If you are a hardcore MMA fan, you become fluent with medical terms like TRT and TUE. With the disclosure that pro female fighter Fallon Fox is transgendered, the sport has a new medical acronym - SRS, short for sex reassignment surgery.
Stephie Daniels spoke with Dr. Marci Bowers, one of the foremost authorities on gender reassignment. Dr. Bowers is a pioneer in the industry, having completed hundreds of SRS procedures, and is herself a transgender woman.
Stephie Daniels: Does Fallon carry a significant advantage in mixed martial arts competition, due to being biologically born a male?
Marci Bowers: 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.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) now allows transgender athletes to compete in their games once they've had the required hormone therapy and surgery. People think it should be based on chromosomes, but the problem with that is when they went back in 1988 and tested female athletes, they found that nine of them had tested positive for Y chromosomes, so there are a lot of intersex conditions that basically dictate that the only way you can do it (gender verification testing), is by genital and hormonal status.
SD: After so many years of hormone therapy, how difficult is it for her to maintain muscle mass?
MB: She's a woman now. You've got to give her that. She's physically fit, and probably works out a lot to stay that way. It's not as easy to put on or maintain muscle now.
SD: Would her pre or post fight drug testing show any differences from a biologically born female's tests?
MB: It would show results just like an ordinary female. If it doesn't, and she's posting detectable levels of testosterone outside the normal limits of a female, then she's getting it from somewhere else.
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