The Instigator
Cheetah
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
KnightArtorias
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

Should Women Compete With Men in Olympic Sports?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Cheetah
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2014 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,909 times Debate No: 45776
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

Cheetah

Con

Hi, KnightArtorias and Voters

This debate is created as a response to KnightArtorais's challenge on an opinion question:

http://www.debate.org...

"Should feminists be asking for the abolishing of separate categories for men and women at the Olympics?"

Rules:



        1. > Standard Debate conventions and site rules apply [http://www.debate.org...]
        2. > Arguments are to be posted in the Debate only, no aguments are to be posted in the comments (unless corrections are to be made due to a site / source glitch)
        3. > First round is acceptance only

Additionally, I declare ceasefire in the comments section of the opinion question made by "iamanaetheistandthisiswhy":

[http://www.debate.org... ]

Definition:
        • > Feminism
        • > "the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities"





I look forward to a respectful and productive debate. Best of luck to Pro!





KnightArtorias

Pro

Let us begin.
Debate Round No. 1
Cheetah

Con

Thank you, KnightArtorias.


Round 1:


Conventionally, olympic sports require that men and women are to be put into separate tournaments with several exceptions. This decision is not created to segregate women for blatant, sexist reasons, but a decision made thoroughly to ensure fair results in matches and an even amount of men and female medal winners. Equestrian, for example, is a sport not categorized by gender considering there is a small performance gap between men and women, and gender differences will not play a role in influencing the results. Additionally, the gender of the horses used in Equestrian is questioned and statistically recorded; the results shows that male horses have a significantly higher win percentile in British races [1]. If horse gender influences the probability of winning, what about men and women in regular sports?


1) Biological Gender Differences

Performances between men and women differ due to the fact that hormone releases are different between genders. Androgenic hormones significantly influences performance in physical abilities. Men produces “significantly more Androgenic hormones” than women, which gives men a huge advantage in sports that require strength such as weightlifting and long jump [2]. Given this, androgenic hormones are not the only possible biological influence in the matches. Testosterones are, literally, what converts a boy into a man, they provide men with superior potential muscle growth and rigid bone structures [3]. Unfortunately, women receives less testosterone than men, gives women an unfair biological disadvantage.

2) A Fair Game in the Olympics

After a match in the Olympics (especially in boxing), it is a common practice that the losing country will attempt to criticize judgements by pointing out possible bias. Putting women into the same tournament as men will inevitably lead to quarrels as many women would point out the aforementioned fact: the biological difference between men and women. Nevertheless, there are several sports where women outperforms men, but as of now, men’s results in strength-demanding sports are considerably higher. Here is a neat infographic made by The Washington Post [4]:




If women are put into competitions against men, the possibility for female athletes to outperform male athletes and achieving a metal in the Olympics will be immensely hindered. In boxing, if women were to put in the ring against male boxers in 2012, Nicola Adams (gold medalist for female flyweight) may not have gotten her gold medal. Additionally, many sports does not even have equal amount of male and female participants and sports like boxing will still be dominated by men with an unfair ratio.


3) Gender Equality

Assertions against the Olympic convention of dividing men and women by claiming that it infringes women’s rights is incoherent. Female athletes would want to be put in tournaments where they can have a fair chance of earning a medal (same applies for men in female-dominant sports). There is no need to reform the Olympics by eliminating gender separation for it will only lead to greater outrage and controversy.

Footnotes:

[1]http://edition.cnn.com...

[2]http://www.olympic.org...

[3]http://breakingmuscle.com...

[4]http://www.washingtonpost.com...
KnightArtorias

Pro

I want people to seriously consider what is being proposed here. My opponent is arguing that, since making women compete against men would earn them less medals (and we must ensure that they get their medals), then we need to make it so they don't have to compete against men, or to the same standards as men. And this, somehow, is fair.

No. No it is not.

Now, as my opponent points out, there is on average a difference in ability between males and females. However, it is not the case that the strongest female will be outdone by the weakest male. Indeed, at a certain level, males and females can compete in complete fairness of competition. Why then do we divide men and women up by sex? It is an unnecessary and unfair division, as I shall detail.


But let's talk about what the Olympics are first of all. These are the Olympic Games we're talking about. This is supposed to be a competition of the best athletes from around the world. In what way does it makes sense to divide up people into categories because "some can't compete" with the other athletes? Those that can't compete with other athletes shouldn't be there in the first place then. The Olympics is not a high school sporting event, it's the height of competition on our planet. Only the best, capable of competing with the best, should be there in my view. That's all I care about when I watch the Olympics anyway. If that means less women compete, so be it. That's no concern of mine, nor do I feel it should be to anyone.


