There's no proof trans girls perform better in sport than cisgender girls, says doctor
"If we’re talking about trans girls in girl’s sport, then we have to talk about the difference between trans girls and cisgender girls – not boys and girls."
An American doctor has said that there is no evidence to suggest that transgender girls perform better in sports than cisgender girls.
Dr Veronica Ivy, who is a trans activist, athlete and associate professor in philosophy at the College of Charleston, said that the data available doesn't show any advantage for trans girls when competing alongside their cisgender competitors.
As a result of this, Dr Ivy said that transgender girls should be able to take part in cisgender female sports.
Debates around trans athletes competing in sports have often centred around the difference in testosterone levels between genders. However Dr Ivy believes that the issue is more complex than this. Reasons for the difference in performance between males and females could be biological, sociological or a combination of both.
Speaking on TMZ Live, Dr Ivy said: "The truth is, we don’t know [what makes men better at sports compared to women]. But we do know now, finally, after all these years, that it isn’t as simple as natural testosterone.
"That is not the reason. There are elite world championship level men with natural testosterone below the women’s average, and they’re competing at no disadvantage to men with 100 times as much testosterone.
"So there are certainly, maybe, some biological reasons for men, on average, being bigger, stronger, faster than women, but we do know that there are also social reasons."
The doctor described competition in sports as a "human right," and that the debate around trans people in sport needs to stop comparing cisgender men to cisgender women.
She said: "If we’re talking about trans girls in girl’s sport, then we have to talk about the difference between trans girls and cisgender girls – not boys and girls."
Her comments come after several US states have introduced legislation banning transgender women from competing in girls' sports due to concerns that they would have an unfair advantage.
Meanwhile ex-Olympic gold medallist Caitlyn Jenner, herself a trans woman, has also said that she doesn't believe trans girls should be able to compete in girls sports. Jenner labelled it as a "question of fairness" and said that "we have to protect girls' sports in our schools."