A first hearing of the Bill was held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce ©Getty Images

A Republican-led Bill has been introduced to the United States House of Representatives that would ban transgender women and girls from competing in women's youth, high school or college teams.

This has been authored by the Republican member for Florida's 17th district Greg Steube, following two previous attempts which failed to pass.

A first hearing was held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

The Republicans have taken control of the US Congress' lower body since the last attempt, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Committee on Education and the Workforce chair have signalled their support for the Bill.

However, it would still likely be defeated in the Democratic-controlled Senate and face veto from President Joe Biden.

The "Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act" would seek to amend the landmark Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act so that "in athletics, sex shall be recognised based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth".

This has received support from conservative advocacy groups, but faced criticism from organisations including the National Women’s Law Center and Congressional Equality Caucus.

Republican House member Greg Steube has introduced a third attempt for the Bill to progress through the US Congress ©Getty Images
Republican House member Greg Steube has introduced a third attempt for the Bill to progress through the US Congress ©Getty Images

LGBTQ+ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign has described the Bill as "discriminatory and harmful", and its Government affairs director David Stacy accused the House Committee on Education and the Workforce of having its priorities in the wrong order.

"As our nation’s children are facing an epidemic of gun violence in our schools, a shortage of quality teachers, and unacceptably high levels of suicide and suicide ideation, House Republicans are pursuing their political agenda over helping our kids who are in crisis," Stacy said.

"These extremist, anti-equality politicians seem to have a limitless appetite for attacking trans kids, and this federal legislation to prevent kids from taking part in school sports activities is an escalation of these dishonest, transparently political attacks.

"Transgender kids, like all kids, deserve a chance to take part in the important development opportunities that come along with playing school sports.

"It’s a chance to learn sportsmanship, self-discipline, teamwork, and more.

"This legislation would make it impossible for youth to be their authentic selves, to build a sense of belonging with their peers and just enjoy being part of a team."

Lawmakers in 18 US states have already pushed through similar legislation, although preliminary injunctions have blocked their enforcement in Idaho, Indiana, Utah and West Virginia.

The debate on transgender participation in women's sport has become increasingly polarised.

In November 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved new guidelines which granted increased flexibility to International Federations to set their own policy.

IOC President Thomas Bach last week defended its stance on his tour of the Caribbean, insisting it was "very clear" and there is "no one-size-fits-all" approach.

In June last year, the International Swimming Federation - now World Aquatics - took the decision to severely restrict the participation of transgender athletes in women's events.

Critics have argued the policy is discriminatory, but campaigners against the inclusion of transgender athletes in women's sport have welcomed it on the grounds of fairness.