— Competitive sport is a zero-sum game where some athletes make the cut, and others do not; someone wins, and others lose. In a zero-sum competition, the inclusion of male-bodied athletes in women’s sport inevitably means that females lose out. This is the conclusion of a new report released today by Independent Women’s Law Center and Independent Women’s Forum.

The report, Competition: Title IX, Male-Bodied Athletes, and the Threat To Women’s Sports, aims to help athletic associations, policymakers, and courts understand the threat to female athletes and women’s sports. It describes the growing trend of males and transgender women (who were born male) participating in women’s sports, summarizes American law regarding sex discrimination and athletics, analyzes the evidence regarding physiological sex differences and the male-female athletic gap, and reviews testimony from female athletes who have competed with or against male-bodied athletes.

The report concludes that, in most sports, allowing biological males to compete with and against females puts women and girls at a significant disadvantage. It also undermines Title IX, which Congress passed to expand opportunities for women and girls.

Jennifer C. Braceras, director of Independent Women’s Law Center, said, “In the name of inclusion, females are being asked to step aside to make room for male-bodied athletes. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we must push back against this growing threat and take steps to preserve equal opportunity for female athletes.”

Kelsey Bolar, senior policy analyst with Independent Women’s Forum, added, “In the short term, allowing natal males to compete in women’s sports hurts individual female athletes. In the long run, it undermines the entire rationale behind single-sex competition.”

Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum added, “Proponents of allowing biological males to compete in athletic competitions meant for females often deny that women are at a disadvantage or pay any price. This report proves otherwise, laying out the significant scientific and empirical evidence showing the extent of the male-athletic advantage and providing real examples of women being harmed. This is a must read for anyone who wants science and fairness to govern these important policy decisions.”

Read the report HERE.

For more information, contact Meghan Agostinelli at [email protected].



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.