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Emma Hilton vs. transgender people

Emma Hilton is a British biologist and anti-transgender activist. Hilton is a founder and officer of anti-trans organization Sex Matters.

Hilton claims “transgender ideology” is about “denial of biological sex” and “raises serious human rights concerns for vulnerable groups including women, homosexuals and children.”


Emma Niamh Hilton was born on December 11, 1976. Hilton attended University of Warwick, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a doctorate in 2004. In 2003, Hilton began an association with University of Manchester. Much of Hilton’s work has been in clinical genetics. Hilton is known for helping to establish a species of frog as an animal model for human genetic research.

Anti-transgender activism

Around 2019, Hilton got more involved in public attacks on trans people. Hilton’s complaints are mostly about trans women.

Hilton on [cisgender] women

  • Promotes trans-exclusionary spaces to avoid “male violence and sexual assault”
  • Promotes sex-segregated sporting categories for “fairness”
  • Promotes sex segregation to address discrimination on the basis of sex

Hilton on “homosexuals”

  • Promotes “LGB erasure” conspiracy theory
  • Defends women who exclude all trans women as dating partners

Hilton on children

  • Promotes “tomboy erasure” conspiracy theory: gender ideology “confuses” children, especially “masculine girls and feminine boys”
  • Promotes ex-transgender cure narratives: “desistance”
  • Promotes non-affirming models of care

Hilton is a sex segregationist whose primary concern is maintaining segregationism that keeps women and girls in inferior roles in society. Of particular interest is maintaining women’s subordinate place via sex-segregated competitive sport, primarily by attacking transgender athletes.

In 2021, Hilton and Swedish physiologist Tommy R. Lundberg published what the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport called “an argumentative essay in the form of original scientific research.”

Hilton has also collaborated with anti-trans activists Colin Wright and Carole Hooven.


Richards, Steph (March 12, 2023). Emma Hilton of Sex Matters and Trans Women Competing in the Female Category of Sports. Translucent

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (2021). Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review.

Fair Play for Women (July 14, 2019). Dr Emma Hilton reviews the science supporting the IOC decision to let male-born transgender athletes into female competition.

Wright, Colin; Hilton, Emma (February 13, 2020). Opinion: The Dangerous Denial of Sex: Transgender ideology harms women, gays—and especially feminine boys and masculine girls. Wall Street Journal

  • Republished on February 18, 2020 as No question of our biological sex. The Australian

Pike, Jon (February 22, 2021). Why the World Rugby guidelines banning trans athletes from the women’s game are reasonable. The Conversation

Lord, Craig (January 23, 2022). Fond Of Women’s Sport: Dr. Emma Hilton & The Science That Shows Why Biological Sex Not Gender Choice Says Who Swims As Man Or Woman. State of Swimming

Hilton EN, Lundberg TR. Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage. Sports Med. 2021 Feb;51(2):199-214.

Hilton EN, Lundberg TR. Correction to: Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage. Sports Med. 2021 Oct;51(10):2235. doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01480-3. PMID: 33914284; PMCID: PMC8587241.

Hilton et al., 2021. The Reality of Sex. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 190: 1647.9

(Extract) “Human sex is an observable, immutable, and important biological classification; it is a fundamental characteristic of our species, foundational to many biology disciplines, and a major differentiator in medical/health outcomes.”

Pike, Hilton and Howe, 2021. Fair Game: Biology, Fairness and Transgender Athletes in Women’s Sport. Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Canada.

10 (Summary) We review the importance of sex categories in sport, synthesising knowledge across developmental biology, the physiology of transgender women, and sports philosophy. We conclude that a female category that excludes all males, regardless of gender identity, is philosophically coherent in terms of category definition and necessary to ensure everyone can compete fairly and fully. We argue it is reasonable for female athletes to expect that their rights will be upheld by the institutions and procedures of their sports.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Epstein’s Inborn Errors of Development: The Molecular Basis of Clinical Disorders of Morphogenesis. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

7 8 9 10


Woman’s Place UK (July 18, 2019). A Woman’s Place is on the Podium: Emma Hilton (10 July 2019).

Benjamin Boyce (March 3, 2021). Basic Biology: Somehow Controversial | with Emma Hilton & Colin Wright.

Women’s Declaration International (April 26, 2021). Women’s Sports – Emma Hilton, Developmental Biologist & co founder of Sex Matters, UK.

Jason Koop (February 25, 2021). Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport with Emma Hilton PhD | Koopcast Episode 68.

Graham Linehan (May 26, 2021). The Mess We’re In Ep. #55: Emma Hilton defends women’s sports.

Sex Matters (June 1, 2022). Sex Matters in sport webinar 30th May 2022. with Helen Joyce and Ross Tucker

Alison Jenner (June 5, 2023). Safety, Fairness, Inclusion? In conversation with Dr Emma Hilton.


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