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The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has released a report entitled, “Sport in Transition: Making Sport in Canada More Responsible for Gender Inclusivity.”
The document concludes that, because variations in sex development exist, individuals should have the right to compete without question in the gender they feel they are or have always identified with, and emphasizes that this right to gender self-identification carries both the privilege of inclusion and the responsibility for fair play.
Without presuming to have all the answers, the CCES released this report to stimulate discussion far and wide throughout sport. Read the report and join the conversation!
Sport is a mirror and a magnifying glass for society, this time as it deals with the exclusions and harms that have all too often impeded athletes with variations of sex development.
For social, cultural and historical reasons, as well as from a basic commitment to fairness, much of sport is organized by sex or gender. The vast majority of persons fit easily into male and female binary categories, developing and thriving as athletes on community playgrounds, and all the way onto podiums at elite international events. However, for the small group who identify (or have been labeled) as transgender or intersex, the opportunities for participation are hampered by the confusion or prejudice from seemingly not clearly fitting into one or the other category.
For several decades, sports bodies in Canada and internationally have struggled with various medical programs for sex verification, including “gender testing.” But this desire to definitively demarcate sex has proven to be scientifically elusive. Of much more serious concern, it has also been harmful for some of the athletes ensnared by the ill-considered, usually inconclusive testing. From the stories and experiences of transgender and intersex persons, including transgender and intersex athletes, society is becoming more aware of the fact that sex is not universally binary, and that as a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon, sex cannot be determined by any simple or arbitrary marker.
Sport is in transition because...
Please note that the ‘Transitioning Sport’ report is not a policy document nor does it represent the position or policy of the CCES or any of the organizations the experts are associated with. The report is a synthesis of expert opinions on how sport can become more inclusive of intersex and transitioning athletes and the CCES is proud to have coordinated this process and produced this report.
The report is positioned on this interactive technology platform to facilitate an exchange of ideas and opinions. Our hope is that it will stimulate a broader discussion by stakeholders in sport and that the conversations and discussion facilitated by this platform will help sport organizations at all levels create policies that ensure a safe and welcoming environments for all who participate.
a conversation of discovery, clarification and implications among experts