Transgender Exclusion and Inclusion in Sport

Authored by: Adam Love

Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality

Print publication date:  February  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415522533
eBook ISBN: 9780203121375
Adobe ISBN: 9781136326967


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Few institutions maintain a sex-segregated structure more rigidly than sport. This strict adherence to a system based upon a static and binary understanding of sex has presented considerable barriers to the participation of transgender athletes, who have traditionally been faced with policies of overt exclusion by sport organisations. However, in response to challenges from transgender athletes and other activist groups, many sporting bodies have begun to adopt policies that appear, at least ostensibly, to be designed to include transgender athletes. This chapter provides an overview and analysis of this shift from policies of overt exclusion to supposed inclusion. In doing so, I suggest that while such policies may appear inclusive on the surface, closer scrutiny reveals them to conform to conservative views of sex and gender in important ways. Ultimately, I argue that scholars and sporting officials should seek more inclusive, non-sex-binary-based models for organising sporting competition.

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