A group of female GOP senators met with U.S. Olympic and women’s team champions to discuss “inclusion” in sports, and the controversy surrounding perceived female biological men participating in women’s sports on July 29.
The senators believe it is “dangerous” for women to compete against biological men.
GOP Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.) hosted the meeting. Participants included Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson, track athlete Cynthia Monteleone and daughter Margaret Oneal–who is also an athlete. The three are active members of the Independent Women’s Forum.
The discussion focused on improving “fairness” in women’s sports in the face of biological men being allowed to compete against women or in women’s teams.
Ernst believes allowing transgender athletes to compete against biological women disadvantages those born female.
“I firmly believe no one should be discriminated against and that everyone should be treated with dignity, respect, and privacy,” she said in a statement to Fox News. “We cannot ignore the biological differences in men’s and women’s athletics.”
The senator claims transgender athletes are unintentionally putting biological women’s wellbeing at risk.
“To do so would threaten a woman’s physical safety, and limit their opportunities for athletic success and scholarships,” she said. “As a woman and a mother, I am passionate about protecting women and girls, which is why I am working with my colleagues to pass the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.”
The senators previously co-sponsored the proposed legislation to better preserve a “fair chance at competing” for female athletes.
“Allowing males to compete in women’s sports denies female student athletes a level playing field to compete and achieve,” Blackburn said. “It is an insult to athletes like Cynthia Monteleone, Margaret Oneal, Inga Thompson, and a direct attempt to discriminate against women.”
Margaret Oneal revealed she felt intimidated by “physically stronger” biological male competitors. The young athlete said her teammates also felt psychologically daunted about competing against a stronger and faster man.
“As transwomen begin to win competitions, scholarships, and sponsors over biological women, females in sports will be erased,” Hyde-Smith said according to the broadcaster.
She believes biological female athletes are already struggling to compete in sports.
“It is disheartening to see them being displaced by biological male athletes,” she said. “Pretending transwomen do not have a competitive advantage over biological women will close doors to female athletes, not open them.”
National Collegiate Athletic Association policy requires male runners, who identify as transgender women, to suppress testosterone levels for a full calendar year before competing in women’s athletics.
However, the Journal of Medical Ethics revealed male athletes, who identify as transgender women, have an “intolerable” advantage over their biological female counterparts–even after suppressing testosterone levels.
The finding adds credibility to growing concerns about biological female athletes losing competitions to transgender athletes, who break records and set benchmarks that are increasingly unattainable.
The first openly transgender athletes are competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This includes New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, who will compete against biological women for the gold medal in the 87 kilogram (192 pound) category.