“Transsexual And Transgender Policies In Sport”,

864 words - 3 pages

According to Heather Skyes in her article “Transsexual and Transgender Policies in Sport”, the vast variety of genders that make up our society today including transsexuals and transgender are still not accepted into the world of sports due to anxieties from large sporting organizations. In our culture, there is a ‘binary structure’ which separates male from female. When a person is transsexual or transgender, the binary structure becomes challenged. There are so many exceptions to the binary structure, that it becomes nearly impossible to universalize “gender inclusive policies”. These individuals increase the ‘anxieties’ that Skyes suggests sporting organizations have, because transsexual and transgender people do not fit the norm. Sports organizations find it easier to ignore equal opportunity, because classifying ‘non-binary’ genders is a nearly impossible task. Skyes acknowledges that it is difficult for sporting organizations to classify transsexual and transgender as male or female, therefore there are tests which are performed to confirm the gender of athletes. Unfortunately, these tests are often seen as offensive to athletes and may violate the basic human rights of an athlete. The position Skyes takes on this matter is that sports organizations need to understand that each person is different and they need to be understanding towards the unique circumstances of each individual athlete.
Within “Transsexual and Transgender Policies in Sport”, there are both strengths and weaknesses. Skyes makes an excellent suggestion for sporting organizations to be accepting of all athletes as each person has a different circumstance. In Medscape Women’s Health Journal, Myron Genel wrote an article about gender testing in the Olympics. In his article he discusses how women have been tested for gender verification during Olympic competition for more than 30 years. When it comes to physical activity women are seen as inferior to men. They lack the muscular physique and the lung capacity that men are naturally born with. Unfortunately, when a woman excels in sports it is assumed that she has cheated and is questioned about her performance. In Genel’s article, throughout the process of gender testing, a group of women were found to be genetically male. These women have what is called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). Their outer appearance is that of a woman, but genetically they are made up of 46 XY chromosomes, which marks them genetically as males. These female athletes are “born with relatively rare genetic abnormalities that affect development of the gonads”. they are naturally resistant to the strength-promoting qualities of testosterone. When Skyes suggests that each athlete is unique and their circumstances need to be taken into...

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