I am an avid follower of Holly Holm because I know her personally. I cannot WAIT for the day that UFC matches her up with current bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. However....I have a HUGE amount of respect for Ronda Rousey also. Even though I know when the day comes Holly's going to knock her out.....still......

But as I have been following to sport waiting for Holly's next fight as she's recovering from a broken arm, I ran across this.....

http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/haymaker/ronda-rousey-transgender-figh...

So they have a transgender female named Fallon Fox fighting as a female....

OK. I for one think this is bull shit. Just because she may have undergone some surgery, and taken some hormones doesn't take away the fact that she IS as strong as a man. So basically the women UFC fighters are now contending against a man. (biologically speaking)....

While I LOVE Ronda Rousey's attitude towards this, "I'll knock her out anyway" I'm not so sure.

Here was Tamikka Brent's response after fighting against Fallon 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," Brents said in a Whoa TV interview. "I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered...

Would the UFC even consider allowing a transgendered man fight against men? I don't think so. So why are they allowing a man fight women? That is what this is basically.

What is the future of Transgender women and men in sports? Do you think that the individual should compete as the gender they were born?

I think Fallon Fox should compete as a man. End of story.

What do you think?

We just got done talking on TA about Rice beating his wife and that he could have killed her. Is it possible that Fallon Fox could kill a woman that he....I mean she....fights against?

PLEASE!!!! I mean absolutely NOOOOOOO disrespect to transgendered men and women reading this. But what we're talking about here is MMA FIGHTING!!!!!! if Fallon Fox is good enough to be in the UFC, why don't they have her competing with the men?

Do you think this is fair???? This is more of a biological question. Should women be expected in sports to fight against transgendered people who were born male????

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Oh yah Holly would kick her ass no doubt. But look at this fight with Fox and Scottie fortner: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O63KAKFPC7g

I want you to see how she picks her up like a rag doll. That is what I mean by "brute force." That is what I mean by brute force. When I look at that video it looks like an obvious advantage.

The basis for argument is to say her hormones are on par with her opponents and based on the evidence this is true. However, it is being ignored that in the not too distant past Fox would have begun with (at minimum) an advantage of being twice as strong as even her most ruthless opponent, including holm, (source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/personal-trai...)

In addition, it is very unlikely that this tremendous advantage had disappeared due to her estrogen increasing. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719414

The hormones being like a woman does not solve the problem of Fox's upper body strength. I am sure that Fox may get her ass kicked, but the initial advantage that she holds simply because she used to be a man are enough of an unfair advantage when fighting women like Fortner that it will inevitably affect the lower performing women in the UFC and even the fight with Alyssa that was posted on this thread shows her winning only because of UPPER Body strength. That is why I believe that she does have an unfair advantage that could be dangerous. When I see her fighting, Alyssa for example, there were moments when it seemed as though she was aware of her own strength and she backed off a bit. But that may be because she is a good person. I sense that in watching her interviews. But if she sets the stage for this to become the norm, other transgender women may not be so forgiving, and the upper body force in the right spot.... It's all over.

Correction. Her record with MMA is 7-0-0

http://m.sherdog.com/fighter/record/Holly-Holm-75125

RE: It sounds like 'Fox is setting the stage' is a euphemism for holding Fox responsible for any injuries inflicted by future transsexual fighters. That's not only unfair to Fox, it's also a slippery slope fallacy.

That is a strawman fallacy.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I said nothing of the sort. My words were that if it becomes the NORM for transgendered women to be part of women's UFC fighting, AND given the upper body strength advantage that they possess having been male, it could become a dangerous environment for women to fight in more so than without competitors that never had the advantage of having at least twice the upper body strength as even the best female competitor.

Here is the link that was unsourced: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/719414

The hormone estrogen does not facilitate in the loss of muscle mass. And as for the other article, my point was to show her strength as a man and to show that hormones by themselves do not deplete muscle strength.

As for the articles in support of Fox, I do very much like her as a person. I can tell her heart is in the right place, and I changed my position from when I first posted the thread. However I am dissatisfied with your rebuttal that hormones are the only important factor.

Fox's upper body strength IS a problem as shown in her fight against Tamikka Trent.

Tamikka Brent's response after fighting against Fallon 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," Brents said in a Whoa TV interview. "I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered...

