Negotiating Gender: Creating Positive Sport Environments for Transgender and Intersex Athletes

Vikki Krane, Bowling Green State University, USA
Heather Barber, University of New Hampshire, USA

Theme: Social and cultural diversity

Program ID: WKSP-09

Presentation: October 2, 2013 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Room: Fountain


This presentation will focus on a group of athletes receiving increased media attention, yet who are rarely addressed from a sport psychology perspective: transgender and intersex athletes. While media attention is increasing, research has only begun to examine the sport experiences of these athletes (Lucas-Carr & Krane, 2012; Griffin & Carroll, 2010).Transgender and intersex athletes are competing in youth to elite sport and sport psychology consultants should be prepared to work with them as well as coaches, teammates, administrators, and parents. Using an interactive format, we will guide discussion about terminology and concepts necessary for communicating about the experiences of transgender, transsexual, and intersex people. Dialogue will address myths and stereotypes about these athletes, and counter them with current research knowledge (e.g., Karkazis et al., 2012). Because of differing physicalities and perceptions surrounding transgender, transsexual, and intersex athletes, there are separate sport policies regarding their inclusion. As such, we present current and landmark policies and debate their strengths and limitations with the audience. Finally, case studies presenting situations sport psychology consultants may face will be discussed and analyzed. The learning objectives of this session are to: (a) increase knowledge regarding transgender and intersex individuals, (b) develop strategies for working with team members and coaches to create inclusive performance environments for athletes with differing gender identities, and (c) identify policy implications for the inclusion of trans and intersex individuals within sport teams. Participants will receive handouts containing definitions, samples of current legislation, and references. Ultimately we hope to provide participants with an opportunity to become more conversant with the issues presented as well as foster greater outreach and encouragement of inclusive sport climates for transgender, transsexual, and intersex athletes.

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