Transgender Bathrooms & Basketball



(The FreeThinking Theist)


May 20, 2016

Disclaimer: I am not a politician; I am an aspiring logician who strives to be reasonable. I am not a Republican and I am no Democrat either. I am a freethinking Independent who is not bound by any political dogma. I am not taking political sides in this article, but simply pointing out logical inconsistencies regarding the current transgender debate.

Title IX

Women have not always had equal educational opportunities as their male counterparts. That began to change in 1972 when president Richard Nixon passed Title IX prohibiting sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. This had a major impact regarding athletics and ultimately gave women the same amount of opportunities to gain athletic scholarships and to further their education as males had enjoyed over the decades. This has had both good and bad consequences. Obviously, the good has been the objective goal of the rule itself; however, to achieve so-called equality, many great athletic programs like the national champion wrestling program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha have been dissolved.

Be that as it may, Title IX is ultimately a good thing in my opinion. The Bible points out that all humanity – male and female – is created equal in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). We are souls who have bodies (2 Corinthians 5:8), so although our bodies are not physically equal (LeBron James is physically far superior to me), each soul in the image of God is equal. This is what ontologically grounds objective and equal human rights. It follows that women should have the same opportunities for education as men because we are all human beings created in the image of God. Title IX is biblical in the sense that it ensures that women not only have equal educational opportunities as men, but also enjoy the same athletic opportunities as their male peers, even though men are physically stronger (usually much stronger and athletic) than women.

CrossFit as Rx

To make my point, consider CrossFit, for example: I do not consider myself to be “naturally athletic” by any means; however, I have chosen to be athletic all of my life. I grew up playing basketball, baseball, running track and cross country, and practicing martial arts and competing well into my 30s. Now that I am in my 40s it is harder to stay in shape, but I am trying! For the last few years I have been doing CrossFit with my wife. We love CrossFit and it is keeping me young. Every day there is a new Workout of the Day (WOD) and each gender is assigned certain weights to use for each workout. For example, the men’s WOD is usually at least thirty pounds heavier than the women’s WOD. If the prescribed (Rx) weight is too heavy for a certain individual, then one is free to modify the workout and lift lighter weights.

It is quite an accomplishment to Rx a WOD! I have not been able to do this very often, especially now that I am officially “over the hill.” However, many times I joke and say that I do all of my workouts as prescribed because I can usually Rx the WOD with the women’s prescribed weight. Now, to be sure, I have worked out next to some women who are way stronger than I could ever be (unless I took steroids)! Be that as it may, the top male athletes are superior to the top women athletes. This is based on biology and pure empirical data. This is one of the reasons why we have divisions (a separation) based on biological gender. If we did not make these distinctions, women would rarely get any athletic recognition.

Blurring Gender

The concern now is the blurring of gender lines and how biological women who were born as women will be treated in the future. For example, according to NPR, the Obama administration recently sent a letter to every public school commanding them to let biological male students use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers of the female students and vice versa “or else!” Moreover, this is all based on how students “feel” regardless if whether there is any scientific data confirming the extremely rare CAIS syndrome or not.

Now, I do not know about you, but going through puberty was hard enough having to change clothes in locker rooms in front of my male teenage peers. It seemed everyone else got muscles before I did. When we played shirts vs. skins basketball games in P.E. class, I did everything I could to keep my shirt on. I cannot imagine the distress and mental anguish a young boy or girl will experience by having to change clothes and shower next to those of the opposite sex! The idea of this kind of scenario is a form of child abuse. Are we really going to allow teenage boys to go shower with the girls because they “self-identify” as a girl that day?

The Girl’s Basketball Team

Moreover, consider how the impact this “commandment” issued by the government will ultimately affect women. Take basketball, for example. The boys who were cut from the varsity were not quite good enough to make the team; however, each one of them is not only good enough to start on the girl’s team – but dominate![1] So, what if, after the cut, these boys decided to start “identifying” as girls? If the government is going to be consistent, if boys are allowed to identify as girls in the bathroom, why can they not identify as girls on the basketball court too?

Will the government mandate that these male students who self-identify as female be allowed to play on the girl’s basketball team? If not, why not? This is not some slippery slope, but rather, the logical next step! Why should we draw lines and segregate based on gender when it comes to sports but not when it comes to locker rooms? A consistent and non-arbitrary answer is required.