But, if in fact you do care about the ratio of male and female athletes, even then that does not justify the separation the sexes in competition. Many of the competitions men and women are segregated by are separated due to simple sexism. In shooting competitions, for instance, there are no skills required that give men some great advantage over women. And in fact, until 1976, the competition was not segregated. It wasn't until a woman won the gold in the same year that the sport was then segregated. The same happened in 1992, when Zhang Shan won the gold in a mixed Skeet competition. Yet in 1996, before she could defend her title, women were shut out of the event entirely. Clearly the segregation of the sexes in the Olympics is not always a decisions made with fairness in mind.

And with regards to fairness, by what notion of fairness is it fair to prevent athletes who are qualified to compete against one another from doing just that? Because as I said before, even if you want to claim it's unfair to pit women against the top male athletes, it is certainly not the case that not all men are outclassing women by leaps and bounds. Indeed, separating by sex is a very unfair way of making the competition "fair". How is it fair in competitions where males and females have relatively similar overall scores? Competitions where a given man or woman didn't score in their own competition, but may have taken a silver or bronze in the other? No, this is not fair by any reasonable standard. And in fact, there is a far more efficient solution to the dilemma. Simply divide up athletes in the same manner as is done in wrestling. If you create different levels of competition, based on certain qualifications of the athletes (as weight is in wrestling), you remove the issue of males having an unfair biological advantage over females, as any females competing on a given level would be fit to compete against males on the same level. Structuring the Olympics in this manner would also open up the amount of athletes, male and female, capable of competing.


There simply is no justifiable reason to separate men and women in competition, especially when far better solutions to the "dilemma" my opponent proposes exist. Biological advantages are a reality for everyone, male or female. The man who's 2 feet taller and 100 pounds heavier is probably going to out-compete men who don't match up to him. These kinds of advantages and disadvantages don't go away just by dividing the competitions up by sex. Segregating the competitions by sex does not encourage the most fair and honorable atmosphere possible, and it certainly doesn't ensure that the best athletes face one another. In the interest of greater fairness in competition, there indeed a reason to end the segregation of the sexes in the Olympics.
Debate Round No. 2
Cheetah

Con

REBUTTALS:

In his reply to my argument in round 2, my opponent have brought up these main points:

1) Separating gender is not fair (eg. shooting, wrestling)

2) Olympics is created to find the absolute best athlete → Best athletes should face one another

Here, I shall now attack each of these points’ details individually.

1) Separating gender is not fair

First of all, my opponent brought up a fact which I have previously mentioned in the previous round: women can participate with men in certain sports without biological differences being an influencing factor. I have vividly made this clear by giving Equestrian as an example:

“Equestrian, for example, is a sport not categorized by gender considering there is a small performance gap between men and women, and gender differences will not play a role in influencing the results.”

- Cheetah (Round 2)

In order for men and women to be combined in sports is to make sure that:

1) Performance gap is small

2) Gender differences will not be an effect

In many cases, many sports cannot have small performance gaps between men and women because of Gender. Therefore, performance gaps are technically a dependant factor of gender difference.

Given this, my opponent mentioned later in his argument that there are no biological reasons on why women cannot be mixed with men in Olympic shooting events. This is false, Dr. Oz has mentioned in Oprah’s talk show how men and women’s eyes differ [1]:

“You can trace differences in vision back to caveman days. Naturally, women have better peripheral vision because they gathered food for their families. Men are born with stronger straight-on vision for hunting purposes.”
- Dr. Oz to Oprah [1]

“ If you create different levels of competition, based on certain qualifications of the athletes...you remove the issue of males having an unfair biological advantage over females, as any females competing on a given level would be fit to compete against males on the same level.”

- KnightArtorias (Round 2)

Again, this is false. Since my opponent did not counter against my arguments on the existence of gender difference brought up in point 1 (see above), it is coherent to assume that my opponent acknowledges this fact as well. Therefore, it is illogical for my opponent to cook up this irrational conclusion of gender-mixed boxing or wrestling in the Olympics as it overlooks the high possibility of an injury among female participants. Putting women with men in boxing/wrestling matches based on weight will not eliminate biological differences, but external influences such as height and weight (as you mentioned).

To simplify, here I have created a formula to clarify my understanding:

Qualities in Winning the Olympics Boxing:

1 = Greater, 0 = Average / No advantage, ~ = Varying / Unknown

> Inherent advantage (IHA): male = 1, female = 0 (Since women don’t have greater inherent advantage in boxing)

> Acquired advantage (AQA): eg. Height, mass

> Performance (P): How well you do in the match

Therefore,

IHA + AQA + P = Result

Weight and height categories (as my opponent suggested) will eliminate AQA (Acquired advantages), but Inherent advantages will still be present.

