". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Acceptance of Men in Women’s Sports Declining: ‘A Hopeful Sign’

June 5, 2024

In April, five middle school girls refused to compete in the Bridgeport Middle School girls track and field shot put event against their biological male opponent. Each girl, when it was their turn to throw, stepped into the shot put ring then immediately stepped out to make their act of protest clear. A video of this went viral on X, with one user sharing, “This is how you finally stop men from ruining women’s sports. These girls get it!”

Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines also praised the girls efforts toward sports integrity. In a post on X, she wrote, “It’s a sad day when 13-14yr old girls have to be the adults in the room, but I couldn’t be more inspired by and proud of these girls.” Gaines added, “Enough is enough. The tide is turning!” And according to new polling, the tide has indeed been turning.

Boys vs Women is a website that “tracks the differences in scoring between grown women and boys to show that, in most cases, adult women aren’t even fast enough or strong enough to beat high school boys in sports,” Breitbart explained. At the top of their page is the question: “If boys win against the fastest women, is it fair for males to compete in female-only athletic events?” To answer this question, Boys vs Women posted on X poll data that shows the support for trans-identifying athletes competing in women’s sports has significantly declined over the years.

They shared two charts representing data collected by IPSOS “on the acceptance rate for transgender ‘women’ in sports.” The first had “U.S. Polling data from 2016-Present (35 polls)” that showed “opposition to gender identity-based categories [in sports] continues to grow.” The second chart, however, took the same polling data, but left out those whose opinions were “undecided” or “neutral.” With respondents who had a concrete opinion, the results revealed numerous “polls where the majority of those [with] an opinion opposed categorization by gender identity.” Only three out of the 35 polls displayed did not have a majority against categorization by gender identity.

And in one final statistic, Boys vs Women highlighted, “Of the 1,000 polled by Ipsos, support for using gender identity dropped from 27% to 21%, and opposition rose from 45% to 52% from 2021 to 2024.” Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston shared his own analysis, stating, “The polling shows that the feelings about trans athletes are hardening against the radical transgenders and that since 2016, fewer people now agree that trans athletes should be allowed to pick whatever gender category they feel like picking at any given time.”

Huston went on to summarize, “Even those who are undecided have lost support for trans athletes. In 2016, about 20 percent were undecided. However, as feelings have become more defined, only about 15 percent say they are undecided today.” He added, “All this pandering to the extreme transgender lobby has not moved Americans to accept trans athletes. Indeed, it has rather had the opposite effect.”

Adding her thoughts on the downward trend of support for trans-identifying athletes in women’s sports, Mary Szoch, Family Research Council’s director of the Center for Human Dignity, commented to The Washington Stand, “When the idea of accepting biological men in women’s sports first arose, people were concerned about appearing nice enough, tolerant enough, and accepting enough.” But as time goes on, “people have realized that allowing men in women’s sports requires a complete abandonment of truth — and a prioritization of men’s desires over a woman’s safety and a commitment to actual fairness and equality.”

According to Szoch, who is also a former Division I basketball player at one of the top women’s basketball programs in the country, “The decline in support for men in women’s sports is a hopeful sign that in America, women are actually valued.” Szoch’s hope is “this will be a wakeup call to all the other areas where being ‘tolerant’ requires a person to pretend that objective truth doesn’t exist.”

In addition to Szoch’s optimism, Meg Kilgannon, FRC’s senior fellow for Education Studies, shared with TWS she loves what Boys vs Women “is doing to quantify this problem.” Ultimately, they’re “showing the brutal reality faced by female athletes forced to compete against men,” which, she emphasized, “is important.” Kilgannon continued, “It would follow, one hopes, that public opinion would shift.”

Even so, there’s another factor worth considering. “Especially at the younger levels where schools are involved,” Kilgannon said, a crucial aspect when dealing with this issue of girls and women’s sports is that it’s “personal.” In other words, the picture she went on to paint is that children know their peers before any attempted transition. To further elaborate, she illustrated: “Jane knows she went to ‘Jessica’s’ baseball themed 8th birthday party and took him a pirate sword and hat when his name was still John. Jane has grown up with John, now ‘Jessica,’ and she KNOWS he’s not a girl, and so do Jane’s parents and all involved,” yet all are expected to embrace illogical reality.

In concluding thoughts, Kilgannon believes “this kind of ‘inclusion’ — if it works at all — only works on paper. It is unjust to everyone, and most especially to ‘Jessica,’ whose delusions are being entertained at the expense of his mind, body, and all our freedom.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.