UK considers ban on transgender athletes in women’s football

Cultural revolution in the West

Published 25 March 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Lucy Frazer argues that there is an "inherent injustice" in allowing biological men to compete against biological women.

UK culture minister Lucy Frazer says all sports organisations in the country should review their rules on transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. For example, they should consider banning transgender athletes from women’s football to avoid giving anyone an “unfair competitive advantage”.

The idea of transsexuals, biologically born males, competing against women in sport has been heavily criticised in recent years. For example, there was a major controversy in swimming when Lia Thomas, born Will Thomas, broke several women’s records at the University of Pennsylvania.

Worldwide, however, several sports organisations have either banned or restricted transsexuals who have undergone male puberty from competing in women’s sports. In the UK, however, transsexuals are still allowed to participate in some sports if they can prove they have low testosterone levels.

Last December, a group of British MPs called on the Football Association (FA) to ban transgender players from the women’s game. Lucy Frazer, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said the FA should look “very carefully” at its current policy.

– I think it’s very important that women are able to compete against women and there’s an inherent unfairness, that if you’re not biologically a woman, you have a competitive advantage, she told Sky News.

“Not appropriate”

She also points to sporting organisations such as World Athletics, which have decided that “it’s not appropriate to have women competing against people who are not biologically women”.

– We’ve seen that in rowing. We’ve seen that in swimming. And I would encourage other sporting bodies to look at that very carefully.

Critics of the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports argue that, among other things, going through male puberty gives athletes a huge musculoskeletal advantage that is not diminished by transitioning to ‘female’, something that can also be seen when transgender athletes are superior in sport. However, LGBT groups argue that banning transgender people from participating in sport is “discrimination” and that more research is needed on the subject.

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