In Weight/Height limited category boxing:

Women:

IHA (0) + AQA (0) + P (~) = 0 + Performance = Result

Men:

IHA (1) + AQA (0) + P (~) = 1 + Performance = Result

As you can see here, women already have a disadvantage to start with. Other than that we can see a difference between Nicola Adams’s and Shiming Zou’s match (Both are gold medalists in flyweight boxing, London 2012) [2][3]. The women’s match is emphasized in quick, rapid punches, where the men’s match tends to have rare, powerful punches. Nicola’s punches will not be much of an effect on Shiming, while his punches would inflict a lot of damage to her. This, again, leads to a question whether women should really box against men. Should people with inherent advantages really fight against those without?

2) Olympics is Created to Highlight the ‘best of the best’?

“This (the olympics) is supposed to be a competition of the best athletes from around the world”

- KnightArtorias (Round 2)

Designating the ‘best of the best’ is not the purpose of the Olympics Movement. Here is the real purpose of the Olympic Games quoted from the Official Olympics Movement:

“The purpose of the Olympic Movement is to:

– link sport with culture and education;

– promote the practice of sport and the joy found in effort;

– help to build a better world through sport practised in a spirit of peace, excellence,

friendship and respect.”

- The Olympics Movement [4]

Throughout the PDF booklet, the International Federations did not mention or refer the Olympics as a competition to seize a the position of the best in a sport. On the contrary, every athlete who participates in the Games are referred as ‘Olympians’ and is already given an honorable position with their names eternally recorded. By giving women equal opportunity to participate in equal amount of sports, this ensures that women will be able to achieve gold, silver, and copper medals as well. My opponent claims that whether women get medals or not is not important. If female olympians chances of getting a medal is hindered, then young girls who are looking to become professional athletes may not be motivated because of the fact that they will have to compete with men. Female boxers will have to box against men, and female marathon runners will have to compete against men whose lungs are bigger [1]. It seems as if my opponent have quite an abstract definition of ‘fair’.

“Participation in the Games is what counts the most for the majority of competitors: to have the honour of representing their country and parade behind their flag at the Opening Ceremony; to rub shoulders with elite athletes; and to have the opportunity to give their best. This is all part of the spirit of the Olympic Games!”

- The Olympics Movement [4]

-End of Rebuttals-

ROUND 3: Conclusion and final remarks

(Here’s some background music: http://tinyurl.com...)

In Seoul 1988 Olympics, Jackie Joyner-Kersee gained her reputation of being one of the best Athletes ever, however, she would not have gotten that reputation if Long Jump was gender mixed. Here are results from 1988 [5]:

The Olympic Games [5]

The same goes to most of the female athletes in 1988 Athletics. Women will not gain more respect by making them compete with men, but they will not be known at all. You can find data indicating the same thing for many other sports as well.

As to conclude, I would like to point out a ‘few’ things:

- If my opponent had his way, women may be injured in close-contact sports

- If my opponent had his way, not only women will not earn their medals, but their reputations as well

- If my opponent had his way, controversy will stir in judgements

- If my opponent had his way, women will be forced to compete with those who have inherent advantages (and same goes for men)

- If my opponent had his way, the whole structure of the Olympics will need to be reconstructed

- If my opponent had his way, male boxers will be barraged with hate by feminists who will condemn him to hell for hitting a woman in Olympics mixed-gender boxing

I would like to ask my honorable voters to use discretion to consider these facts and ask: will my opponent’s faulty resolution create fairness, or the destruction of it? I shall give my opponent the opportunity to conclude this debate.

I urge a strong vote for CON.

Footnotes:

[1]http://www.oprah.com...

[2]http://tinyurl.com...

[3]http://tinyurl.com...

[4]http://www.olympic.org...

[5]http://www.olympic.org...

- There are several references based on sources from the previous round
KnightArtorias

Pro

It's clear what it is my opponent is proposing. Since women, he claims, cannot compete with the top men in the world on a competitive level, then according to him it's only "fair" that we create special rules and conditions for female athletes that prevent them from facing the better competition. No, this is not "fair" by any reasonable definition. What would be "fair" is making athletes compete against one another, and letting those who fail to win, lose. The fear that female athletes won't win medals if we don't keep them seperate is a ridiculous complaint.


