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McKinnon, Rachel, Conrad, Aryn. Including Trans Women in Sport: Analyzing Principles and Policies of Fairness in Competition
2020, In: Philosophical Topics: Gendered Oppression and Its Intersections (Ed. Bianka Takaoka and Kate Manne)
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Lizzy Ventham
Abstract: In this paper, we examine the scientific, legal, and ethical foundations for inclusion of transgender women athletes in competitive sport, drawing on IOC principles and relevant Court of Arbitration for Sport decisions. We argue that the inclusion of transathletes in competition commensurate with their legal gender is the most consistent position with these principles of fair and equitable sport. Biological restrictions, such as endogenous testosterone limits, are not consistent with IOC and CAS principles. We explore the implications for recognizing that endogenous testosterone values are a natural physical trait and that excluding legally recognized women for high endogenous testosterone values constitutes discrimination on the basis of a natural physical trait. We suggest that the justificatory burden for such prima facie discrimination is unlikely to be met. Thus, in place of a limit on endogenous testosterone for women (whether cisgender, transgender, or intersex), we argue that legally recognized gender is most fully in line with IOC and CAS principles.

Comment: I would use this paper primarily as a key piece of reading in an applied ethics class. It's detailed, topical, and can be a great way to start discussions on trans* issues, gender, sport, and fairness. It makes some good use of science and statistics, but in a way that's accessible, and it offers original arguments. It would also be useful in classes on feminism or the philosophy of sport.


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