I believe it irresponsible on the part of the UFC NOT to take that sort of comment seriously enough to investigate further, to protect the women.

One of the hardest things about being transgender is the constant struggle with society over how you are and are not allowed to consider yourself. It's easy to try and deny Fallon Fox her womanhood, even easier if you ignore the fact that she's had to struggle and sacrifice just to be able to express herself. 

Who is the true arbiter of an individual's identity? The individual, or society? If the answer is truly society then I understand the high suicide rate among other transgender people. I could understand how a smart, strong young women might choose to fade away into a shadow of herself, or how a loving, joyful, nurturing man could harden himself like piss on a winter sidewalk, begging for death every step of the way. 

No one is denying her her womanhood. It's a matter of safety. Do we ignore her obvious physical advantage and shrug off the risk it poses to the women fighting her?

@Gallup:

RE: I've already explained that an expert on transsexuals and endocrinology examined Fox's medical history and found that after years as a post-operative transsexual her physiology had changed sufficiently enough to classify her as a woman.
We do not disagree that she is a woman. I will refer to her as a trangendered woman, but just as woman as any other. The question at hand is not her womanhood, but whether or not she poses a threat above and beyond what one would normally expect when two women UFC fighters enter a cage together because she used to be a man.
 

Gallup: It sounds like 'Fox is setting the stage' is a euphemism for holding Fox responsible for any injuries inflicted by future transsexual fighters. That's not only unfair to Fox, it's also a slippery slope fallacy.

Belle: That is a strawman fallacy. I said nothing of the sort.

Ridiculous.

You do not get to claim you 'said nothing of the sort' after being quoted saying it, Belle.

I would like you to point out the part where I said that Fallon Fox should be held responsible for any injuries inflicted by future transsexual fighters. Those words never left my mouth onto this thread. This is STILL a strawman fallacy. Dismissed.

I appreciate that Brent is acknowledging her lack of medical expertise as a reason not to engage in speculation. Fox might be the strongest opponent she has ever faced. But the fact remains: Fox has already been instigated thoroughly.

No she has not. Fox's initial application to fight in California was never officially approved. The California State Athletic Commission merely received her application, but never granted her a license to fight. Fallon then submitted an application in Florida and was granted to fight based on her having supposedly fought in California with license, but no one did a fact check on the validity of her claim to having had a license in California. This didn't come about until she had already entered the ring twice. She failed to mention on her application in the state of Florida that she was a transgendered woman. The only investigation of Fox at this time was to determine if she had committed fraud under the Florida Commission Chapter 548 guidelines which state: Section 548.071 (2) of Florida’s combat sports statutes states the boxing commission may suspend or revoke a combatant’s license if it’s found he or she has “committed fraud or deceit in securing any license or permit.”  The issue of her medical strength and whether or not it would pose an unusual threat to the other women UFC fighters was not addressed, and Fallon was allowed to keep fighting. Source: http://mmajunkie.com/2013/04/florida-regulator-finds-no-fraud-with-...

Here's what the REAL expert on this subject has to say about the matter. Dr. Johnny Benjamin quotes,

The whole transgender issue in female sports, is that people can't look at it rationally. It always becomes a huge social issue. 'Oh, you don't like transgender people.' I don't even know if I actually know any transgender people, but I certainly don't have hangups with people. Who you love, who you date ... I couldn't care less. I don't pick who you love, you don't pick who I love. That's a rule I live my life by. What a grown person does is there own business.

The issue here is if it's safe or not. That's the only thing I care about. Do we know enough about it to say if it's safe or not? The problem with the transgender issue, specifically male to female, is that there is not enough scientific information out there to say if it's safe enough to allow this to go on. If you don't know if it's safe, we have to err on the side of safety, which says until we get more information, we cannot go forward with this.

One of the things that's very interesting, is everyone says, 'Well there's been a few studies that say after two years this, that and the other...' That's not true. There's no studies for this. I've done the literature search. Then they come back with, 'The IOC knows.' The IOC knows what? The IOC caved to political and social pressure. The IOC didn't say, 'Because of firm scientific and medical evidence, that if you've had this SRS and you've taken hormones for two years, that's the magic number that all this is going to become safe.' That's not true at all.

