lepidopterist, it is unlikely you know – and if this was a new species no-one would know.”
“So, our knowledge of the sexes of each individual is non-existent. We do however know that one will be male and the other female.”
Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
An important review.

Considering Sex as a Biological Variable in Basic and Clinical Studies: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement | Endocrine Reviews | Oxford Academic academic.oup.com/edrv/advance-a…
All serious scientific agencies are outlining requirements for clear definitions of sex as it pertains to biology studies.

The Endocrine Society is not the first to make such statements, but this is comprehensive.
Many guidelines, including those from the NIH and the European Commission, demand separation of sex from gender (where the latter is irrelevant in all non-human studies).

And demand clarity on both sex and gender.
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr
The number of people displaying an abject lack of knowledge about the history of colonialism in Africa is frankly mind blowing.

Do you not look at maps? Wonder about languages and town names? Read any books by African writers? About economics? About foreign aid?
Never curious about the various secessions or civil wars? The stripping of mineral resources?

I am no expert, not by a long shot, but how on earth do you avoid it?
I’m not arguing that the average person should have in-depth knowledge. I’m asking how anyone can express surprise at older colonial territory maps and not look phenomenally stupid.
Read 5 tweets
30 Mar
‘there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.’

Peak idiocy. Right there, the most stupid thing I’ve ever read. cnn.com/2021/03/28/us/…
I. Just. Can’t.

The conformation of external genitalia has extremely reliably permitted sex identification from birth, and increasingly, in utero.

A kid could do it. And get it right almost all the time.
The demand that the world bows to ‘assigned’ is because some people don’t think physical anatomy reflects whatever bonkers idea of ‘sex’ they wish to promote.
Read 4 tweets
29 Mar
@MediClit The key with socialisation is that one is not making a truly free choice. It can feel like a free choice, it can framed as one, but socialisation constrains the options, even if one does not realise it.
@MediClit Lots of women are afraid to speak intimately about their anatomy. That’s the result of years of being, say, teased at school, told that vulvas/vaginas smell, that being hairy is ‘gross’. It all impacts on how we process stuff and how we respond to stuff.
@MediClit You’ve revealed your medical history. You were socialised regarding how labia ‘should look’. Many women, including me for many aspects, are socialised about how hairy their legs ‘should be’, or that they look old/tired without makeup.

It’s not a weakness to recognise that.
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