State Sen. Donna Soucy’s shot at defending biological males in girls’ sports was slapped down by critics when she used NCAA basketball phenom Caitlin Clark as an example to make her case.

During an appearance on WMUR’s “Closeup” program, Soucy was asked whether it is “safe” for girls to compete in sports against individuals with inherent physical advantages, such as biological males. The question comes as Republicans are pushing a ban on biological males competing on all-girl sports teams.

“I think it’s really important that every child has the same opportunity,” Soucy answered. “Trans girls are girls, they should have the same opportunity to participate in sports as girls do throughout our state.”

And then she added, “Recently, the leading scorer in the NCAA is not a man, but a woman.”

Soucy was apparently referencing Clark, a guard on the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team. During the 2023-2024 regular season, Clark scored an average of 31.7 points per game.

Purdue University’s Zach Edey led NCAA men’s basketball in scoring with an average of 25 points per game.

Critics quickly took to social media to point out the flaw in Soucy’s odd argument: Clark only competes against biological women.

“Soucy is distorting the argument,” Paula Scanlan, a former NCAA student athlete, told NHJournal. “By allowing males into women’s sports no matter the level, girls are losing out on opportunities. These males have a place on boy’s and men’s teams, no one is being excluded.”

Scanlan should know.

She competed as an NCAA Division l swimmer while at the University of Pennsylvania. One of her teammates happened to be a biological male named Lia Thomas who made headlines by becoming the first transgender athlete to win a Division I women’s title.

“As a college athlete that had a male on my team, I know every time Lia Thomas was brought to a meet, someone was asked to stay home,” Scanlan added. “And every time he competed someone was denied the opportunity to compete at the next level.”

Scanlan also reminded Soucy that there are indeed inherent differences between men’s and women’s basketball.

“The ball is smaller than the men’s ball and the game is split into quarters,” she pointed out. “It’s unfair to compare her (Clark) to men and it diminishes her accomplishments as a standout female athlete in her own category.”

Her experience with a biological male competing on her women’s team led Scanlan to team up with the International Women’s Forum, a 50-year-old women’s networking organization. Scanlan now serves as one of the organization’s ambassadors.

Shannon McGinley, executive director of Cornerstone Action, a New Hampshire-based Christian advocacy organization, was also alarmed by Soucy’s comparison.

“Citing Caitlin Clark’s NCAA record-breaking success as reason for men to compete in women’s sports is pure ‘dribble’ – entirely void of logic,” McGinley told NHJournal. “It’s obvious to anyone who isn’t brainwashed by gender ideology that Clark broke records by playing against biological women — not men.

“Imagine if Purdue’s 7-foot-4-inch-tall, 300-pound forward Zach Edey had guarded her all season — he’d have shattered all of her NCAA records and probably several of her bones in the process.”

Jennifer Braceras, IWF’s vice president of legal affairs, told NHJournal that arguments like Soucy’s are “not grounded in reality.”

“While the top female athletes may be able to go toe to toe with lesser male athletes, they are still at a significant disadvantage compared to their equally ranked peers. Just ask Serena Williams.”

Williams, widely viewed as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, lost to the 203rd-ranked male player in a 1998 exhibition match, and she has acknowledged the biological examples men have over women in competitive athletics.

“The fact is that male athletes who have experienced puberty have a 10 percent athletic advantage over age-matched females,” Braceras added, citing an IWF report. “A man cannot fully eliminate that advantage with hormone therapy. And even males who suppress puberty entirely cannot create for themselves female disadvantages, such as narrower hips and increased fat that is distributed differently.”

Braceras also took aim at the argument that allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is solely “about fairness,” or creating “a fair playing field,” as Soucy said during her interview.

“Title IX is not a fairness law, it’s an equal opportunity law,” Braceras said, referencing the landmark law used to create female-only sports teams at schools and colleges across the country.

“Every time you put a biological male on a woman’s team, a woman gets pushed down to the JV team or gets cut from the team because a coach can only dress so many athletes.

“Substituting a male body for a female body on a woman’s team is discrimination, and that is a Title IX violation.”

Meanwhile, New Hampshire Democrats counter that excluding biological males from competing in women’s sports is also a Title IX violation.

“(It) would discriminate against a group of students, a direct violation of Title IX,” state Rep. Stephen Woodcock (D-Conway) said ahead of last month’s vote on the House version of the bill.

That proposal cleared the House on a 189-182 vote, with every Democrat voting against.

The Senate will vote on its version of the bill Thursday.