RUSHVILLE – I may be showing my age, but one of the most absurd issues in contemporary society is the debate over whether or not biologic males should be allowed to compete on female athletic teams merely because they “feel” more like females than males (even though they are, in every other respect, male).

To my way of thinking, participation in high school sports should be defined by how the young person is constructed, either as a biologic male or female. There’s no question about whether a high school student is a male or female. Furthermore, it seems totally unfair to allow a biologic male to compete on a female team just because he “feels” like a female. He’s essentially taking a roster spot that should be reserved for a female. The same should be true for females who feel more like males who want to participate on male athletic teams. The biologic differences are simply too great and, in most cases, explains why we have a male basketball program and a totally separate female basketball program.

I would go this far, however; if a biologic female is good enough to genuinely be able to earn a spot on a male basketball team, let her be on it! But that’s about as far as I would go. Males on female teams makes no sense at all.

But before overstating the obvious, let’s look at what a place like Wikipedia has to say on the subject.

“Gender identity is the personal sense of one’s own gender. Gender identity can correlate with a person’s assigned sex or can differ from it. In most individuals, the various biological determinants of sex are congruent, and consistent with the individual’s gender identity. Gender expression typically reflects a person’s gender identity, but this is not always the case. While a person may express behaviors, attitudes, and appearances consistent with a particular gender role, such expression may not necessarily reflect their gender identity. The term gender identity was coined by psychiatry professor Robert J. Stoller in 1964 and popularized by the controversial psychologist John Money.

‘In most societies, there is a basic division between gender attributes associated with males and females, a gender binary to which most people adhere and which includes expectations of masculinity and femininity in all aspects of sex and gender: biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Some people do not identify with some, or all, of the aspects of gender associated with their biological sex; some of those people are transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer. Some societies have third gender categories.”

All that being said, have you ever heard of females trying to make a male basketball team? I suppose a female could, theoretically, try to make the male basketball team if she is good enough, but why would a female who identifies as a male want to be the 12th kid off the bench when she could be a star on an all-female team? The real issue is males wanting to participate on female teams, not so much the other way around.

Here may be part of the reason, Wikipedia says: “Gender dysphoria (previously called ‘gender identity disorder’ or GID in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM) is the formal diagnosis of people who experience significant dysphoria (discontent) with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex: In gender identity disorder, there is discordance between the natal sex of one’s external genitalia and the brain coding of one’s gender as masculine or feminine. The DSM has five criteria that must be met before a diagnosis of gender identity disorder can be made, and the disorder is further subdivided into specific diagnoses based on age, for example gender identity disorder in children (for children who experience gender dysphoria).”

Let’s take a look at why females might feel like males. “A trans woman (short for transgender woman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women have a female gender identity and may experience gender dysphoria (distress brought upon by the discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and their sex assigned at birth). Gender dysphoria may be treated with gender-affirming care.” That definition, provided by Wikipedia, doesn’t address why a female would want to take part on sports teams that are essentially all male, and I could find very little about females at any level wanting to participating on male athletic teams.

The most prominent example of any mixing or genders is at the service academies where males and females are treated essentially the same, but the conclusion seems to be, that with one or two exceptions, gender at birth is going to be the defining difference it sports participation, not how an individual may “feel” about how they ought to be treated – and if it isn’t, it ought to be!

That’s —30— for this week.

Contact Paul W. Barada at

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