Now my opponent claims that the Olympics are not about the best athletes competing against one another, but in his own rebuttal he gives credence to my argument. After all, one of his quotes specifically refers to Olympic athletes as "elite" athletes. Further more, being chosen for the Olympics is no small feet. It is not as if any athlete can enter and represent their country. Rather, the athletes chosen are amongst the best of those selected as potential candidates. Elite athletes, the best of their kind, competing against one another for honor and glory. Even if it is not written specifically in the rulebook, it's quite clear to even the most casual observer that this is what's going on. Nations from around the world go through a process of selecting the best athletes to compete in the Olympics. What do you call that other than a competition of "the best of the best"? Certainly not a competition of lowly, or even average athletes. No, it is quite clearly intended to be a competition among, as stated, elite athletes. The best the world has to offer.

My opponent also raises a curious quote about eyesight, but unless supported with hard data, this claim is nonsensical. It's a claim, not evidence. I can just as easily claim the opposite. There is no such evolutionary advantage. And you can clearly see this based on the similarity in the top scores between men and women in various shooting competitions in the Olympics.

My opponent's formula is also a complete and utter joke. He arbitrarily assigns men a value of 1, and claims this as evidence? Ridiculous! Again, if he wants to make claims of serious biological advantages, he needs hard evidence. The kind he gave in his first round, but seems woefully unwilling or unable to give this round. Further more, my opponent does not seem to properly understand the suggestion I have given, as he seems to think I'm only discussing the elimination of acquired advantages. No, I am talking about the elimination of biological advantages, in the same manner that wrestling is classified into different weight categories. Let me explain again, as this I feel is the point which destroys my opponent's argument.


It is not the case that all men outcompete all women. This is something my opponent has not contested. Given that, there are indeed going to be men that women can fairly fight against, wherein the men have no undue advantage over the women they are competing against. I am proposing that the Olympics divide up athletes by competitive tiers, rather than by sex. The qualifications for given tiers may be different for men and women, but the point is that men and women in a given tier would be competing against athletes with no distinct biological advantage over them, based on certain categories relevant to the event. Not only would this solution ensure greater fairness in competition, but it would allow for a wider variety of athletes to compete. This point alone absolutely destroys my opponent's argument, as it is a far more efficient solution to the problem of women potentially not earning medals, or being discouraged to compete. Unless my opponent intends to suggest that the mere prospect of competing against a male will scare women off, which is a ridiculous and highly sexist opinion. An opinion which I should hope female voters are particularly repulsed by.


Now, let me address the final portion of my opponent's post, bit by bit.




"If my opponent had his way, women may be injured in close-contact sports."

Athletes in general run the risk of being injured in close-contact sports. What you are suggesting here is highly sexist. That women should be barred from competition because they are too frail is a ridiculous statement to make. There are plenty of close-combat female athletes who could wreck many men on this planet without breaking a sweat. Surely you are not so arrogant to assume that, simply by virtue of being male, you could defeat a female Olympic athlete, are you?


"If my opponent had his way, not only women will not earn their medals, but their reputations as well"

Again, I must point out the ridiculousness of this complaint. Competition necessitates losers. The complaint that "X might not win a medal" is not an excuse to create biases in their favor, which is exactly what my opponent proposes. Further more, under my own suggestion, his complaint is completely done away with, as with at least a three tiered system it guarantees more female competitors, and more potential female medal winners.


"If my opponent had his way, controversy will stir in judgements"

This is not even a coherent objection.


"If my opponent had his way, women will be forced to compete with those who have inherent advantages (and same goes for men)"

Again, this is false. Only if my opponent clings to antiquated, chauvinistic views of men and women could this statement make sense. But the fact is not all men carry and advantage over women. There are plenty of men women can compete fairly with, and under a tiered system, it would ensure that women compete against men they are capable of competing against. This is a completely disingenuous complaint.


"If my opponent had his way, the whole structure of the Olympics will need to be reconstructed"

And this is a problem...why? You haven't quite explained why you object to my proposed solution to the issue of biological advantages. You seem to only oppose it because it is contrary to your side of the resolution. The truth is you have no arguments for why a sex-divided Olympics ensures greater fairness than a tiered Olympics. The reason being because it clearly doesn't. Not only that, but the Olympics has been restructured time and again. Not only have numerous events been added or removed, they've also changed whether the sexes compete with one another within them. Change within Olympic events is nothing new, and not a reasonable objection.

I should point out again that many of the changes made to divide the sexes were done so based on sexism. A point my opponent never contested. Clearly not all sexual division in the Olympics is done with fairness in mind.



