The transgender population, even now, tends to be "small and secretive," Harper says, and it took 7 years of contacting athletes through Yahoo and Facebook groups to collect data from eight runners. Little controversy exists over transgender men in sports, as many expect them to be at a disadvantage. Historically sport has been seen as a male domain. I enjoy pain of pulling my hair out, but didn't know it was a disorder. In some sports, such as boxing, weightlifting and judo, separate weight categories also exist, meaning athletes are cast against competitors of a similar size. Less settled, however, is the debate about the appropriate upper limit of women's testosterone levels in elite athletic competition. Harper still has her day job, and she's writing a book about gender variance in sports.
Another year of data may reveal a decline in bone density.
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She is bigger and taller than the rest of the players. Instead, she ran track and cross-country as an undergraduate at what was then the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, where she majored in physics. Although Harper has just a master's degree, she is helping spearhead several studies documenting how the physiology and performance of transgender athletes change as they make their transition. Within the next few months, IAAF is expected to issue updated testosterone-based regulations for transgender women as well. By"I was very close to a mental breakdown," she says. Who, at least from an athletic standpoint, is female?
The undertaking will be enormous, Harper admits. The career choice was, in part, lifestyle-oriented. In response, she said: States vary widely on participation of transgender children in sports and which locker room those students should use. Men generally have blood with higher oxygen-carrying capacity because testosterone stimulates bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, says Siddhartha Angadi, a cardiovascular physiologist at Arizona State University in Phoenix. By Jocelyn Kaiser Feb.