Female Olympians’ voices : female sports categories and International Olympic Committee transgender guidelines / Cathy Devine

Devine, Cathy

The fair inclusion of female athletes at elite and Olympic levels is secured in most sports by way of female categories because of the extensively documented biological and performance-related differences between the sexes. International policy for transgender inclusion is framed by the definitive International Olympic Committee transgender guidelines in which the International Olympic Committee confirms the ‘overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition’ and transwomen can be excluded from female categories if, in the interests of fairness, this is necessary and proportionate. Feminist theorists argue justice requires that women have equal moral standing in the sociocultural–political structures of society including sport. As such their voices should carry equal democratic weight. However, female elite and Olympic athletes are rarely heard in the sociocultural–political discourses of academic literature or policy formulation for transgender inclusion in female categories by the International Olympic Committee and governing bodies of sport. This empirical study investigated the views and presents the ‘voices’ of 19 female Olympians.

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Selection : Zoom Gender equality

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