The science behind the ruling. Note the 7-0 vote against transgender women being allowed to compete in FPO protected events.
Medical subcommittee research
In August 2022, the PDGA provided an update to members reporting that “[t]he Subcommittee on Gender-based Divisions has been meeting regularly, and through collected research and data, has developed the framework for an early draft of a proposal, ultimately to be approved by the PDGA Global Board of Directors.”
The Subcommittee comprised seven experts with various medical (M.D.) and scientific (Ph.D) backgrounds to provide scientific feedback. The Subcommittee report was completed in October and delivered to the PDGA Global Board of Directors. The report strictly looked at published research on human anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. The report stated that safety issues were not applicable to the sport of disc golf, and the position of the PDGA should be to evaluate fairness and inclusion.
In part, the report stated, “Some researchers contend the outdated IOC guidelines, based chiefly on testosterone levels, failed to provide a level playing field for female competitors. For example, Hilton and Lundberg (2021) noted that ‘with regard to transgender women athletes, we question whether current circulating testosterone level cut-off can be a meaningful decisive factor, when in fact not even suppression down to around 1 nmol/L removes the anthropometric and muscle mass/strength advantage in any significant way’ (p. 211). General support for a roughly 5% reduction in strength after a year of testosterone suppression has been reported (Handelsman et al., 2018; Harper, et al., 2021; Roberts, et al. 2021; & Wilk et al., 2020). This 5% reduction may continue in subsequent years, although it is unlikely. This initial reduction in strength may be offset by transgender women maintaining irreversible (legacy) advantages in anthropometric measures and in the biomechanical benefits afforded by those anthropometrics. Further study may help to quantify these legacy advantages.”
The paper goes on to say that “The opinion of Shrier (2022) regarding the biological advantages afforded by men is supported by science and is worthy of consideration: ‘…effects of male puberty are profound, and they are permanent… more fast-twitch muscle fiber, greater upper-body muscle mass, greater lower-body muscle mass, greater bone density. They grant men a significant and unbridgeable advantage over women in nearly every physical contest. Even if a man later takes estrogen and artificially reduces the level of ‘bioactive’ testosterone in his body, he will not surrender these advantages.’ This stance is supported by anthropometric data and basic principles of biomechanics. It is also in agreement with the International Federation of Sports Medicine consensus statement that ‘Transwomen have the right to compete in sports. However, cisgender women have the right to compete in a protected category.’ (Hamilton et al., 2021, p. 1409)
The report concludes: “It is important to establish policies that are both inclusive and fair. In terms of fairness, no transgender person should ever be excluded. Thus, while it would be unfair for transgender women to compete against cisgender women, there would be no question of unfairness if transgender men or transgender women were to compete in the mixed divisions at any amateur or pro level, or in any age protected divisions that they are qualified for.” The Subcommittee took a straw poll and voted 7-0 to the following question, with 7 votes for No and 0 votes for Yes: Based on research and your professional training and experience, do you believe transgender women should be able to compete in the FPO division at all PDGA events? On the following question, the Subcommittee voted 5-2 to the following proposal, with 5 votes for No and 2 votes for Yes: Based on research and your professional training and experience, do you believe that transgender women should be able to compete in amateur female divisions at PDGA events with the exception of Majors?
The PDGA Medical Committee was sent the final Subcommittee report and unanimously approved it for submission to the Board of Directors.
< Message edited by kgdabom -- 12/13/2022 11:25:15 AM >
"So let it be written.
So let it be done."