XY chromosomes should set criteria for sports

William Thomas/Lia Thomas, CeCe Telfer, Mary Gregory, Terry Miller, Andraya Yearwood and Rachel McKinnon — who are they, and what do they have in common?

All are biological men competing against biological women and setting new women’s records in their respective sporting events. None have apparently reported a DSD (a disorder of sexual development, or more recently called differences of sexual development — a topic for another day). They just choose to identify as women and have taken hormone therapy to reduce their testosterone levels.

Testosterone levels are measured in nanograms or nanomoles. The NCAA and other governing bodies in sports use nanomoles. Normal testosterone levels are 10-35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) in males and 0.5-2.4 nmol/L in females. According to the NCAA website, updated on Feb. 10, 2022, the approved testosterone threshold level applicable to transgender student athletes is <10 nmol/L for all of women’s sports, except ice hockey at <5 nmol/L. Now, we are certainly not mathematicians, but our calculations show that 5 is twice the normal levels in females, and 10 is quadruple the normal!

The NCAA just recently ruled that they will defer to each sport’s governing body, so even though USA Swimming says the threshold should be <5 nmol/L, that is still more than twice the normal female level. No wonder William Thomas (aka Lia Thomas) won his race against the women. Whether twice or quadruple, the transgender female will have the advantage.

According to the new USA Swimming rules, “Transgender athletes hoping to compete in women’s events would also have to provide evidence that the prior physical development of the athlete as a male, as mitigated by any medical intervention, does not give the athlete a competitive advantage over the athlete’s cisgender female competitors.” To believe this is possible is ludicrous. Even Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn Jenner pointed out, “She [Lia Thomas] was born as a biological boy. She was raised as a biological boy. Her cardiovascular system is bigger. Her respiratory system is bigger. Her hands are bigger. She can swim faster.” Well, it’s because she is a dude!

Until male puberty, girls can compete against, and even defeat, boys in sports events — but after puberty, a boy’s testosterone levels most assuredly enhance his athletic performance over girls. Additionally, many changes — especially skeletal — produced by male puberty are permanent. Reducing testosterone may reduce muscle strength, but not to the level of a female. Joanna Harper, a medical physicist, long distance runner, and advisor to the International Olympic Committee, who is also transgender with 15 years of hormone therapy, says, “I carry more muscle mass than a woman my size, absolutely.”

Amby Burfoot, guest writer for Letsrun.com, wrote, “I believe it’s the most difficult issue that sports has ever faced. It’s the most complicated for sure, and the most emotional as well, dealing with the most private and verboten subject: sex. Everyone’s struggling for the best solution, but there’s no easy answer in sight.”

Yes, there is. Dudes are dudes, and women are women. Wingspan doesn’t matter. Height doesn’t matter. Weight doesn’t matter. Even testosterone levels don’t matter. Does this person have XX or XY chromosomes? The answer to that question levels the playing field, and all the other answers we need fall into place. (As mentioned previously, a rare mixing of these chromosomes is a topic for another day.)

Elite athletes are elite for a reason. Surely, hard work and sacrifice contribute to their eliteness, but they often have some type of genetic or physical advantage. If a person is born with XX chromosomes but also has naturally high levels of testosterone, we would have no problem with her competing against other women because that’s the advantage she has been given. Michael Phelps, the most decorated swimmer in the world, capitalized on his God-given wingspan. The average male with a 50/50 ratio of fast- vs. slow-twitch muscle fibers in his legs will never be faster than Usain Bolt, who has a God-given 80/20 ratio. God gave Secretariat a heart one-and-a-half times larger than the average horse, empowering him to run faster, harder, and further than any other Thoroughbred to run the Triple Crown.

Our point is this: When we try to equivocate on this issue by making the criteria about gender identity, testosterone, wingspan, height, or any other attribute other than biological sex, we slowly begin to eliminate the exceptions that most often make elite athletes the top of their field. That’s a disservice to those athletes and will eventually lead to them being excluded from competition.

But lest you think that this is merely a struggle over who can compete in various sports, let us remind you that the enemy of our soul has been undermining God’s truth on multiple fronts all along, substituting evil for good, darkness for light, bitter for sweet (Isaiah 5:20). When we as a culture depart from the plumb line of God’s Word, then every foundation is off kilter. There is no absolute standard for determining truth from error. Even biological sex, which is as plain as the nose on your face, is no longer sufficient.

Our generation has become biblically obtuse, so much so that the bedrock biblical statement that “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them” is not just ignored but mocked as meaningless. If you think we’re kidding, just imagine the response if a swim coach objects to the USA Swimming or the NCAA transgender policies based on this Scripture alone. The media outcry and mocking would be immediate and brutal — like a crucifixion. The LGBTQ-driven media would hound him/her out of his/her coaching position.

The former USC swimming coach McGee Moody reported on the Palmetto Family Matters podcast that over 50 collegiate swim coaches were polled. None agreed with the NCAA transgender policy, but none would speak out or defend their female athletes. He said in two seconds (the time by which William/Lia Thomas won his event over a female competitor) female sports were set back 100 years.

Where are the coaches who have the courage to speak up for their female athletes and against the imposters? Where are the legislators who will pass legislation to put an end to such foolishness? We are delighted to report that as of 9:15 p.m. on April 5, the South Carolina House passed H. 6408 (Save Women’s Sports Act) despite much opposition from both sides — but why did it take a Lia Thomas (and an upcoming election) to produce common sense? Where are the men and women of God who will rise up in righteous indignation and say enough is enough? Boys are boys, and girls are girls. God made us that way — and He said it was good!

— Robert Jackson is a family physician in Spartanburg. His daughter, Hannah Miller, is a Christian podcaster and stay-at-home mother who also serves as a trustee of The Baptist Courier.