The Future of Women’s Sports Includes Transgender Women and Girls

A statement from Athlete Ally on the future of women’s sport, co-authored by affiliated academics and endorsed by leading scholars in the fields of Kinesiology, Law and Policy, and Gender Studies

As advocates and scholars dedicated to advancing equality for women and girls in sport, we believe in the power of sport to empower all people—and to change the world by doing so. Exclusion and restrictions for transgender athletes undermine this cause.

Transgender athletes are not and have never been a threat to women’s sport. Many scholars and women’s organizations—including the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Tucker Center for Girls & Women in Sport, and the International Working Group on Girls and Women in Sport—have conducted extensive research into the issues women and girls in sport are confronting over the last 50 years. Women and girls continue to face unequal opportunities, inequitable funding, pay inequities, uneven media coverage driven by gender stereotypes, a lack of sponsorship opportunities, higher rates of sexual harassment and abuse, and incomplete implementation of Title IX in sport.

The consensus among scholars from multiple disciplines, including human biology, kinesiology, law and policy, and gender studies, is clear: the future of sports for women and girls includes both transgender and cisgender women and girls. This document utilizes a close reading of peer-reviewed, credible sources to better understand trans athletes, to dispel misinformation about trans athletes that has spread in recent media and political debates, to outline critical legal and policy discussions about trans athletes, and to highlight why access to sport matters for everyone.

Read the full document and list of 75+ signatories here.
If you’re an academic who would like to add your name, please click here.

Special thank you to Dr. Libby Sharrow, Dr. Lindsay Pieper, Dr. Jaime Schultz and Athlete Ally staff Dr. Anna Baeth and Anne Lieberman for their leadership on the drafting of this statement.