I sense a need for everyone to be politically correct when weighing in on the case of Fallon Fox competing in Women's MMA. However in my opinion this isn't a political or religious issue like gay marriage is, I see this as a safety issue concerning a specific sport.
I read Steph Daniels's piece on Leading sex reassignment physicians weigh in on Fallon Fox and couldn't help but notice both doctors interviewed so far have a natural bias towards transgendered individuals being fully accepted as their post-surgical gender in society which they are now applying to MMA in Fox's case. Dr. Bowers is a transgendered female herself and both Dr. Bowers and Dr. Leis have made transgender reassignment surgery their careers, is it any surprise whom they would support here? In my opinion, given the violent nature of MMA, they owe it to all athletes who compete in this sport to more carefully and objectively consider their stance here before weighing in on whether transgendered females should be allowed to compete in Women's MMA.
While I do support their acceptance in society, I have serious doubts athletes like Fox harbor no physiological advantages over natural born females from living their formative years as a male. Medicine isn’t a perfect science, it’s constantly evolving, past accepted practices can be shown to be wrong, and there are many, many things that are still not understood. Do I think for a second they’ve mastered the art of turning a male into a female, that they can undo all the changes from decades of living as one sex, and that science understands all the differences between the sexes? No.
Is Fox really the same physiologically as a biological female? According to the doctors from Steph's article, yes given the selected tests they’ve chosen to measure. However we all know Fox isn’t really the same as a biological female. She can’t bear children, she doesn’t possess ovaries, she’s not subject to menstrual cycles, etc. What sort of athletic advantages would Fox possess by not having to go through the hormonal roller coaster of a menstrual cycle every month as a biological female would experience? It's been shown testosterone affects brain development, have those changes all been undone in Fox's brain as well? These aren’t trivial matters to gloss over.
My main concern with this case is Fox is competing in a sport where she’s throwing punches, kicks, and knees to the heads of other women. This is not someone running around a track. Fox is in a sport where serious, permanent bodily injury can be inflicted. With the recent research coming to light about the effects of concussions, this issue is all the more serious.
Every doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. If a transgendered female possesses even the slightest physiological advantage over a female in MMA, serious harm can be done. I hope the doctors weighing in on this do not neglect the fact there will be a biological female on the receiving end of Fox’s blows if she’s allowed to compete.