Integrity Score 942
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The so-called “Fairness in Women's Sports Act” by five Republican representatives attempts to ban trans girls and femme athletes from participating in school sports in Pennsylvania through an unscientific and violent imposition of the gender binary that reduces all athletes to their bodies.
In line with the 75 bills this year that attempt to ban – or have already banned – trans youth from sports, Pennsylvania’s bill institutionalizes transmisogyny by disguising itself as a ‘savior’ of womanhood.
Along with normalizing the tendency to treat trans folks as disposable by dismissing their right to live and play, this fear-mongering comes without any evidence to back it: “There is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition,” according to a Sports Medicine journal reviewing 8 research studies and 31 sport policies.
The misinformed notion that girls who are transgender have an ‘advantage’ because of testosterone levels, ignores the double standard of how 10 percent of women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (which elevates testosterone levels) but they still allowed to play sports, researcher Jack Turban explains in the Scientific American.
“Transgender girls on puberty blockers, on the other hand, have negligible testosterone levels. Yet these state bills would force them to play with the boys,” Turban writes.
Pennsylvania’s bill gives cisgender students the power to demand ‘compensation’ for playing with their transgender peers, and to get “relief” for “damages” from a school that calls out transphobia and attempts to create a safe space for trans athletes.
It would also let cisgender students sue schools that allows trans athletes to participate; gives schools the power to sue if their team competes with a team that has trans athletes; and safeguards anti-trans policies by not allowing government entities to challenge the ban.
These anti-trans bills are against science: they carry on the institutional erasure of intersex people through unscientific and baseless claims about dividing young athletes in line with a ‘sex binary’ that has never existed.
PA HB 972 was active as of April 1st, 2022.