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Gender Segregation in Sport: Transgender Sports Policy

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Sexual segregation inside sports has for some time been implemented in Western social orders (Sartore Baldwin 2010). While Coggan, Hammond, and Holm examine the avocations of holding an exacting sexual orientation parallel inside sports, as indicated by Tannsjo (2000), Semerjian and Cohen (2006) contend for a reexamination of those groupings, particularly given the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new strategy. In May 2004, the IOC executed the Stockholm Consensus, which took into account the incorporation of transgender competitors in consequent Olympics. Under the new rules, transgender competitors more likely than not had sexual orientation reassignment medical procedure, legitimate acknowledgment of their allocated sexual orientation, and at any rate two years of hormone treatment preceding being qualified to contend. Cavanagh and Sykes (2012) propose that the accord averts more than it enables transgender competitors to contend on the grounds that it doesn’t offer qualification to the individuals who are transgender yet have not undergone medical procedure; it likewise fortifies the sex parallel, constraining transgender individuals to distinguish as either male or female without thought for different groupings. Different elevated level games associations have embraced the IOC’s transgender approach (Corbett and Lawrie) and keeping in mind that researchers have dove into the new limits it gives transsexual competitors, none have investigated how this arrangement influences other transgender or genderqueer recognizing competitors who may not be trying to restoratively progress. Our research will mean to investigate the confinements and deterrents distinctive game strategies make for transgender competitors. How has the Stockholm Agreement become a restriction of how far transgender ― however not transsexual ― competitors can go in their general vicinity of focused sports? What different options have/can be investigated for transgender competitors who don’t wish or can’t progress to the sex they relate to?


Taking official game approach rules and paper articles found online, we analyzed the athletic strategies of different associations (secondary schools, universities, elite athletics groups) to investigate how comprehensive they are, or are not, of the whole transgender network and observed any that appeared to have been affected by the Stockholm Consensus dependent on similitudes in guideline subtleties. Points of interest, for example, the number of schedule years a transgender competitor is required to be on hormonal treatment before being qualified to contend, on which groups they may decide to play on the off chance that they have/have not met the medicinal progress necessities, and how their physical status influences the entire group’s status were altogether contrasted with recognize the exploration locales into three groups: those that were indistinguishable from the IOC’s, others that were less constraining, and a single one that was all-comprehensive.


Of the seven diverse athletic arrangements that were investigated, the ABC (Association of Boxing Commissions). LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), and VHSL (Virginia High School League) have every single received strategy indistinguishable from the IOC’s following their execution of the Stockholm Consensus. Lana Lawless, a resigned cop who engaged in sexual relations reassignment medical procedure, was one of the advocates for an adjustment in the LPGA that would enable players to contend dependent on their capabilities and not their introduction to the world sex. While these changes have extended past limits for transgender competitors, they are all the more explicitly outfitted towards transsexual competitors without the mix of sexual orientation reassignment medical procedure and hormonal medications, a non-medicinally transitioned transgender competitor cannot contend in their game of decision under such arrangement

Then again, the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association), and Bates College have received transgender sports strategies s daintily less constrictive contrasted with the IOC’s. Their guidelines dismiss the requirement for sexual orientation reassignment medical procedure, just requiring MTF (male to female) transgender competitors to be on testosterone concealment prescription for at any rate one year and FTM (female to male) transgender competitors to record formal solicitation s with respect to medicinal exemption s for their utilization of testosterone. While MTF transgender competitors may as it were contended on a men’s group if not on hormonal treatment, FTM transgender competitors are permitted to contend on it is possible that me n or ladies’ groups in the event that they are not accepting testosterone. By setting just a necessity for hormonal treatment should a trans competitor need to contend in the group comparing to their sexual orientation personality, the NCAA and others like it permit a more extensive billet for trans competitors as far as qualifying and contending in the games of their decision. One final fascinating rule analyzed was one made by the Transgender Law and Approach Institute, which suggests that all youngsters ought to have the option to play in the group of their particular sexual orientation characters on the grounds that before pubescence, ‘hormonal levels don’t contrast essentially between the genders. Hence, no hormonally based favorable position or inconvenience among young ladies and young men exist’. This focuses to a fascinating fac t of how sex pairs just exist in proficient degrees of sports on account of physical favorable circumstances men may have over ladies, and how kids ― who have not yet experienced adolescence, and in this way have no such bit of leeway ― ought not have a carefully implemented binary framework set up. While this division of the genders may have been executed to put sports groups on equivalent balance, some neglect to acknowledge how this fortifies the sex twofold idea in the public arena, leaving transgender and other genderqueer recognizing individuals to either pick a sex to have a place in or conceivably be viewed as a pariah.

