Transgender Athletes Inclusion: Navigating The Policies

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1254 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 1254|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Transgender Athletes Issue
  2. Decision-Making Models
  3. Resolving the Issue
  4. Appropriate Decision-Making Model
  5. Devising its Decision
  6. Appropriate Theories and Models
  7. Changes in Transgender Athletes Policies
  8. Works Cited

Transgender Athletes Issue

Transgender athletes receive criticism for competing with women because they may retain testosterone that gives them a competitive influence. Additional testosterone gives them an advantage to achieve their maximum ability. It will allow for unwarranted competitions tarnishing the purity in women’s athletics. According to Woodward (2012), “Indeed, although Semenya earned a silver medal in the women’s 800m in London (a remarkable achievement, especially if it followed the rumored hormone therapy), she has not matched the time she ran in Berlin in 2009 (IAAFb), suggesting that gendered inequalities in sport are not only reproduced through sex-based eligibility policies, but are also ‘enfleshed’ in women’s bodies and performances” (p.7). Having Semenya’s body examined by medical specialists to verify her gender identity is publicly humiliating and dehumanizing. According to (Schultz, 2011; Sullivan, 2011), “The Semenya controversy brought renewed attention to “gender verification,” the tradition and methods by which women athletes have been required to “prove” themselves as biologically female to satisfy the expectations and demands of sex segregation in dominant sporting culture.”

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Decision-Making Models

The IOC established gender verification examination expressing their motives for conducting tests. The reason for testing is to determine if Semenya retained intersex traits. Controversial debates whether gender testing is essential in the olympics is a thriving topic. Athletic governing bodies incorporates transgender guidelines on surgery and hormone therapy to maintain fairness. The two techniques that can potentially be utilized to address the concerns of transgender participation are ‘Administrative Person Model’ and ‘Participative Decision Making’. A sensitive subject such as gender identity and the inclusion of transgender athletes various aspects of equality have to be addressed. In doing so these two methods will provide a premium agreement.

According to Simon (1976), the decisions of the administrative person are characterized by “bounded rationality,” which he describes as follows: “ The individual can be rational in terms of the organization’s goals only to the extent that he is able to pursue a course of action, he has a correct conception of the goal of the action, and he is correctly informed about the conditions surrounding his actions. Within the boundaries laid down by these factors his choices are rational-goal oriented” (p.241).

  1. Define/frame the problem
  2. Set minimally acceptable criteria
  3. Generate a few alternatives
  4. Evaluate alternatives one at a time
  5. Select the first alternative that meets the criteria

The social process of decision making refers to the degree to which members of a group are allowed to participate in decision making and can actually influence decisions. The social process of decision making may vary from autocratic decision making by the manager to varying degrees of participation by members (consultation with one or a few members, consultation with all members, group decision making, or delegation). These variations have been called the decision styles of the manager (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1978). The benefits of allowing members to participate in decision making can be summarized as (a) higher rationality of the decisions, (b) better understanding of the decisions, (c) broader ownership of the decisions, and (d) better execution of the decisions (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1978).

Resolving the Issue

The decision making model suitable for resolving the issue is the ‘Administrative Person Model.’ The combination of Semenya’s appearance and the improvements in her race times instigated a gender examination. The results would provide evidence to verify if Semenya is allowed to compete in the Olympics. Gender testing is invading a person’s privacy thus the manner of conducting the test should be confidential and respectful.

Appropriate Decision-Making Model

The IOC utilized the appropriate decision making model because in 2016 the governing body updated their policy on transgender eligibility. In regards of the five steps in the ‘Administrative Person Model’ from a organization viewpoint the IOC addressed all the concerns. They defined the problem by analyzing cause of concern in relation to competitive advantages.

