We Also Urge All International and Domestic Sport Federations to Adopt a Similar Approach to Transgender Eligibility.
June 20, 2022 - The Women’s Sports Policy Working Group (WSPWG) today announced its strong support for FINA’s comprehensive and science-based approach to establishing a transgender eligibility policy for the women’s category in swimming competitions. The WSPWG urges other international sports federations to adopt FINA’s model approach.
FINA’s transparent approach demonstrated a model for eligibility policy development. FINA acknowledged the priority of competitive fairness and it then based their priorities on scientific evidence.
FINA did so in the face of political pressure that routinely labels the use of accurate terminology in sport rule-making as “transphobic.” Indeed, some social justice and human rights advocates believe any different treatment of trans girls/women in competitive sport is improper and illegal “sex discrimination.”
Yet in fact, acknowledging immutable biological differences between the sexes, along with the need for different treatment in tests of physical and physiological abilities, are essential to giving females an equal opportunity to compete. Allowing post-puberty male bodies with performance advantages discriminates against females and defeats the basic justification for separate sex sport.
The WSPWG believes that none of these rules should prohibit post-puberty transgender girls or women from participating in girls’ and women’s sport as long as they are separately scored in competition. Just as the place/finish of the 120lb wrestler is valued as much as the place/finish of 170lb wrestler, the place/finish for the transgender athlete must be just as valued as that of the female athlete.
People of good faith must be able to come together and envision a girls’ and women’s sport space where all girls and women would be welcome, all girls and women would be respected, all girls and women would experience the same fair competition as boys and men; a place where the competitive achievements of females and transgender girls and women would be equally celebrated. In such a construct, biological sex differences and gender identity differences would be openly discussed and accepted by all as normal human differences.
Moving Forward: The WSPWG encourages FINA and it’s new “Open Category” to include separate scoring, in addition to men's and women's sport competition scores.
WSPWG also applauds the previously announced policy decision of World Rugby, the first team sport and collision-sport's International Federation, significantly a collision sport, which, like FINA, prioritizes safety and fairness as the reason for not permitting transgender athletes to participate in female rugby
- Further information about the WSPWG can be found online at WomensSportsPolicy.org.
- For more science, law, policy and our petition with over 7600 people signing, including 400 Olympians, Paralympians, their coaches and family members: ChampionWomen.org.
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