Fairness for whom? : a critical examination into the gendered governance of international sporting policy / Anna Posbergh

Posbergh, Anna

Edited by University of Maryland - 2022

While sex- and gender-based eligibility policies for sport organizations have historically been characterized by their adherence to medico-scientific evidence, science cannot be separated from social, cultural, and psychological dimensions. Nonetheless, science has become a mechanism to preserve ideas of “fairness” and “protection,” especially in the case of transgender eligibility guidelines. Consequently, there is a need to investigate how scientific discourses, as shaping and shaped by sociocultural beliefs, have evolved over time to guide the development of current transgender eligibility documents. Drawing on archival materials collected at the Olympic Studies Centre and textual analyses of historical and current International Olympic Committee-issued transgender eligibility guidelines, the author traces how and through what means historical understandings of “fairness” and “protection” have underpinned previous IOC transgender eligibility guidelines, and continue to do so in its current framework. To do so, the author examines seven relevant topics: gender verification, testosterone, birth control and pregnancy, women’s participation in the Olympic Games, Olympism, doping, and burn-out. These categories provide insight into the complex process of developing transgender eligibility guidelines and demonstrate how purportedly science-based policies attempt to reconcile historical divisions between science, fairness, and protection with values of human rights, inclusion, and gender diversity, despite operating within a sex segregated structure.

Loading enrichments...