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2011 | 52 | 1 | 44-48

Article title

The Hermeneutics of Participation of Transgender Athletes in Sports - Intensifying Third Force


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The present paper is an attempt to move structurally towards the understanding of the basic constitution of the core concept of this paper. It's basically looking at the empirical and inner ideological conception of issue of participation of transgender athletes in sports. The creed of the Olympics states: "The important thing in the game is not winning but taking part. The essential this is not conquering, but fighting well". As noble a goal as this is, it has little to do with the reality of the modern sports world. Athletes are rewarded for winning at virtually every level of competition. Second place is viewed as the "first loser". Modern sports' and the media's misplaced fixation on fame, fortune and winning at all costs have unintentionally created a growing market for unhealthy practices. This review manifests an attempt towards the conceptual study of the participation of transgender athletes in competitive sports, which is one of the latest equality challenges for sport-governing organizations worldwide. The paper investigates the motif of interrelated dynamics between gender terminology and legal and medical issues related to transgender athlete participation in sport. On 28 October 2003, an ad-hoc committee convened by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical Commission met in Stockholm to discuss, then issue recommendations on, the topic of the participation of individuals who have undergone sex reassignment (male to female and vice versa) in sport. This has resulted in a heated debate that there is a competitive advantage for a male who has undergone sex reassignment surgery because of his physical training and development. Men have significantly higher levels of testosterone, a greater muscle-to-fat ratio, and greater heart and lung capacity than women. The other side of the debate argues that a physiological advantage does not necessarily exist. Transgenders must continually take massive doses of oestrogen, which decreases their strength, and their bodies no longer produce testosterone. The issue under consideration has multi-faceted dimensions of interpretations that center on a desire to ‘deconstruct’ the present structuration of acceptance of sex and gender terminology. The resultant aim is to create a worldview of equality, respect for the ‘other’, and competitive fairness. The latent attempt of the paper is to deconstruct the binary of inequality in the field of sports with a view to give vibrational impetus for attaining the ideals of equality in sports.









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1 - 10 - 2011
31 - 10 - 2011


  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India
  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India


  • Gooren, J. G. & Bunck, C. M. (2004). Transsexuals and Competitive Sports. The Netherlands. European Journal of Endocrinology, 151, 425-429.
  • Louis, J. G. (2008). Hormone Doping: Detection and Deterrence Olympic Sports and Transsexuals. Asian Journal of Andrology, 10, 427-432.
  • Laqueur, T. (1990). Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Lyotard, J. F. (1989). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (pp. 178-179). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Louis, J. G. (2008). Hormone Doping: Detection and Deterrence Olympic Sports and Transsexuals. Asian Journal of Andrology, 10, 427-432.
  • Prosser, J. (1998). Second Skins: The Bodily Narratives of Transsexuality. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Stoller, R. J. (1968). Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity. New York: Science House.

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