There is no firm scientific basis to support that conclusion. They made an arbitrary determination in the face of social pressure. OK, I understand that, too. Who wanted to fight the fight? The IOC didn't want to, so they said. 'If you get the surgery and take the hormones for two years, that's good enough for us.' That doesn't mean it was made on a sound medical basis, because the sound medical basis doesn't exist. Those studies have not been done.

The surgeons that spoke towards bone density decreasing and so on and so forth - that doesn't say the person doesn't still have superior physiological abilities. The real question is, what was the sex at time of puberty? As we all know, boys and girls aren't that much different until they go through puberty.

Gender reassignment happens after puberty. One of the things that happens during puberty, is that boys grow 15-20 cm taller than girls. The average height of men is greater than the average height of women. In addition to bone density, there is also the issue of longer bones in men. Longer bones lead to some mechanical advantages that shorter bones don't have.

The argument is that "They've become a woman because they've had the surgery and taken the hormones.' The hormones will certainly make your phenotype. The different hormone therapies are very good at changing that, but they don't change those things that happen to you during puberty. The length of your bones don't change. The mean muscle surface area doesn't change a great deal.

When people say, 'That person has turned into a woman', I'm fine with that, but where is the hard scientific data that says their athletic performance capacity has now changed to that of a woman? That scientific research has not been done.

People might think I'm against transgender people. I'm not against anybody. That's a social issue. What I'm saying is that we don't know enough, and if you don't have that knowledge, if you don't have that scientific information, you have to err on the side of safety. Until we know for sure, I can't support it. We simply don't know what the safety issues are.

Source: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/3/9/4080712/dr-benjamin-not-on-boar...

So there you go. There is not sufficient evidence to determine if this is safe. We need to err on the side of caution.

If Fox had a record of breaking jawbones and dislocating limbs, I would share your concern.

Brents reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken orbital bone during the two-minute beatdown, and required seven staples in her head.

Source: http://www.cagepotato.com/after-being-tkod-by-fallon-fox-tamikka-br...

Any more concerned now?

: The question at hand, in the context of my response, was your claim that the issue of Fox's strength "is being ignored". I restored the portions you omitted, which misrepresented our exchange about Fox's strength to make it appear as though I merely point out that Fox is a woman. I had actually pointed out that Fox no longer has the strength of a man.

I think that we can agree that she does not have the same strength as she did when she was a man, the question remains whether her strength has diminished enough over the last 8 years to bring it down to the level of a woman.

The part I asserted as your words was a direct quote: you named Fox specifically as "setting the stage" for "transgendered women" causing the death or grave injury of another fighter. You're suggesting that "Fox is setting the stage" doesn't implicate Fox as the enabler of this outcome?

This is STILL a strawman fallacy.


A strawman fallacy means I'm misrepresenting your position. I've done no such thing. You may have intended a different meaning, or may have changed your mind later on, but based on your actual words there is no other reasonable interpretation.

Dismissed.

Continuing to assert that it is dismissed and that you are not twisting around my words does not change the meaning of my original statement. Whether I referred to Ms. Fox by her first name, last name, as a woman, or a transgendered woman has no relevance. You keep quoting the part about her "setting the stage" as if that is not what is happening, but that is precisely what is happening. She is the first transgendered woman to fight against female UFC fighters. By nature of being the first we know that others will follow. The questions I am asking (and still asking) have nothing to do with her PERSONALLY, but more in regards to what actions and events have already been set in motion and the accountability falls squarely on the Florida Athletic Commission. THEY are the entity that has allowed her license to fight remain in tact even though her medical history was revealed AFTER she had already fought 2 fights. California washed their hands of responsibility because they had not issued her a license (even though she claimed they did). And while I understand that she has been cleared from a charge of committing fraud, the fact of the matter is that a policy had to be adopted to accommodate whether she would be allowed to continue fighting. What seems to have happened is they adopted the same policy as the IOC, without consulting with medical authority whether or not the nature of UFC fighting carries the same risks as (say) tennis, or basketball, or...whatever other sport. is this safe? I'm asking that question. So your argument remains a strawman fallacy, dismissed.

Even if Fox's licenses were in disorder (the article you posted (http://mmajunkie.com/2013/04/florida-regulator-finds-no-fraud-with-...) says she was cleared of wrongdoing) it does not obviate that Fox's medical history was examined by a noted expert in the context of a larger body of research.

