The following statement was prepared for the Texas House committee hearing for HB 4042, dealing with the issue of congenital males competing in the women’s division in Texas high school sports. The bill, which would have prohibited the practice, is officially dead, having not been brought to a vote by the chairman.
My name is Mark Rippetoe. I am author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, the best-selling book on barbell strength training in the history of publishing, and Practical Programming for Strength Training, likewise the best-selling book on strength training programming, both in their 3rd editions. I have trained women for strength for 42 years, and I am regarded as an expert on the subject of training for both men and women. A lifelong resident of Texas, I live and work in Wichita Falls.
I don’t have to tell people of normal intelligence who are unblinded by politics that men and women have different physical capacities. To say otherwise is a lie, and is both biologically false and a direct contradiction of the phenomenology observed over the millennia of human existence. These differences can be summarized as “neuromuscular efficiency” – the ability to recruit muscles into contraction both explosively and completely. The data are very clear on this: the average Standing Vertical Jump (SVJ) for young men is 22 inches, and 14 inches for women, with the records being 46 inches and 31 inches for men and women respectively. Since the dawn of time, it has been recognized that boys and girls – and men and women – have different levels of neuromuscular efficiency. These differences are directly attributable to the effects of testosterone, and the primary effects of testosterone take place in utero – in the womb, starting at approximately 8 weeks post-conception.
Puberty finishes the process started in the womb, with the development of the familiar secondary sexual characteristics typical of the two physical sexes. But the neuromuscular aspects started in utero are far more important, to the extent that testosterone administered to female athletes has no significant effect on the Standing Vertical Jump.
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I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
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