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Doctors weigh in on Fallon Fox fighting MMA

(Fallon Fox before and after pic, via TMZ)

One of the great thing about this Fallon Fox transexual fighter story is that it wasn’t greeted by a bunch of ignorant morons going “Blah gross freak! Perversion of nature and God’s will!” Instead, people are trying to determine via some sort of scientific basis whether her participation in the sport is safe and fair. Score one for diversity and tolerance! Now let’s hear from some fancy smart medical doctor types. First Dr. Marci Bowers, who knows a little bit about sexual reassignment surgery since she herself had one and has performed hundreds of others:

Most measures of physical strength minimize, muscle mass decreases, bone density decreases, and they become fairly comparable to women in their musculature. After as much time as has passed in her case, if tested, she would probably end up in the same muscle mass category as her biologically born female counterpart.

Now onto Dr Sherman Leis from the Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery:

She’s been doing that (hormone therapy) for so many years, that she probably does not have a significant advantage, if any at all. Especially because she wasn’t a big man when she lived as a male. She’s 5’7 and slight of build, and basically the size of an average female. Factor in that she’s been on hormones for so long, and has had the surgery, she more than likely has the muscle mass, bone density and strength of most females.

But MMA Junkie’s resident Dr Johnny Benjamin disagrees:

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.

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.

Now while you can agree with the notion that not enough data = we don’t know if it’s safe = this should not be allowed, Dr Benjamin’s reasoning kinda goes off the tracks afterwards where he tries to medically justify why it might not be safe. ‘Longer bones’ being a legit and somehow dangerous thing doesn’t make much sense. And by mean muscle surface does he mean the general frame all this she-man muscle is now being built on?

I suppose it’s not surprising that Johnny isn’t into this. Just a few years ago he tried to say that women shouldn’t compete in five minute MMA rounds because they fatigue faster than men, leading to increased injury. I used the handy logic skills developed during my strenuous high school education to tear that intelligent argument apart, but this time I’ll just let the statements from the first two doctors stand as a counterpoint.


(Via Reddit, Fallon Fox’s last opponent)

  • CAP

    Damn I would have guessed the one on the right used to have a pole.

  • subo

    Johnny Benjamin is a fucking idiot.

  • rickards

    this story is a wonderful change of pace from all the TRT crud out there.

  • agentsmith

    Is that the last opponent who later said it wasn’t fair that Fox is mannish and gets to fight women? Holy irony.

  • iamphoenix

    ding dongs everywhere

  • shane

    wait johnny benjamin’s agrument is women might be a couple of centimeters taller than they would have been if they went through puberty as a male.
    why on earth would that matter at all? Doctors can be dumb too. some of them in the us prescribe chiropractic. I think johnny benjamin might be one of those idiots.
    Maybe we should divided divisions by test levels instead of sex.

  • agentsmith

    Joe Rogan is absolutely against it. But then again, he’s not a competent doctor either.

  • Mike

    Rogan is a bigoted troglodyte. He has all he intelligence of a blue ribbon cow with a brain disease.

  • Mike

    Rogan is a bigoted troglodyte. He has all he intelligence of a blue ribbon cow with a brain disease. the fat flabby fuck couldn’t handle the idea that there might be a woman out there (tons of them in fact) who could kick his sorry ass.

    A complete tool

  • Blackula Jonez

    Yeah, I wonder how long this Fallon Fox thing will last, we are in the 1st or 2nd gen of trangendered atheletes.

    Is there any precedent for this stuff other than what is happening right now?

  • Fightlinker

    Olympics have been struggling with these issues for over 50 years. Their determination is a full sexual reassignment procedure + 2 years hormone therapy = you are a woman.

  • frickshun

    We need someone to infiltrate this secret underground world of trannies & find out if they really have an advantage. SUBO?

  • Denton

    I still have some doubts that 2 years of hormone therapy sans the testes will negate every single inherent advantage a man has over a woman. I thought Rogan expressed concerns that probably the majority of men think about when confronting this issue. I guess I’m one of those bigoted troglodytes too. She can grow breasts and remove her testes and become 90% woman but her DNA will always be that of a man’s DNA.

    If the majority of doctors agree she has no advantage than fine, go ahead. But if no widespread agreement exists over a range of doctors than how can any one side proclaim they’re right?

  • Larry

    What happens if “she” gets off the female hormones? My guess would be that “she” becomes more manly.