“Male to female transsexuals have significantly less muscle strength and bone density, and higher fat mass, than males,” says Dr. Eric Vilain (http://keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2013/05/24/should-a-former-man-b...), director of the Institute For Society And Genetics at UCLA. Vilain examined Fox’s medical records and wrote a letter supporting her bid to fight as a woman. He also helped the Association of Boxing Commissions write its transgender policy.

Yes well, there is not a consensus in the medical community as to whether the current policy itself is even based on medical research.

Endocrinologist Ramona Krutzik disagrees:

yourself

It's actually very complicated, and I believe that the Olympics actually takes these on a case by case basis. In this particular instance, Fox might potentially have an unfair advantage over the females she faces, because she developed all the way into adulthood as a male. There would be increased musculature, and an increased ability to build muscle, so an advantage might be present due to years of conditioning and becoming more masculine, which includes differences in endurance and strength. The male body develops differently, both in skeletal structure and muscularly.

When pitted against an average female, I would say that there were probably some advantages that the hormonal blockade and subsequent replacement can't take away 100%, simply because she lived so much of her life as a male, and developed fully as such.

Bone Density

Here's the thing. Estrogen is what actually causes bone growth. It's not the testosterone. Men convert testosterone peripherally to estrogen. That's why we think that men who have low testosterone levels become osteoporotic. It's not because of the lack of testosterone, but because that lack of test can't be converted to estrogen. When men go on hormonal blockers for other health concerns, they can get osteoporosis, but they're not getting estrogen.

So here you have a man, who was on hormonal blockers to block testosterone, but is now taking estrogen, which is then going to prevent osteoporosis, so there wouldn't be a great percentage of bone density loss, per se. Males have higher bone density and higher mass skeletons than females. It takes a long time for that to diminish.

Typically, you're looking at about 15 years after androgen suppression and SRS to really start to see significant changes in bone density. It's been too early for her to see much of a decrease in bone mass or to make her equal to that of a female. She started off with a much higher bone density than other women her same age, and therefore will maintain a lot of that for a while. Additionally, because she is taking estrogen, that will actually help to maintain that bone mass. She may even carry that higher density much longer because of the estrogen therapy.

Women also have lighter, child bearing hips because of the difference in hormones during the body's developmental years. Her skeleton and body mass and shape developed a long time ago. Those changes cannot be undone. They are permanent.

Muscle Mass

Her testosterone levels are more than likely in the normal female range, since her adrenals are the primary source for it now. Without seeing her labs, it's hard to say for certain. How are they maintaining her levels? Are they keeping them at the very high end or at the low end? There are huge normal ranges for those values.

She developed fully into a male with normal musculature and bone structure. She didn't undergo hormone therapy and surgery until she was fully developed, as compared to someone who completes therapy and surgery in their adolescence or very early adulthood, when they haven't completely developed. Men are completely developed by the age of 22, and she didn't start her therapy until several years later. She has the potential to be significantly stronger because her muscle development reached several years beyond full maturity, giving her the potential to be significantly stronger than other age matched women.

When you see the female bodybuilders, the ones that have built large amounts of muscle mass, they don't achieve that without androgen supplements. Women just do not have the ability to produce the same muscle mass that men do. The thing you need to consider is that everyone has different inborn abilities to develop muscle. It comes down to genetic potential and some people just have better abilities.

There's not really a way to determine how much her muscle mass will decrease over time. What can be said is that she has a naturally higher propensity to build and maintain muscle mass because she was once a fully developed, adult male. You can't ever take that away from her.

Imprinting

Something that also has to be considered is called imprinting of the brain. Male imprinting happens with testosterone during development. If no testosterone is present, you tend to have a female brain. Developing fetuses that have testosterone have male imprinting of the brain, and it does not go away after androgen suppression and sex change surgery. It is a permanent imprint on the brain.

Someone that has had male imprinting could have the potential for more aggression or more aggressive type behavior than a female brain. That's something that could affect her and possibly give her a mental edge in how she fights and how aggressive she might be, compared to a biologically born female.

As I close out this series of posts with this last interview, it should be noted that Dr. Krutzik only offered up what I consider to be her expert opinion to the best of her professional knowledge and expertise. She is well versed in pituitary conditions and hormone therapy which makes her an ideal candidate for this interview. She did not weigh in on whether Fallon Fox should be licensed, nor did she offer up any personal thoughts on the subject. She just answered my questions.

