A couple of questions about Transgenders

ID-100369789These questions have been floating around for a while now, but to be honest I haven’t seen them answered, and they are a bit of a discussion-starter.

If a transgender individual commits a crime and is sent to prison, what prison would they go to? Likewise, if a transgender individual competes in a gendered sporting event, what gender would they compete with?

For example, we know that on average, men have stronger upper bodies and greater bone density. So if a biological male transitioned into a female (regardless of operation) would they be allowed to compete with women, who are at a biological disadvantage in this case? Australia’s women’s football team was beaten by a team made up of 15 year old boys 7-0, so the disadvantage women would face up against a biological male could well be a considerable one.

Would it be discrimination to force people who identify as female to compete against men? Would it be discrimination to prevent them from competing at all?

Similar story with prisons – would it be transphobic to force people who identify as male to be in women’s prisons, or put them in with male convicts, despite them being biologically female?

Does the question of whether they have undergone surgery come into the account, or should it all be based on whatever people ‘identify as’?


One thought on “A couple of questions about Transgenders

  1. I comment, not as an expert by any means, but simply to relay a few of the things I have heard. Someone who was assigned male at birth will indeed have a higher bone density and larger frame (statistically). However, in the male-to-female transition, musculature diminishes greatly. At this point, these women have less strength to carry around the same body structure (or by comparison to other women, the same strength to carry around a larger, denser body structure). To my knowledge there is no consensus on whether this is a net advantage or disadvantage, but I have heard of a study with runners which seemed to indicate that there was no statistical difference in how they compared to other runners before and after transition.

    As for prisons, I would imagine it depends largely on local laws. I have heard of prisoners with breast implants in men’s prisons, but I would certainly thing that anyone who was legally female would go to a women’s prison.


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