Sporting Gender: The History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes -

Sporting Gender: The History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes

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The Tokyo Olympic Games are likely to feature the first transgender athlete, a topic that will be highly contentious during the competition. But transgender and intersex athletes such as Laurel Hubbard, Tifanny Abreu, and Caster Semenya didn’t just turn up overnight. Both intersex and transgender athletes have been newsworthy stories for decades.

In Sporting Gender: The History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes, Joanna Harper provides an in-depth examination of why gender diverse athletes are so controversial. She not only delves into the history of these athletes and their personal stories, but also explains in a highly accessible manner the science behind their gender diversity and why the science is important for regulatory committees—and the general public—to consider when evaluating sports performance.

Sporting Gender gives the reader a perspective that is both broad in scope and yet detailed enough to grasp the nuances that are central in understanding the controversies over intersex and transgender athletes. Featuring personal investigations from the author, who has had first-person access to some of the most significant recent developments in this complex arena, this book provides fascinating insight into sex, gender, and sports.

About the Author

Joanna Harper is a medical physicist who has written extensively on gender and sport. She has been an expert advisor to many international sports federations, including the International Olympic Committee, on matters relating to gender variance and sport. Harper was an expert witness for the IAAF at both the Semenya and Chand trials before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Harper has been racing at a relatively high level for over forty years--first in the men's category, and for the last twelve years in the women's category.

A breathtaking dive into the saga of transgender and intersex athletes: gripping and accurate.--Stéphane Bermon, director, IAAF Health & Science Department There is no more complex issue facing sport than that of sex vs gender. Drawing on both experience and extensive research, Harper weaves the complex science and biology of testosterone, performance, DSDs, and transgender athletes into an historical narrative full of fascinating characters and concepts that have vexed authorities for decades. There may be no solution that satisfies all stakeholders involved in this issue, but Harper presents all the elements necessary to have an informed discussion, whatever your position. Much work remains to be done, evidence to be gathered, but Harper is at the forefront of that exploration, and this book will arm anyone who wishes to engage with as much knowledge as they can possibly have to make a constructive contribution to a fascinating debate.--Ross Tucker, sports scientist, The Science of Sport Sporting Gender brings you behind the dramatic scenes of the rule-making world of sports. A must-read for re-framing the concepts of fairness and gender in athletic competitions.--Eric Vilain, M.D., Ph.D, geneticist, International Olympic Committee advisor and expert witness for Caster Semenya before the Court of Arbitration of Sports, on the opposite side of the author, Joanna Harper Since Joanna Harper did this great study about transgender and intersex people we all can inspire young people outside of the courtroom.--Tifanny Abreu, transgender Brazilian professional volleyball player Like no one I have ever seen, Harper has an ability to engage in controversial conversations without pandering or making others feel attacked.--David Epstein, Slate Harper, a transgender athlete and medical physicist, does a masterful job of providing a wide lens through which to view this sensitive topic, weaving together a historical account of athletic participation by transgender individuals, along with scientific studies that can be understood by both lay and professional readers. . . . As society grapples with ensuring fair competition, this volume makes a significant contribution on a topic that has seen limited research.-- "Booklist" The author's own story as a trans woman athlete is compelling in itself, and the autobiographical account of her personal and athletic lives both before and after her transition is the most interesting part of the book.-- "Choice Reviews"

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pub date: dec 03, 2019
344 pages
Format: Hardcover