NPR has deleted a tweet claiming that there was "limited scientific evidence of physical advantage" of male athletes over women athletes after backlash. The statement was in support of trans-identified males competing in women's sports.
"The international governing body for track and field will ban trans women athletes from elite women’s competitions, citing a priority for fairness over inclusion despite limited scientific evidence of physical advantage," the now-deleted tweet read.
The tweet was republished on Sunday, with an update: "The international governing body for track and field will ban trans women athletes from elite women’s competitions, citing a priority for fairness over inclusion, despite limited scientific research involving elite trans athletes."
The initial tweet, as well as the republished tweet, were hit with Community Notes in which Twitter users noted studies on the exact subject, showing plenty of scientific evidence that males are stronger, faster, and more likely to beat women on the playing field.
One study, published in BMJ Journals, stated that "Science demonstrates that high testosterone and other male physiology provides a performance advantage in sport suggesting that transwomen retain some of that advantage."
Another study, published through the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed, looked at the effects of "gender-affirming treatment on muscle function, size, and composition during 12 months of therapy."
The study found that transgender women "generally maintained their strength levels" through the 12 months of therapy, only losing 5 percent in muscle volume.
"One year of gender-affirming treatment resulted in robust increases in muscle mass and strength in [transgender men], but modest changes in [transgender women]," the study concluded.
NPR issued a correction tweet following the republishing of their tweet, writing, "Correction: An earlier tweet incorrectly stated there is limited scientific evidence of physical advantage. Existing research shows that higher levels of testosterone do impact athletic performance. But there’s limited research involving elite trans athletes in competition."
Twitter users once again added Community Notes noting a study published in the British Journal of Sports regarding the effects of cross-sex hormones on transgender athletes.
The study noted that while the advantages biological males have over female athletes declined while taking female hormones, transgender women still had a 9 percent faster mean run speed after a year of testosterone suppression.
"After a nasty ratio and a fact check from Community Notes, NPR deleted the tweet that claimed there was 'limited scientific evidence' to support the claim that male athletes have a physical advantage over females," wrote Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon.
Noting NPR’s correction tweet, New York Post reporter Jon Levine said that the outlet should cover the existing research that shows higher levels of testosterone having an impact on athletic performance.
NPR's tweet came in regard to World Athletics, the international governing body for running-related events, banning biological males from competing against women on the international stage.
The international governing body’s president, Lord Sebastian Coe, said that no athlete who had gone through male puberty would be permitted to compete in female world ranking competitions as of March 31.
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