Idaho Statutes

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33-6202.  legislative findings and purpose. (1) The legislature finds that there are "inherent differences between men and women," and that these differences "remain cause for celebration, but not for denigration of the members of either sex or for artificial constraints on an individual’s opportunity," United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 533 (1996);
(2)  These "inherent differences" range from chromosomal and hormonal differences to physiological differences;
(3)  Men generally have "denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments" and "larger hearts, greater lung volume per body mass, a higher red blood cell count, and higher haemoglobin," Neel Burton, The Battle of the Sexes, Psychology Today (July 2, 2012);
(4)  Men also have higher natural levels of testosterone, which affects traits such as hemoglobin levels, body fat content, the storage and use of carbohydrates, and the development of type 2 muscle fibers, all of which result in men being able to generate higher speed and power during physical activity, Doriane Lambelet Coleman, Sex in Sport, 80 Law and Contemporary Problems 63, 74 (2017) (quoting Gina Kolata, Men, Women and Speed. 2 Words: Got Testosterone?, N.Y. Times (Aug. 21, 2008));
(5)  The biological differences between females and males, especially as it relates to natural levels of testosterone, "explain the male and female secondary sex characteristics which develop during puberty and have lifelong effects, including those most important for success in sport: categorically different strength, speed, and endurance," Doriane Lambelet Coleman and Wickliffe Shreve, "Comparing Athletic Performances: The Best Elite Women to Boys and Men," Duke Law Center for Sports Law and Policy;
(6)  While classifications based on sex are generally disfavored, the Supreme Court has recognized that "sex classifications may be used to compensate women for particular economic disabilities [they have] suffered, to promote equal employment opportunity, [and] to advance full development of the talent and capacities of our Nation’s people," United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 533 (1996);
(7)  One place where sex classifications allow for the "full development of the talent and capacities of our Nation’s people" is in the context of sports and athletics;
(8)  Courts have recognized that the inherent, physiological differences between males and females result in different athletic capabilities. See e.g. Kleczek v. Rhode Island Interscholastic League, Inc., 612 A.2d 734, 738 (R.I. 1992) ("Because of innate physiological differences, boys and girls are not similarly situated as they enter athletic competition."); Petrie v. Ill. High Sch. Ass’n, 394 N.E.2d 855, 861 (Ill. App. Ct. 1979) (noting that "high school boys [generally possess physiological advantages over] their girl counterparts" and that those advantages give them an unfair lead over girls in some sports like "high school track");
(9)  A recent study of female and male Olympic performances since 1983 found that, although athletes from both sexes improved over the time span, the "gender gap" between female and male performances remained stable. "These suggest that women’s performances at the high level will never match those of men." Valerie Thibault et al., Women and men in sport performance: The gender gap has not evolved since 1983, 9 Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 214, 219 (2010);
(10) As Duke Law professor and All-American track athlete Doriane Coleman, tennis champion Martina Navratilova, and Olympic track gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross recently wrote: "The evidence is unequivocal that starting in puberty, in every sport except sailing, shooting, and riding, there will always be significant numbers of boys and men who would beat the best girls and women in head-to-head competition. Claims to the contrary are simply a denial of science," Doriane Coleman, Martina Navratilova, et al., Pass the Equality Act, But Don’t Abandon Title IX, Washington Post (Apr. 29, 2019);
(11) The benefits that natural testosterone provides to male athletes is not diminished through the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. A recent study on the impact of such treatments found that even "after 12 months of hormonal therapy," a man who identifies as a woman and is taking cross-sex hormones "had an absolute advantage" over female athletes and "will still likely have performance benefits" over women, Tommy Lundberg et al., "Muscle strength, size and composition following 12 months of gender-affirming treatment in transgender individuals: retained advantage for the transwomen," Karolinksa Institutet (Sept. 26, 2019); and
(12) Having separate sex-specific teams furthers efforts to promote sex equality. Sex-specific teams accomplish this by providing opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their skill, strength, and athletic abilities while also providing them with opportunities to obtain recognition and accolades, college scholarships, and the numerous other long-term benefits that flow from success in athletic endeavors.

[33-6202, added 2020, ch. 333, sec. 1, p. 967.]

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