Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Dr. Richard G. Howe Defends Restrictions on Transgender Athletes

Dr. Howe: Their Argument Doesn’t Deliver the Public Consequences and Privileges They Are Seeking

February 15, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Upon learning that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee says transgender athletes will “destroy women’s sports,” Southern Evangelical Seminary’s (SES, Dr. Richard G. Howe, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Apologetics, stated, “In my hearing, the way that the transgender, et al. crowd deflects arguments that base gender on the biology/physiology of sex is to say that there’s a difference between sex and gender.

“They acknowledge the biological basis of sex (chromosomes, genitalia), but argue that gender is something more ‘psychological’ (my word, not necessarily theirs). Which is to say that gender is something inner that one feels irrespective (in some instances) of one’s biological sex.

“One problem with this argument is that it doesn’t deliver for them the public consequences and privileges they are seeking. Since (by their admission) sex is biological (or, physical, if you will) and gender is more subjective, then it does not follow that (for example) a transgendered female (i.e., a biological male who identifies as a female) should be allowed to use the women’s restroom or women’s locker room or participate in women’s sports.”

Tennessee is one of a dozen states with lawmakers backing restrictions on athletics or gender-confirming health care for transgender minors this year. The proposals come as a growing number of state high school athletic associations in the U.S. have enabled transgender athletes to play on teams based on their gender identity, and the NCAA has trans-inclusive guidelines for all its member schools. Backers of the bill argue that transgender girls, because they were identified as male at birth, naturally are stronger, faster and bigger than those identified as female at birth and therefor have an unfair advantage in sports.

“It does not follow because the restroom, locker room or sport are physical expressions or manifestations, not psychological, and due to that they should be reserved for those who are biologically female,” continued Dr. Howe.

“What would follow (since the man is biologically male and in ‘feelings’ a woman) is that he should be allowed in the psychological (instead of physical) rest room, locker room, or sport that are biologically reserved for biological females (whatever that means). One can’t have it both ways. One can’t deflect the biological argument by distinguishing their biological aspect from their psychological aspect and then demand that they should be afforded physical considerations as opposed to merely psychological considerations.”

SES offers the 15 hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, & Economics (PPE).The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding M.A.R.). We believe that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs, and to do so with truth and power our students need training in the ethical, political, and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). This combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.


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