Devising its Decision

As a representative for the IOC leadership is a key factor in specifying motivation for administration and athletes. The Olympics is considered to be the leader in equality at the international stage thus implementing a positive response to negative concerns in relation to transgender athletes is essential. Procedural justice refers to how various ends, or content or consequences (distributive justice), are attained (Folger & Greenberg, 1985). Thus, procedural justice is an intermediary stage that is instrumental in the attainment of distributive justice. However, procedures may have equal if not more weight than the actual outcomes in perceptions of justice (Folger & Greenberg, 1985). According to Leventhat (1980), to ensure procedural justice these rules are outlined as consistency bias suppression, accuracy, representativeness, ethicality, and correctability.

Released in 2011 and adopted by the IOC prior to the London 2012 Olympics, the guidelines specify that women whose functional testosterone levels exceed a specific level, which was determined by scientists consulted by the IAAF, must lower their testosterone, presumably using testosterone-blocking drugs, to be eligible to compete in the women’s events. The level of 100 mg/ml now serves as the threshold for distinguishing men and women (Bostick and Joyner 2012). These policies have been applied to help ensure competitors do not benefit from hormone-based advantages. In addition, to acknowledging the importance of transgender athletes accomplishments towards their respective sport.

Appropriate Theories and Models

According to Chelladurai (2014), Vroom’s expectancy theory assumes that the force (equated here with motivation) with which an individual engages in an activity depends on the valence or attraction for the outcomes (rewards or incentives the organization has to offer), the expectancy that the effort will result in a certain level of performance, and the instrumentality of performance in the attainment of those rewards. The interplay among the factors of vroom’s theory can be expected as follows: Force= Valence x Expectancy x Instrumentality (p.260)

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Changes in Transgender Athletes Policies

In 2016, the International Olympic Committee updated their original policies, 13 years after first establishing them. The current International Olympic Committee (IOC) policy addresses many earlier concerns and states that female to male athletes may participate in male sports without restriction and male to female athletes can participate in female sports if their identity is declared as female and testosterone levels are (and continue to be monitored as being) below set levels for 12 months prior to competition (Ziegler, 2016). The IOC inclusion policies are acceptable the question becomes how to implement these policies in respectful non discriminatory method.

Works Cited

  1. Woodward, K. (2012). “The Virtual Self: Gender, Subjectivity, and the Un/Real.” In Digital Identity and Everyday Activism: Sharing Private Stories with Networked Publics, eds. M. Davis and J. L. James, 11-28. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Schultz, J. (2011). “Vexing gender: finding gender in real time.” Sociology Compass, 5(10), 869-882.
  3. Sullivan, S. J. (2011). “Gender verification of female Olympic athletes.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 10(2), 390-392.
  4. Simon, H. A. (1976). Administrative behavior: A study of decision-making processes in administrative organization (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.
  5. Chelladurai, P., & Haggerty, T. R. (1978). A taxonomic model of decision styles in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Psychology, 1(1), 53-66.
  6. Folger, R., & Greenberg, J. (1985). Procedural justice: An interpretive analysis of personnel systems. In Research in personnel and human resources management (Vol. 3, pp. 141-183). JAI Press.
  7. Leventhal, G. S. (1980). What should be done with equity theory? New approaches to the study of fairness in social relationships. In Social exchange: Advances in theory and research (pp. 27-55). Plenum.
  8. Bostick, G. P., & Joyner, M. J. (2012). An Olympic–sized controversy: The “sex testing” of female athletes. Clinical Chemistry, 58(7), 1157-1159.
  9. Chelladurai, P. (2014). Human resource management in sport and recreation. Human Kinetics.
  10. Ziegler, S. (2016). Olympic bodies and global gender regimes: The shifting of international Olympic Committee policy on transgender athletes. Gender & Society, 30(5), 757-781.
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Transgender Athletes Inclusion: Navigating the Policies. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“Transgender Athletes Inclusion: Navigating the Policies.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
Transgender Athletes Inclusion: Navigating the Policies. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Transgender Athletes Inclusion: Navigating the Policies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from:
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