The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


Inga Thompson — What’s Happened to Women’s Rights?

Inga Thompson is one of the most decorated cyclists in American history. She competed at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympic games. Inga won silver medals at the world championships in 1987, 1990 and 1991, and placed third at the Tour de France in 1986 and 1989. She also won the U.S. National Road Race Championships in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1993. In 2014 she was inducted in the U.S Bicycling Hall of Fame and has since worked to advance women in sports, and as such serves on many advocacy groups and has her own Inga Thompson Foundation ( that advocates for women’s sports.

You might ask, besides being aware I’m something of a bike geek, why am I having a cyclist on the show? Well, we’re not here to talk about bikes or training diets.

We are here to talk about what happened to Inga when she spoke out in defense of women’s rights. Not against bible-thumping religious fundamentalists who think women belong in the kitchen and bedroom making dinner and babies, but against her fellow liberals.

Let me be clear: this is a sensitive and complex issue. Transgender individuals often experience body dysmorphia. Common treatments for dysmorphia include hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery, which typically entails surgically creating a neovagina, breast implants, facial feminization, and sometimes hair transplants or alteration of the vocal cords.

These physical changes often help alleviate the symptoms, but they do not fundamentally change the physical advantages the transgender—born biologically male—athlete would have over biological women when competing in women’s sports.

This poses the challenge of conflicting rights, which is the subject of this conversation…

What should we do when transgender athletes, with all the physical advantages of being born male, compete against and defeat biological females?

If you enjoy the podcast, please show your support by making a $5 or $10 monthly donation.

This episode was released on May 23, 2023.

Skeptic Magazine App on iPhone


Whether at home or on the go, the SKEPTIC App is the easiest way to read your favorite articles. Within the app, users can purchase the current issue and back issues. Download the app today and get a 30-day free trial subscription.

Download the Skeptic Magazine App for iOS, available on the App Store
Download the Skeptic Magazine App for Android, available on Google Play
SKEPTIC • 3938 State St., Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA, 93105-3114 • 1-805-576-9396 • Copyright © 1992–2024. All rights reserved • Privacy Policy