WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) authored the following op-ed on AL.com voicing opposition to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule that expands the definition of “sex” to include “gender identity.” As a former coach, Senator Tuberville has been vocal about keeping Title IX protections in place to ensure biological males are not allowed to compete in women’s sports.
Biden Administration is Pushing Women to the Sidelines
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville
July 27, 2022
I recently gathered with a few of my colleagues to mark the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and celebrate its impact on women’s sports. We took turns sharing our personal stories and experiences with Title IX. I shared my story about coaching high school girls’ basketball just a few years after the enactment of Title IX and witnessing the positive impact it had on the young ladies on my team. Senator Lummis from Wyoming talked about how her daughter had opportunities in sports because of Title IX that the Senator herself didn’t have growing up. Senator Blackburn from Tennessee shared the dreams of young women across her state who practice their entire lives for the opportunity to be part of the legendary Tennessee Lady Volunteers basketball team.
Since 1972, millions of female athletes have benefitted from the fair and level playing field that Title IX protections provide. Title IX’s 37 words gave women the same access to athletic funding, scholarships, and facilities that were long afforded to their male counterparts. Before its enactment, female athletics received less than 2 percent of college athletic budgets — and athletic scholarships for women were virtually nonexistent. But fifty years later, 43 percent of high school girls participate in competitive sports, and female participation at the college level has risen by more than 600 percent. This participation is displayed on the world stage as well. Just this year, the United States Olympic team included 108 women—the most to represent any nation in the history of the Winter Olympics, continuing a record-breaking streak of female athlete participation for our country that began in 1984.
But now, the Biden administration is attempting to rewind the clock to a time before Title IX. The U.S. Department of Education recently published a proposed rule to change how Title IX is implemented, expanding the definition of “sex” to include “gender identity.” This means that any institution receiving federal funds would be forced to allow a biological male identifying as a female to compete in women’s sports.
This proposed rule will shatter Title IX’s protections for female athletes. It is a scientific fact that biological males have physiological advantages over females, averaging 40-50 percent greater upper body strength, 20-40 percent greater lower body strength, and 12 pounds more muscle mass than age-matched female counterparts at any given body weight. A recent study confirmed that biological males who undergo transition treatments still retain a competitive edge over women. Even the International Swimming Federation (FINA) realized the insanity of allowing biological males in women’s sports, taking measures earlier this year that would ban most biological males from female swimming competitions.
Biological males have won 28 women’s sports titles since 2003—and under the Biden administration’s new proposed rule, this number will only increase. Volleyball courts, swimming pools, and softball fields at high schools and colleges across the country are filled with young women who practice long hours to be able to fairly compete. They deserve the opportunity to compete for first place—not second, third, and fourth.
The intent of Title IX was to provide the same playing field to female athletes as their male counterparts—not push them to the sidelines. Anything less than a level playing field is a total betrayal of our female athletes.
That is why I called for the U.S. Senate to vote on and pass the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which would ensure Title IX protections only recognize gender at birth and prohibit federal funding for institutions that allow biological males to compete in women’s athletics. Unfortunately, my Democratic colleagues refused to protect female athletes and blocked the bill from consideration.
While the Biden administration is attempting to destroy women’s sports, I will continue to oppose this terrible decision. The public comment period for this rule is now open, and the Biden administration is required to respond to every comment they receive. If you’re concerned about protecting the future of women’s sports, I hope you will join me in voicing your opposition to this disastrous rule so that our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters, and female athletic icons continue to thrive from fair athletic competition.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.