General News

Study finds no evidence for banning trans inclusion in sports

Rachel Badham March 30, 2021

A study recently published in Sports Medicine has found there is no evidence that gives reason as to why trans athletes should be banned from participating in sports, following a string of bills in the US which aim to do so. The study, led by Blair Hamilton from the University of Brighton and titled Integrating Transwomen and Female Athletes with Differences of Sex Development into Elite Competition, said no two athletes will ever be completely equal and such disparities also exist among cisgender women. 

It argued that any advantages should be viewed not as evidence of unfair competition, but should be related to an athlete’s individual ability, saying even “evidence-based policies will not eliminate differences in sporting performance between athletes in the elite category of female sports.” It concluded that there needs to be a “a well-coordinated multidisciplinary international research program, backed by appropriate research grant funding” in order to help “fairly integrate” trans women into sport.

The study comes after February 2021 report by the Centre for American Progress which found trans inclusion in school sports poses no threat to cisgender youth, arguing that inclusive policies may actually increase overall participation in young people of all gender-identities. It affirmed that there is no evidence to “support the claim that allowing transgender athletes to participate will reduce or harm participation in girls’ sports” and suggested anti-trans rhetoric relies on “scare tactics, stereotypes, and unwarranted claims that transgender women have a physiological advantage over cisgender women.”