Britain’s Athletic Equality Group (SCEG) released a new report claiming that to ensure safety and fairness in sports, it is necessary for women to compete only among women and not involve transgender people.
“For many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model,” the group says in its new guide to transgender inclusion in sport in a report recently published on its website.
The review studied the views, knowledge, and experience of hundreds of people with lived experience in sport, including several transgender people.
It also explored the background to current policies nationally and internationally and considered the latest scientific findings covering the inclusion of transgender people in British sport.
The guide is intended to serve as advice for all types of sport at the national level in its amateur format. In other words, it does not include professional or elite sports in its analysis.
The report is decisive in its assertion that transgender men should not compete in women’s sports.
As possible solutions to ensure that the inclusion of men in women’s sports is not “unsafe and unfair,” the SCEG’s suggestions include the creation of separate “open” and “women’s” categories or the addition of other versions of competitions.
The SCEG stresses that its intention is not to leave anyone out of competitions but rather calls on governors to find ways to ensure the inclusion of all sectors without creating danger or unfair competition among participants.
In the report, the group’s recommendation to governments is that it is necessary to “think of innovative and creative ways to ensure that no one is left out” when making decisions about transgender athletes.
There are usually two types of reactions to such statements, those who are in favor of promoting this policy of eliminating sex differences when it comes to conducting sports competitions and those who condemn these practices arguing that women are at a competitive disadvantage compared to men, even if they are transgender people.
Trans rights advocacy group Mermaids said in a press release, “We are disappointed to read this review, which rather than focusing on improving its existing guidance for trans people in sport, once again ignores the lived experiences of trans people, and misinterprets the Equality Act and academic literature.”
On the opposite side, organizations such as Fair Play for Women found the guidance report very positive. “This comprehensive review confirms what we all know: sex matters in sport. That’s why we have always needed a separate protected category for females and still do,” said Dr. Nicola Williams, spokesperson for the association.
“It’s good to see all the UK’s sports councils confirming that reserving a sport category for biological females is both lawful and necessary to guarantee the fair and safe inclusion of women in sport,” she added.