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The New York Times Science journalist Azin Ghrishi got attention this week for her report on a swimmer between Leah Thomasthe transgender athlete who sparked a national debate about whether transgender women should participate in women’s sports.
Thomas has made headlines over the past months after repeatedly breaking swimming records after just two years competing as a biological male, beating her female competitors.
And Grishi, in a report published on Wednesday, addressed the question “What distinguishes women?”
“These thorny questions about the nature of sport are not new to women’s sport,” Grishi wrote. “It has appeared several times over the course of the last century, when the athlete considered too manly began to win. Sports authorities have relied on medical tests—whether anatomical, chromosomal or hormonal—to determine eligibility in women’s categories, with similar tests not required for men. But in The world of elite physical performance, where unusual biology is the norm, science has never given accurate answers.”
Articles have addressed controversy in women’s sports for decades with experts pondering the subject.
One expert, director of the Adult Gender Identification Clinic in London, Dr James Barrett, suggested that transgender women may have a disadvantage in some sports, due to their heavy muscles, and told The Times, “Transgender women generally don’t win across the board.. It is not so obvious that there is necessarily an advantage at all.”
However, the Times reporter acknowledged, “Nevertheless, due to development during puberty, transgender athletes may have some enduring physical advantage in a sport such as swimming, such as longer height and larger hands and feet.”
Grishi shared her report on Twitter, writing: “Lea Thomas is just the latest elite athlete of the last century to have undergone anatomical, chromosomal or hormonal scrutiny to compete in women’s events. One thing they all have in common? They have been winning.”
Critics mocked Grishi’s remarks.
Joe Concha, a Fox News contributor responded:
Political commentator Drew Holden wrote: “It would take an enormous degree of naivety to believe that scrutiny here is not a result of Thomas being a member of the same university’s men’s swimming team as recently as 2019”. “I just don’t understand how anyone acting in good faith could compare the questionable use and application of testosterone tests to mathematics to fight back when someone who was competing as a man three years ago is now competing as a woman.”
“Please explain what ‘chromosomal screening’ means,” Stephen Miller, contributing editor at The Spectator, told the Times reporter.
“We have finally found a way to trick feminists into defending men,” Substack writer Jim Treacher quipped.
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