In April, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from four female athletes who say that a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) policy of permitting biological males to compete against girls violated their Title IX rights.
In response, the four young women involved in the case, Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti, recently filed a notice of appeal to challenge that decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is handling the case.
A new Gallup poll shows a majority of Americans agree with the women athletes, believing that athletes should compete on the basis of sex – not “gender identity.”
The “CIAC Transgender Policy” states:
The CIAC has concluded that it would be fundamentally unjust and contrary to applicable state and federal law to preclude a student from participation on a gender specific sports team that is consistent with the public gender identity of that student for all other purposes. Therefore, for purposes of sports participation, the CIAC shall defer to the determination of the student and his or her local school regarding gender identification.
The CIAC claims that its policy is based on Connecticut state law and Title IX, the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in education laws. Ironically, that law was intended to protect and advance girls in education, giving them more opportunities.
Now, the CIAC policy says that Title IX “is a broad-based anti-gender discrimination law” where “sex” includes a person’s “gender identity or expression.” As a result of the policy, two males who “identify” as female, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Mitchell, were allowed to compete in girls track, beginning in 2017.
The original trial complaint said,
Between them, Terry and Andraya have taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut female athletes) and have taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.
Mitchell, who now competes at the college level, recently penned an opinion piece that was published by USA Today, “I was the fastest girl in Connecticut. But transgender athletes made it an unfair fight.”
She wrote, “I’ve lost four women’s state championship titles, two all-New England awards, and numerous other spots on the podium to transgender runners. I was bumped to third place in the 55-meter dash in 2019, behind two transgender runners.”
Well, that’s not exactly what she wrote. USA Today changed the op-ed after it was first published and some gender activists complained. Every place Mitchell had written “male,” the news outlet changed the word to “transgender.” ADF posted the original op-ed, after it was edited by the news organization.
Where Mitchell said about her thinking before a race, “Instead, all I can think about is how all my training, everything I’ve done to maximize my performance, might not be enough, simply because there’s a runner on the line with an enormous physical advantage: a male body.
USA Today changed the text to read, “Instead, all I can think about is how all my training, everything I’ve done to maximize my performance, might not be enough, simply because there’s a transgender runner on the line with an enormous physical advantage.”
USA Today explained its editorial decision this way, “This column has been updated to reflect USA TODAY’s standards and style guidelines. We regret that hurtful language was used.” ADF published the original online, so readers could see the differences.
Male runners do have “an enormous physical advantage” over female runners. The truth is, while both Yearwood and Miller said they identified as female, the pair were running with their male bodies against girls with female bodies. This gave them an unfair competitive advantage.
As Mitchell put it, in her original opinion piece, “That’s because males have massive physical advantages. Their bodies are simply bigger and stronger on average than female bodies. It’s obvious to every single girl on the track.” USA Today deleted that first sentence.
Male-female body differences go beyond the fact that men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen. Science and medical writer Heather Zeiger notes,
One of the major differences between male and female runners is the hip structure along with everything attached to hip movement. It’s not just a matter of having wide or narrow hips. A key difference is the ratio between hip width and femur length. Women tend to have a greater hip width-to-femur length ratio, which leads to greater hip adduction — that is, movement toward the center of the body. This difference has a domino effect that results in small differences in joint rotation and muscle recruitment.
In other words, men and women differ in how the lower parts of their bodies move as a coordinated whole.
Zeiger also explains that men also tend to have more fast-twitch muscle, with larger hearts and lungs, increasing oxygen uptake.
The bottom line is that men and women walk, run and sprint differently, because of real physical differences between male and female bodies. Opposite sex hormones and surgery don’t change these genetic and biological differences.
It seems as though the general public understands this basic fact of life: Male bodies are different from female bodies. The ones who can’t seem to understand that sex-segregated sports are necessary are “self-identified liberals,” according to new research from Gallup.
“A majority of Americans (62%) say trans athletes should only be allowed to play on sports teams that correspond with their birth gender, while 34% say they should be able to play on teams that match their gender identity,” the organization reported recently.
When breaking out group by political ideologies, Gallup found that “self-identified liberals (63%) are most supportive of allowing athletes to play on teams according to their gender identity, while 34% of moderates and 12% of conservatives have this view.”
Let’s pray that the court of appeals has enough common sense to see that allowing males to compete in girls and women’s sports violates Title IX and is damaging to girls and women.
The case is Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools.
The Daily Citizen has been following the story of these runners for the past three years. Here’s a chronological list of those articles:
Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom