Yes, she's strange and different...but not THAT different.

22 February 2006

Hopeful future for trans athletes

There is a very interesting article entitled Hopeful future for trans athletes on MSNBC.com. One statement I found to be a little scary was "In addition to undergoing surgery and waiting two years, the IOC policy requires an athlete to be legally recognized in his or her new gender." For some folks in the US (and probably elsewhere), this requirement might be something that keeps them from Olympic competetion, depending upon the IOC's definition of "legally recognized" gender.

  • On 2/25/2006 8:59 PM, Blogger fallenboi said…

    I would love more of your insight into the idea of transgendered athletic competition. I don't think I have all the facts. I was trying to piece it together this morning. In medical school, we're learning about men having larger lung size, heart size, and greater blood erythrocyte volume. I was wondering if hormones would change these things? If not, MTFs might actually have an advantage in sports such as cycling simple because their muscles would be better perfused with oxygen.

    Your thoughts on this? I'd love to learn more [and forgive in advance my ignorance of the effects of estrogen]

     
  • On 2/28/2006 9:52 AM, Blogger Jami said…

    About all that I can address on this issue is my own personal perspective, and that's not even remotely scientific. In my case, estrogen APPEARS to have reduced my overall strength but increased my stamina. My big thing is inline skating (been at it about a dozen years or so) and while my top sprint speed is lower, I can skate for a longer period before getting totally drained. I can't lift as much weight now as I could 10 years ago, and I haven't drastically altered my exercise regimen in that time.

    Once the heart and lungs are mature, I don't think they will get any
    smaller, rather like the larynx. Estrogen can make a lot of physical
    changes but it won't raise a male voice into a female range. I don't know about the biochemical aspects of things, but it would seem that since those things are in continuous production by the body, they might change when shifting to estrogen. I do know that muscle mass is a direct result of testosterone and that generally estrogen interferes with that build-up. What I don't know is if vascular development decreases along with a decrease in actual muscle tissue as estrogen gradually takes over. If not, then it might seem that with larger lungs and hearts, longer legs and arms, etc. that MtFs actually would have a slight advantage in that regard. Of course, all of that could be offset by the loss of strength and all the bigger body parts just end up being more weight to be carried.

     

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