Source: 
http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/3/20/4128658/dr-ramona-krutzik-endo...


Here's what the REAL expert on this subject has to say about the matter. Dr. Johnny Benjamin quotes,

Benjamin is an orthopaedic surgeon (a bone specialist) chosen by a reporter to comment on Fox's situation.


What makes Benjamin the "REAL" expert? That you like what he says? Benjamin is entitled to his medical opinion, but this just isn't his area of expertise.

Here are his credentials: http://www.drjohnnybenjamin.com/about.html
He is also on the MMA advisory board, a bone specialist and much more qualified to speak to the bone structure and strength than Dr. Vilain

I would be more concerned if you could demonstrate that Fox injures her opponents at a substantially higher and more severe rate than non-transsexual female MMA fighters. That's what I mean by "a record": not a single fight resulting in injury, but a pattern of inflicted injury that deviates significantly from the norm.

Why does Tamikka Brent's words. That she felt more overpowered than fighting any other woman not suffice? Since we currently LACK data, AND there is a disagreement among medical professionals as far as the safety is concerned, in that we need more evidence to be able to make an informed decision about this, I think these things (everything I'm trying to bring forth as evidence) should be considered and that you should be more concerned.

 Gallup, let's look at this again. You seem to be stuck on this ONE tiny piece of what I said, when I'm trying to develop a discussion about other data that I have found. I am disappointed that you didn't take the time to read, or if you did read it you chose not to discuss the links that I presented with other medical professional assessments of the situation and the risks that might be present. So I'll go back to this statement ONE MORE TIME and hopefully we can put it to rest. Here's my quote:

When I see her fighting, Alyssa for example, there were moments when it seemed as though she was aware of her own strength and she backed off a bit. But that may be because she is a good person. I sense that in watching her interviews. But if she sets the stage for this to become the norm, other transgender women may not be so forgiving, and the upper body force in the right spot.... It's all over.

To which you replied:

It sounds like 'Fox is setting the stage' is a euphemism for holding Fox responsible for any injuries inflicted by future transsexual fighters. That's not only unfair to Fox, it's also a slippery slope fallacy.

To which I said that is a strawman fallacy.

You have said SEVERAL times now that it was my MEANING to hold Fox PERSONALLY responsible for future injuries. That was not what I meant by this statement. What I meant was the entire industry. The UFC, the IOC, the Florida Commission....any and every women's combat sport. Fallon Fox just happens to be the first transgendered woman to be in this position. So by saying "she is setting the stage," is to include those who endorse her right and ability to continue fighting. I could have changed the verbage here, but the essense is to say, if the industry embraces this new change, is it safe? That's the whole point, and even the title of the thread. So. I still maintain my position that you have committed a strawman fallacy. AND....your insistence that my using "Fox" in certain sentence structures, and "Florida Commission" or "IOC" in others...and considering you took up the entirety of your last response addressing my choice of linguistics rather than ANY of the actual data that I presented you to read, is now a Continuum Fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_fallacy

So let's move on, shall we? What is your response to the REST of my previous response?

This sort of thing is a problem at all levels of sports. As they are legally and ethically forced to accept transgenders, how do they keep things as fair as possible for all involved?

As we accept that gender falls along a spectrum and is not a binary (male or female) as previously assumed, what to do with those people who straddle the genders in various ways?

As sports have advanced, however, it turns out that those who excel are often freakish to start with. Unusually big, unusually strong, unusually tall, unusually aggressive. Black people seem to have genetic predispositions for certain sports such as ones involving running.

Clearly, many top female athletes, just like their male counterparts, have a LOT of testosterone running in their veins. If there is a solution—and I don't pretend it will be a satisfactory one—it may be to categorize people according to their ratio of testosterone to estrogen.

And what about people with the advantage of better science behind them? Better training. Better nutrition. While my daughter was in high school, even 20 years ago, she was swimming times that would have won her a gold medal in the Olympics of the 1930's! That's due to the expertise of her swim club's coaches and what we knew in those days (mid-1990's) about nutrition. And today, we know much more than we did then.

We are already at the point where we can develop people's muscles to a degree where they can break their own bones by the exertion of their own muscle power, and all to gain a miniscule edge in terms of time or weight or other measure.

We may be reaching the end of sports as we know them.

So, your question comes down to the age old philosophical question of what it means to be fair and what sorts of activities justify our participation in them.

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