However, if the government stays consistent and allows these boys to identify as girls and to play on the girl’s basketball team, then this will take spots away from girls who were born that way and just want to have a chance to make the basketball team so that perhaps they can get a college scholarship, get an education, and start a career (maybe in the WNBA). You might be reading this and thinking that I am just trying to scare people by offering crazy hypotheticals that will never happen. Well, it already happened at Mission College in Santa Clara, California! A very large man who identified as a woman used his male size and strength to dominate on the basketball court against women who were born that way. Here is one example of one athletic and educational opportunity that was taken away from a woman by a man. So much for Title IX.

Moreover, is the WNBA going to let those not quite good enough to make the Los Angeles Lakers suit up and play on the Los Angeles Sparks if they decide to start identifying as a woman? If not, why not? A consistent and non-arbitrary answer is required.

Think about the absurdity of the following hypotheticals if we are going to be consistent with this new decree. Attorney at law, Kevin Lewis states:[2]

Should a convicted pedophile be able to perceive himself as a non-pedophile and then have access to children because of his new “perceived reality”? Should a blind person be able to perceive himself as a “seeing person” and receive a driver’s license. . . can I perceive myself on April 15 as a person who made no money the previous year and avoid tax liability? . . . But are we not discriminating against the blind, the pedophile, and the taxpayer by not allowing them the right to define their own status according to their subjective perception?

The point is that perceived gender is a denial of the reality of the mind-independent world. It is false knowledge with respect to the correspondence theory of truth. The transgender and related sexual deviancy legal issues are simply the worst examples of legal sophistry around today.

Bottom line: this new commandment issued by the government in the name of Title IX is actually at odds with Title IX and commits the logical fallacies of hasty generalization and painting with a broad brush.[3] What about the rights of women who were born that way? Clearly, there are many things that need to be considered before making such quick decisions and illogical overreactions. Bathrooms and basketball teams should be divided according to one’s birth gender no matter how anyone subjectively feels because feelings do not always correspond to reality. The Obama administration’s order attempts to deal with one small problem by creating many many more. We need to be as loving as possible to those who are confused and experiencing gender dysphoria, but we also need to be reasonable to everyone (Philippians 4:5). There is a better way to handle this situation.[4]

Tim Stratton


[1] To make this point stronger, consider the transgender MMA fighter, Fallon Fox. This fighter was born male and decided to go through surgery to have female parts and be pumped full of estrogen. Now Fox beats up women that were actually born that way. Here is what Fox’s recent opponent, Tamikka Brents had to say after being brutally beaten by Fox:

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. . . I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”

Why is Fox abnormally stronger than an abnormally strong female? Because Fox is really a man who had surgery to look like a woman. Fox has a male skeletal structure (much different than a woman’s) and has had testosterone naturally flowing through his body for years. Tamikka Brents is a professional female athlete who says that the strength and athleticism of a man who is being pumped full of estrogen is still not comparable to that of athletic women. Imagine what the strength comparison would be when allowing males, who simply say they “self-identify” as a woman, to compete against actual women who were born that way (read more here).

Moreover, the state of Oregon has mandated that high school boys can play girl’s sports competitively if they undergo at least a year of hormone treatment. If it is not fair for Fallon Fox to compete against women who were born that way, why should it be fair for other transgender females to compete against women who were born as women?

[2] Dr. Kevin Lewis is an attorney and a former professor of mine at Biola University. Dr. Lewis expressed these views to me via personal email.

[3] The hasty generalization fallacy occurs when a generalization is based on too-small a sample. In this case, it seems some have recognized that there is a very small percentage of the population in which it is hard for us to conclude a person’s gender (like in the extremely rare cases of CAIS syndrome). From this point, they jump to conclusions that gender does not really exist at all, or that there are dozens of genders, and therefore, “all students can shower together at the public school!”

The broad brush stroke fallacy is committed  when a statement is lacking in detail or is sweepingly general in scope or thrust.

[4] We must have a logical foundation for how things ought to be when discussing matters like these. If one holds a worldview (such as atheism) that does not explain “how things ought to be” in an objective sense, then their views are simply subjective preferences and nothing more. Read more in my article, “An OUGHT From An IS.”

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About the Author



(The FreeThinking Theist)

Timothy A. Stratton (PhD, North-West University) is a professor at Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary. As a former youth pastor, he is now devoted to answering deep theological and philosophical questions he first encountered from inquisitive teens in his church youth group. Stratton is founder and president of FreeThinking Ministries, a web-based apologetics ministry. Stratton speaks on church and college campuses around the country and offers regular videos on FreeThinking Ministries’ YouTube channel.

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