Statement on the FINA transgender decision

The Royal Children’s Hospital is committed to fairness, inclusion, respect and the celebration of diversity.

We are proud to deliver a Gender Service recognised as one of the world’s best, and even prouder of the young people and their families who declare their identity and seek our support.

Competitive sport is defined by physical and psychological advantage. Tall people have an advantage in basketball, just as short figure skaters become champions due to their lower centre of gravity. Size 17 feet can help you win a swimming world championship.

These physical advantages don’t prompt calls for bans but sadly gender identity is used to exclude already disadvantaged members of our community.

Trans people suffer enormous adversity and disadvantage, and exclusionary decisions only add to this. Inclusive societies support everyone, and we encourage all organisations to build towards an equitable inclusive society – not an exclusionary one.

13 comments for “Statement on the FINA transgender decision”

  1. Jane Clare

    My brother is stronger and faster than I am due to biology. If he competes in sport against me he will always win. Girls need their own competition or will quit trying. It’s just common sense.

  2. Charlie

    It is extremely disturbing that a body who is attached to a medical institute whose work comes from, and is meant to care for, human biology should show such purposeful blindness towards the biological differences between men and women.

    It is extremely telling that the current debate revolves around trans women in women’s sports – but not around trans men in men’s sport. This is obviously because trans men have no biological advantage over men and therefore pose no threat. (Once again, men have nothing to lose in the appalling debates that work to shut women up and keep them marginalised.)

    There is no logic or science relating to your position. Your thinking belongs in cultural studies in academia, not in real life and certainly not around vulnerable children who are being coerced into obsessing about identity (an elusive, ephemeral thing) instead of being helped to accept themselves as they are whilst learning how to navigate the tangible, material world.

    Including trans women in women’s sports can only result in excluding women from their own sport: how isn’t this exclusionary? Why is it ok to exclude women from things, but not trans people? Don’t you care about women?

    You can be sure that it is women who, being 50% of the global population, “suffer” the bulk of “adversity and disadvantage” on this planet – and typically at the hands of men. In case you haven’t noticed, the worlds’ societies are typically patriarchal – structured upon the subjugation of women by men, females by males. You might want to think about this.

    Shame on you.

    • Anna

      Finally a very thoughtful, logical response.

    • Jaffa

      Charlie, thanks you for that thoughtful comment. It is indeed alarming that a medical institution should succumb to a currently trendy ideology born of cultural theory. ‘Women’ is a courtesy title for men who have transitioned. They are not women in any shape or form, and institutions such as the RCH should not be pandering to this sort of falseness. And yes, women are still by far the most oppressed group on the earth.
      Shame on you, RCH.

  3. Danii

    They are being excluded due to biology, not gender.

    • Danii

      ‘The separation reflects the sport’s commitment to: (1) ensuring equal opportunity
      for both male and female athletes to participate and succeed in the sport, including through the
      equal representation in its programs and competitions of athletes of both biological sexes; (2)
      ensuring competitive fairness and physical safety within its competition categories; and (3)
      developing the sport and promoting its popular appeal and commercial value. Because of the
      performance gap that emerges at puberty between biological males as a group and biological
      females as a group, separate sex competition is necessary for the attainment of these
      objectives. Without eligibility standards based on biological sex or sex-linked traits, we are very
      unlikely to see biological females in finals, on podiums, or in championship positions; and in
      sports and events involving collisions and projectiles, biological female athletes would be at
      greater risk of injury’

    • Lighty

      And they aren’t even being excluded, in fact a new category is being created just to cater to them.

  4. Dera

    It is amazing that science and medicine has been reduced to shutting its eyes and closing its ears to indisputable facts. How dare you tell the world that black is white. What you are doing is an abuse of your education, your Hippocratic oath and any faith the general public should have in medicine.

  5. Isabel

    Actual medical science institution: Excluding trans people is medically & ethically the wrong thing to do.

    People with no medical, nor lived experience with trans medicine: You are wrong!

    • Charlie

      Isabel, the notion than ‘gender’ can or should be medicalised (and thus pathologised) is extremely problematic: THIS seems a greater threat to the gender non-conforming than those who believe we should learn to accept and care for our bodies as they are, whilst fighting against coercive and discriminatory gender norms.

      Identity is not real: it is (an often politically loaded) construct that an individual asserts or that is imposed upon individuals by others (ie when individuals or groups are ‘identified as’ and therefore ‘treated as’).

      The medical legitimacy of gender clinics is thus being questioned globally (look at Tavistock in the UK): because gender is not real (but a construct) such institutions CANNOT be scientific and can only be highly dubious. They do not belong in hospitals, let alone children’s hospitals.

      It seems to me, like many others, that very vulnerable groups are being exploited by a monstrous, global medical-industrial complex that profits from pathologising people’s differences, fears and insecurities. You can be sure that when litigation begins against such clinics (and there are no longer profits to be made from exploiting children’s entirely natural pubescent fears and confusions) then all of this gender nonsense will magically stop.

  6. Hugo

    We mustn’t exclude and marginalise trans people, but support them in leading fulfilling lives like we all have a right. With rights though also come responsibilities to discuss these challenging topics and recognise that we all have a duty to treat others with fairness. Women have fought long and hard to get some balance and it would not be fair if they are forced to relinquish greater share. Let’s not forget that women are still getting paid significantly less in sport, why couldn’t men’s sport become a greater financial contributor to enable participation of trans sports-people

  7. Lighty

    Empathy is very nice and all, but where is the empathy for the women who are asked to compete at a disadvantage? In their own divisions? I moreover find it amazing that you would deny facts like this – you are supposed to be a respectable medical institution, are you not? The science has spoken.

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