An open trans competitor, Keelin Godsey uncovered the restrictions of being an aggressive trans competitor inside his blog; he talked about how he felt conflicted between picking his vocation as an aggressive mallet hurler or to start sexual orientation progress restoratively. On the off chance that he started taking testosterone, he would not have the option to contend as a female and would need to hold up years before having the option to contend as a male. There was additionally dread he would not have the option to toss also in the wake of changing. Contending and recognizing as male were two things that made up who Godsey was both filled in as a wellspring of solace and certainty. Tossing enabled him to escape from sex disparagements and made him feel great with what his identity was. While contending, he felt that he was seen for his athletic capacities. He what’s more, his rivals ‘don’t have something besides what they may or may not be able to in the tossing circle’. During recuperation after a knee medical procedure, he posted, ‘Not being ready to be in my usual range of familiarity at my game has left me feeling exposed with my personality. My sport while being my greatest obstacle to the extent forestalling me to change yet in a manner is my support. It enables me to not need to confront the reality on who I am. It causes me cover up and just be a competitor and not a trans individual.’

Despite the fact that tossing gave him a feeling of having a place, the character of being a competitor was extremely independent from being transgender. Godsey needed to recognize just as a competitor, and not as transgender so as to be accepted by the athletic network since being a trans athlete was ‘forbidden and not ‘permitted’. Godsey’s blog exhibits the way society has formed games rivalries to be for the cisgender, or non-eccentric, and abridges this by recommending how sometimes in its rejection of individuals to make the best field of contenders there are some forgotten about, huge numbers of whom were the best’. As referenced beforehand, having a sexual orientation double framework in sports was intended to give female competitors a reasonable possibility since contending with male competitors would make unsurprising outcomes. In effect, in any case, it prohibits trans competitors, giving them not many alternatives as far as way of life and their athletic profession.

By breaking down Godsey’s blog and several sports associations’ strategies, we have come to reason that trans competitors have been constrained to what groups they may have a place with. In the event that the games association they wish to play inside administers utilizing increasingly comprehensive strategies like the NCAA, at that point they should hold fast to the particular hormone guidelines or play as indicated by the rules illustrated. On the off chance that the guidelines resemble the IOC’s, an extra impediment of whether they have physically changed their sex is likewise set up. Godsey, who is now taking testosterone and competing as a male hammer thrower, cannot compete in sporting events that follow the IOC’s policies. Transgender inclusion policies like the NCAA’s, therefore, seem to be needed in elite sporting associations to facilitate a greater inclusion of the transgender community in the sports world.

Conclusion and Implications

While the creation of transgender athletic inclusion policies is to be commemorated, they have not yet become inclusive to all of the transgender community. Our research seeks to understand how limiting current transgender athletic policies are at various levels and how they have impacted existing trans athletes in their careers; only by recognizing the current state of affairs of such regulations can more appropriate adjustments be made. While organizations such as the NCAA and CCAA have adopted more moderate policies, the IOC’s Stockholm Consensus clearly constrains and influences other administrations, such as the ABC and LPGA, to limit participation to transsexual athletes via medical transition requirements. By analyzing how different policies strengthen the gender binary in sports, we shed light on how this system was originally made to be less discriminating against female, cisgender athletes, yet creates exclusion to gender queer identifying athletes.

Due to very few openly transgender athletes, data was limited to only one main athlete, and we therefore acknowledge that it is not an accurate representation of the experiences of all trans athletes. Possible future research could look into the all-inclusive guideline outlined by the Transgender Law & Policy Institute and how it could be implemented into school systems; while we acknowledge that some may see this type of policy as “wishful thinking” on a professional level, we think their proposition of how transgender people should be integrated into athletics is one worth investigating so that possibly one day, trans athletes can a) play on the team corresponding to their gender identity sans discrimination or b) play on a separate team of their own, in a new category against other trans athletes. Research could also be done on how society has curbed transgender people from sports in addition to investigating transgender people’s experiences with sports (those who are not necessarily professional athletes) and whether they felt restricted from becoming professional athletes.


  • Sartore, B., Melanie L. (2012). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Athletes in Sport. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletics in Education 6.1: 141-152. Humanities & Social Sciences Index Retrospective. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
  • Semerijan, Z. (2006). FTM Means Female to Me’: Transgender Athletes Performing Gender. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal 15.2 (2006): 28-43. Regensburg OA Collection. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
  • Tannsjo, T. Value in Sport – Elitism, Nationalism, Gender Equality and the Scientific Manufacture of Winners. Ed. Torbjorn Tannsjo and Claudio Tamburrini. London: E & FN Spon., 2000. Google Book Search. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
  • Katie, T. (2010). L.P.G.A Will Allow Transgender Players to Compete. The New York Times. The New York Times, 1 Dec. 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.
  • Transgender Athlete Fails to Qualify. The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 June 2012. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. 11
  • Transgender Inclusion Policies. Bates Athletics. n.p., Apr. 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
  • Godsey, S. (2012). ABC Medical Recommendations/Guidelines for the Improvement of the Health and Safety of Combat Sports Participants. Addenda to ABC Medical Handbook. n.p., Jul. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. 

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