Ted Eytan via Flickr

“The answer to this latter question, are trans athletes winning everything, is simple – that’s not the case.” 

In a recent interview with NPR, paediatrician and geneticist Dr Eric Vilain de-bunked the numerous anti-trans bills that are currently being considered.

Sitting down with interviewer Michel Martin, the researcher shot down the theory that trans athletes have an advantage. 

“We know that men have, on average, an advantage in performance in athletics of 10% to 12% over women, which sports authorities have attributed to differences in levels of a male hormone called testosterone,” he explained.

“But the question is whether there is in real life, during actual competitions, an advantage of performance linked to this male hormone and whether trans athletes are systematically winning all competitions.

“The answer to this latter question, are trans athletes winning everything, is simple – that’s not the case.” 

Over the years Dr Vilain has advocated for trans athletes.

He has also advised both the NCAA and International Olympic Committee on new guidelines that help keep an inclusive and fair environment. 

“If we want to think fairness, we should look first at the principles of the Olympic charter,” he said.

“It says every individual must have the possibility of practising sport without discrimination of any kind. And in the Olympic spirit, what’s true for colleges and should be for the elite level.

“And there is really a long journey of athletes with gender variations that are facing increasing rulings that are often discriminatory and not based on science.”

There are about 37 bills that are targeting trans rights. Many of them are trying to stop transgender athletes from participating in sporting teams that align with how they self-identify, according to Insider.

Mississippi recently became the first state to pass a law that would ban transgender girls and women from school sports.

Bill 2536, which exists under the title “provide that schools designate teams by biological sex”, aims to make it state binding that educational institutions must segregate sports teams based on biological sex.

The pending legislation argues education institutions that are members of sporting associations such as the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) or NJCCA (National Junior College Athletic Association) must allocate team members strictly based on biological sex.

The bill outlines three specific categories such as “males”, “females”, and “coed” which discriminates against transgender athletes.

South Dakota has also recently passed their own anti-trans bill this past week. 

The H.B. 1217 bill states participants of a sports team can only join “based on their biological sex”. 

Alongside these specifications, a hopeful participant must have a written statement proving their age and biological sex “in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology”.