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New study proves reality: Biological sex is a huge factor in sports performance

What would we do without studies?

Despite a growing trend of downplaying biology’s significance in athletic performance, a recent study — refreshingly — shows what should be obvious: Biological men are stronger and faster than biological women.

The study “Performance of non-binary athletes in mass-participation running events” by two U.K. university scholars and an independent researcher found that biological males who identify as “non-binary” outperformed biological females who identify as same.

The Publica reports the researchers examined results from almost two dozen races in the New York Road Runners “non-binary” category, in which both biological males and females can compete.

Their conclusion: “There was zero evidence” to support the theory that runners’ gender identification as “non-binary” shrinks the biological sex athletic performance gap.

Lead researcher John Armstrong of King’s College London said that as an “objectively measurable binary variable, sex has considerable explanatory advantages over gender identity.”

He added there is a “lack of empirical evidence supporting gender-identity theory.”

MORE: ‘Extra lessons in losing’: Female track athletes sue Connecticut for letting males compete

“Our results illustrate that if we want to understand the needs of gender non-conforming individuals, it is vital to control for biological sex as it is likely to play a significant role in any analysis,” Armstrong (pictured) said. “Both sex and gender identity should therefore both be considered useful explanatory variables in data collection.”

The Publica notes how a “non-binary” biological male won a New York Road Runners race in the “non-binary” category earlier this month — and won a $500 prize, the same as the winner in every other category.

Need it be mentioned that this “non-binary” winner’s time was a full ten minutes slower than the top men’s finisher … and four minutes slower than the women’s category winner?

Earlier this year, Armstrong got into a bit of hot water with the King’s College London Research Ethics office for using the term “males” for gender-dysphoric men in a survey. He was told his language was “not sensitive” and that the “misgendering of athletes is not appropriate.”

The Armstrong, et. al. study is unlikely to dissuade gender theorists and transgender advocates from claiming there’s either no or insignificant differences between the sexes in strength and speed.

Remember last month’s Scientific American piece which claimed the “inequity between male and female athletes” is due to “biases in how [the sexes] are treated in sports” — not biology?

And what about the researchers who said concerns over transgender females (biological males) competing in women’s sports have little to do with fairness, but are just manifestations of conservative politics and biases?

MORE: Average HS male runner becomes top-ranked female after gender transition

IMAGES: Shutterstock.com; GBNews/YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.