Sex Differences | ACSM Resources

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Trending Topic | Sex Differences in Athletic Performance

The American College of Sports Medicine® (ACSM) has published an expert consensus statement, “The Biological Basis of Sex Differences in Athletic Performance,” which, as the title suggests, explores the current state of the field regarding sex-determined athletic differences between males and females.

In light of the ongoing public discussion about the inclusion of transgender athletes in cross-sex competition, the statement’s primary goal is to share the latest scientific knowledge and subject matter expertise on the issue; however, it does not make any policy recommendations, which are outside the scope of its purpose.

According to lead author Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM, “This statement emerges from the hard work of thought leaders who convened to discuss sex differences in athletic performance using a blend of research evidence and consensus of expert opinion.”

This consensus statement is the first in a series of three ACSM pronouncements on the topic of sex differences and transgender athletes. These are currently in development:

Paper 2: Clinical Care(health/performance) Issues of Transgender Athletes 

The goal of this paper is to provide a systems-based approach for discussing the medical care of transgender athletes. The writing group will consider referencing the current International Olympic Committee guidance policy but will not provide an opinion regarding participation. 

Paper 3: Call to Action on the Need for More Research 

The goal of this paper is to identify the next steps needed to address research (or knowledge) gaps identified in papers #1 and #2.

  • Abstract

  • What is an ACSM Pronouncement?

  • What is an ACSM Expert Consensus Statement?

Consensus Statement Correction 

  • Read Correction Note

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will this statement benefit or contribute to the community?

  • What are the primary conclusions of the consensus statement?

  • Does this statement represent an official ACSM policy position or recommendation for establishing policy on the matter of inclusion of athletes that are transgender?

  • Does the content of this consensus statement address athletes of all ages and competition levels?

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