CNN reported as fact on Tuesday that the meaning of “biological sex” is disputed and that “no consensus” exists for knowing a person’s sex at birth.
The network published the claims in a news piece on South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s ongoing battle over legislation that would ban biological males from participating in women’s sports in her state. The piece, titled “South Dakota’s governor issues executive orders banning transgender athletes from women’s sports,” was written by breaking news reporter Devon Cole.
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Though the two executive orders signed by Noem do not explicitly mention transgender athletes, they reference the supposed harms of the participation of “males” in women’s athletics – an echo of the transphobic claim, cited in other similar legislative initiatives, that transgender women are not women. The orders also reference “biological sex,” a disputed term that refers to the sex as listed on students’ original birth certificates.
It’s not possible to know a person’s gender identity at birth, and there