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Trans youth of all ages - from kindergarten to college - deserve the chance to participate in sports with their friends. Given the wave of efforts around the country to enact discriminatory sports bans focused on transgender youth, it is crucial that we have robust regulations that protect trans, nonbinary, and intersex youth.  

A young Black swimmer smiles at the camera from the edge of the pool.

All students should have the opportunity to fully participate in school sports free from discrimination based on sex, including gender identity and transgender status. As a broad civil rights law, Title IX aims to ensure that all students can access the benefits and opportunities of an education free from sex discrimination, including in school activities, like sports.

Since Title IX’s implementing regulations were first issued in 1975, Title IX has allowed, but not required, schools to have sex-separated sports teams where “selection for such teams is based on competitive skill or the activity involved in a competitive sport.” It has also required that schools provide equal opportunity in their sports programs.

Despite this broad mandate, extremists have been working hard to stop LGBTQI+ students from being their full selves in schools, including by targeting trans, nonbinary, and intersex students’ right to play sports alongside their peers. To date, 21 estados have passed laws that categorically ban trans student athletes from participating on the team that aligns with their gender identity.

Why should we make sure that all youth can freely participate in sports? 

Playing sports is a major part of growing up, and everyone deserves the chance to play. Importantly, policies that fully include trans women and girls on sports teams with other women and girls harm no one. in fact, policing young people’s bodies is bad for everyone. No young person should be scrutinized, judged, or excluded for their body shape, size, or gender expression. 

Sports bans limiting or denying trans and intersex youth participation in sports do nada to address the very serious problems that do exist in women and girls’ sports, including: 

  • fewer opportunities to play
  • second-class resources
  • and pervasive sexual abuse of student athletes by doctors and coaches.  

What does the science say about equal trans youth participation in sports?

Últimas noticias investigación científica is clear: trans women and girls do not show any ‘advantage’ over cisgender girls and women, even at elite levels. In fact, policies that impact trans women’s participation in sports are the continuation of a long history of exclusion of women from competitive sports – an exclusion that resulted in the introduction of a ‘women’s’ category of sports in the first place. For young people, who are playing for fun, for community, and to learn important life lessons, it’s clear that there is no ‘scientific’ reason to scrutinize their bodies or exclude them - they simply deserve equal opportunities to play.

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