Sociologist and writer Mark Regnerus recently published a concise and helpful list of five key trends in American sexuality and family. Regnerus, who studies sex, cohabitation, and families at the University of Texas at Austin, was blasted by LGBT activists in 2013 for research he conducted that found negative outcomes for children with same-sex parents. —K.C.
A biological male cyclist won a women’s world title earlier this month, launching a fiery debate over transgender participation in sports.
Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon, a gender studies researcher at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, turned an Oct. 14 win at the UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles into a platform for transgender activism.
“First transgender woman world champion … ever,” McKinnon tweeted soon after the victory. In response to commenters suggesting McKinnon cheated, the cyclist labeled critics “transphobic bigots” and insisted the playing field was level because the world’s governing body for cycling requires McKinnon maintain “unhealthily low” levels of testosterone in order to compete.
But McKinnon doesn’t believe even that should be required. The 6-foot-tall athlete has advocated for allowing transgender competitors to compete in professional sports without any hormone level changes.
“This is bigger than sports and it’s about human rights,” McKinnon argued in a USA Today interview in January. “When it comes to extending rights to a minority population, why would we ask the majority? I bet a lot of white people were [obscenity] when we desegregated sports racially and allowed black people. But they had to deal with it.”
In an interview after this month’s race, McKinnon dug in: “Is being trans just another natural physical characteristic that, if—and this is a gigantic ‘if’—it provides an advantage, should we treat it like just being tall? We do not regulate height. In many sports height provides a massive competitive advantage.”
But many of McKinnon’s opponents vehemently disagree, including a woman who was also up on the podium. “I was the 3rd place rider. It’s definitely NOT fair,” tweeted cyclist Jennifer Wagner. —K.C.