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Bill sparks talk about transgender students in sports

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Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 11:54:50-04

DES MOINES, Iowa. (KMTV) — State legislators around the country are pushing bills that would require student-athletes to participate in athletics based on their biological sex, impacting those in the transgender community.

Iowa is just one of a handful of states to introduce legislation this year.

Iowa house bill 2202 is just one of the many forms of legislation sparking conversations about trans youth competing in sports.

Many argue transgender girls, so a man that has transitioned to a female, have an unfair advantage if they were to compete in female sports.

The idea comes from testosterone and muscle mass is higher in men versus women, making men more athletic.

According to Jean Amoura, director of the Transgender Clinic at Nebraska Medicine, those beliefs are not aligned with what actually happens when someone transitions.

She said puberty blockers and hormones would change muscle mass and body shape, impacting a trans girl's athletic performance.

"Whatever biological advantages there might be has been mitigated by their hormone status. What we are aiming for when people are on gender-affirming hormones is that their hormone levels are in line with that gender,” said Amoura.

Amoura added she seldom has young patients that even participate in sports, mainly because it requires so much paperwork and explanation.

She said it's a shame that many young trans students don't have access to athletics.

Amoura said trans youth have a much higher rate of suicide, and added maybe being part of a sports team could make them feel welcomed and accepted.

It's not just Iowa lawmakers that have addressed this topic. Multiple other states have active legislation aimed at addressing trans athletes.

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