Gender variability issues of modern women’s sports

PhD, Associate Professor D.V. Sobolev1
PhD, Associate Professor A.V. Sysoyev1
Dr.Med., Professor T.S. Soboleva1
1Voronezh State Institute of Physical Education, Voronezh

Keywords: women’s sports, athletes, gender, hyperkinesias, prenatal sex-specific cerebral development, androgens, hyperandrogenism, transgender athlete.

Background. Historically the women’s sports have largely been viewed as derivatives of the men’s ones. Individual sport predispositions are commonly considered driven by the gender-unspecific physical activities (hyperkinesias) largely formed in the prenatal development period. It should be mentioned that this function is a physiologically dominant, inborn and standard for the male phylogenesis (i.e. the biological system evolution) with its physical activity intensive bread-winning and protective historical missions and functions. In case of a female body, the high-intensity motor activity may be viewed as secondary to the childbearing (pregnancy, childbirth and child care) mission with its certain motor limitations.

Some females are diagnosed with a congenital adrenogenital syndrome i.e. an excessive synthesis of androgens by the adrenal glands referred to as the hyperandrogenism. Such females are also tested with the high levels of male sex hormones even in the prenatal period and, as a result, with the male-type brain transformations and male-like body development programs. It is not unusual for such masculine females to fast progress and come on top in the women's sports.

This is the prime reason why these masculine females with their male-type gender specifics (somatic, psychological and behavioral) have been long favored and leading in the global women’s sports. The recent medical manipulations with the inborn gender identities have resulted in a few perverted male-to-female and vice versa transformations referred to as the transgender/ gender transition/ gender-enquiry movement – increasingly legalized and promoted the world over to challenge the natural ‘traditional’ human gender identity.

Objective of the study was to analyze the inborn predispositions to a high physical activity (hyperkinesia) in women.

Results and discussion. The above fashion for the gender transitions have triggered, among other things, multiple gender identity problems in the modern women’s sports. Thus the Olympic movement has been increasingly struggling to identify the true genders of many winners in the women’s sports [11] – as illustrated by the case of Caster Semenya of South Africa, a two-time Olympic champion at 800 meters. It is the natural testosterone level limitations for a female body that are considered by many to provide a sound benchmark for the gender-related discussions and decisions.

The high levels of androgens in women may be due to a congenital disease (adrenogenital syndrome) i.e. excessive testosterone production by the adrenal glands [3, 7, 10] often defined as the hereditary hyperandrogenism [4]. No wonder that the competitive accomplishments of such testosterone-rich females are fairly close to the male ones [1, 2, 8]. The problem has been addressed by the female testosterone tests and limitations, with the women winner’s test data expected to be under the maximal permissible level – that is still generally much higher than the natural maximum for unsporting females [5, 6, 8, 9]. The gender solutions in the women’s sports may be further facilitated by comprehensive analyses of the gender specifics of the elite athletes – beyond the traditional gender identification methods and at least with account of the actual effects of the high-level natural androgen production on every bodily system.

One more serious challenge for the modern women’s sports for the last few years is the growing inflow of transgender individuals – encouraged, promoted and protected by certain influential vested interests. This is a regretful and scandalous reality of the modern women's sports since the ‘real’ women are often unable to compete with the transgender athletes. They show little if any resistance to the powerful transgender invasion in their sporting grounds and domains. The modern women’s sports provide multiple and tragic cases in points – as the sport leaders are easily steamrolled by the transgender women making their way to the top ranks. Many in the sport communities find this wins unfair and humiliating for the natural women. The women’s sports are in fact being conquered by the transgender men. Therefore, the gender disease of the modern women’s sports may be classified into (1) the natural hyperandrogenism-related (high levels of androgens) women-to-men transformations; and (2) discretional gender (male-to-female) transitions for competitive successes. Such gender transformers presently enjoy full legal protection and freely compete in the traditional women’s sports. The only limitation is that such trans-women are allowed to compete not sooner than two years after the surgical and hormonal transformational therapy.

Conclusion. It may be concluded that, since the women’s sports increasingly tend to accept the athletes with the gender identities closely nearing the male ones, special efforts are needed to consolidate the women test database to specify the semi-male type increasingly dominant in the women’s sport elite. The relevant sport training systems are in high demand today and need to be supported by a sound theoretical basis to develop new women’s training systems mimicking the men’s ones as close as possible for success.

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Corresponding author: tanjasob@mail.ru

Abstract

Historically the women’s sports have largely been viewed as derivatives of the men’s ones. Individual sport predispositions are commonly considered driven by the gender-unspecific physical activities (hyperkinesia) largely formed in the prenatal development period. Objective of the study was to analyze the inborn predispositions to a high physical activity (hyperkinesia) in women on the following assumptions. On the one hand, the individual predisposition to sports depends on the testosterone-driven gender-unspecific physical activities (hyperkinesia) formed in the prenatal development period. Some females are diagnosed with hyperandrogenism, which is the increased synthesis of testosterone (androgen) by adrenal associated with the male-type cerebral differentiation process and male developmental programs taking the lead in every bodily system. On the other hand, the modern women’s sports face multiple challenges due to the transgender human resource inflow promoted and supported by some vested interests.

It may be concluded that, since the women’s sports increasingly tend to accept the athletes with the gender identities closely nearing the male ones, special efforts are needed to consolidate the women test database to specify the semi-male type increasingly dominant in the women’s sport elite. The relevant sport training systems are in high demand today and need to be supported by a sound theoretical basis to develop new women’s training systems mimicking the men’s ones as close as possible for success.