"If my opponent had his way, male boxers will be barraged with hate by feminists who will condemn him to hell for hitting a woman in Olympics mixed-gender boxing"

This is a ridiculous complaint to which all Feminists should take offense. The idea that Feminists would complain about a man hitting a woman in competition is a ridiculous misunderstanding on the aims of Feminism.



Look, the long and short of this people is that my opponent has no sound reason for why a tiered Olympic structure is not superior. Every complaint of his is solved by such a structure. There are no biological advantages in a tiered system, it allows for more participants and more medal winners. It completely destroys my opponent's argument, which hinges on the notion that biological advantages make competition unfair. This issue is clearly solved by my proposed solution. There simply is no justifiable reason to keep women and men separate.

My opponent has failed to counter my point that sexual division in the Olympics is not always done with fairness in mind, and has failed to provide a reason for why the sexual division of athletes provides greater fairness than a tiered system. His argument fails completely.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
Ask knight, this debate isn't anything to do with feminism. The definition was put there in case one of us refers to the opinion poll. Thanks for voting though.
Posted by jdtroughton 3 years ago
jdtroughton
lol you lost me after your faulty definition of feminism, which is unequivocally the a priori assumption (before any consultation with reality) that all situations and process must be interpreted to view the women involved as the most severely transgressed-upon victims (and variously an object or actor where it supports the aforementioned), and the men as actor-only, immoral, evil perpetrators of the feminist equivalent of damnable sin.
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
As agreed, after you post your final argument, I will not continue the argument here on the comments section. Thank you for debating with me, and may the best debater win!
Posted by Cheetah 3 years ago
Cheetah
Of course, I just defined feminism because it is in the opinion poll's title (the one made by iamanaethistabdthisiswhy). I never knew that the ability for people to send me messages is turned off, thanks for telling me, I'll turn it on.
Posted by KnightArtorias 3 years ago
KnightArtorias
I wanted to send you a message about this, but you're not accepting new messages. Just so you know, I am not a Feminist, nor do I profess support for Feminism. So while I made an argument for why Feminists may want to campaign for the end of gendered categories at the Olympics, that is not the only reason of mine, nor will it probably be the main focus of my argument. I say this to you so you don't go awry and accidentally make an argument against a notion I'm not going to be largely arguing for, as it seems to me you're gearing up to make an argument that the Olympics has already fulfilled the goals of Feminism...which isn't going to be my argument. I desire fair and honorable debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
CheetahKnightArtoriasTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con won the debate. The burden of proof was shared. As a result I felt that Con provided a stronger argument when he pointed out the logistics between Olympic boxing and wrestling. This further validated his Round 1 claim about biological gender differences. Pro did not have an adequate reply to this. Pro failed in offering counter fact as well. This was not good considering the burden of proof was shared. Con win source point for providing sources as well. Good luck to you both in future debates.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
Krazzy_Player
CheetahKnightArtoriasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Biologically and commonly speaking, "Male" body structure is totally different from that of females and the strength factor plays an important role in "Olympic" sports. This plays an important role in the performance and thus results a huge difference thus resulting in massive advantage for male athletes over female athletes. This is clearly presented by Con, however he also accepts the fact that there few exceptional cases like "Equestrian" can be played without gender differences and this similarly cannot be done in many other sports which would be an advantage for men. Pro states,"It would be unfair to separate women from men in "Olympic" sports", If this is the case, then "Olympic" committee has done the right thing by eliminating all possible advantages for men, thus segregating "Men" and "Women" sports creating a fair event for both men and women. Pro lost the points for sources as he did not use any.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
CheetahKnightArtoriasTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument convinced me more, I felt the use of the Olympic's mission statement put a good dent in Pro's argument about top level competition/best of the best. With all of the data provided by Con I can see why women shouldn't compete with men: they wouldn't win anything. Pro gets points for grammar, as Con did make several grammatical errors, giving certain words an s at the end when he shouldn't have, for example.
Vote Placed by jdtroughton 3 years ago
jdtroughton
CheetahKnightArtoriasTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Overall, only appeals to emotion and culturally entrenched gynocentrism side with con. The inability to accept reality being unfair when viewed by emotional humans is strong with this one. The facts are with pro. Con, I voted, had better conduct, preferring to spare us the intellectual crutches of claiming absurdity, ridiculousness, or shaming techniques ("you're not sexist are you?" type stuff). Only con cited sources, however, not particularly effectively (Dr. Oz, really?) d the argument wasn't improved with them. Considering pro didn't cite anything external and still came out with better reasoning, that stands to make sourcing a tie. The definition of "fair" that pro used was a much more honest, mature one.