Gaines v. NCAA, Riley and other NCAA athletes seek to hold defendants liable for “reducing female competitive opportunities, forcing female athletes to compete against males in sex-separated sports, depriving women of equal opportunities to protect their bodily privacy, and authorizing males to access female safe spaces necessary for women to prepare for athletic competition, including showers, locker rooms and restrooms.”

Myth + Fact


Allowing trans-identified athletes to participate in women’s sports won’t disadvantage women and girls. Males who identify as women lose any competitive advantage over females once they start suppressing testosterone.


Suppressing one’s testosterone after the advent of male puberty can reduce a person’s athletic capacity, but it is insufficient to close the male-female athletic gap. Studies indicate that testosterone suppression does not reduce running speed to normal female levels. Nor can testosterone suppression reduce male strength to normal female levels. Indeed, studies show that testosterone suppression removes only about 5-10% of the male strength advantage, a difference that some athletes may be able to make up with rigorous athletic training. In head-to-head competitions, allowing biological males to play women’s sports will limit female athletes’ chances of success. And on teams with limited roster spots, allowing biological males to participate will take spots, playing time, and potential scholarships away from women and girls.

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