Questioning representations of athletes with elevated testosterone levels in elite women’s sports: a critical policy analysis

Bromdal, Annette and Olive, Rebecca and Walker, Brooke (2020) Questioning representations of athletes with elevated testosterone levels in elite women’s sports: a critical policy analysis. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 12 (4). pp. 699-715. ISSN 1940-6940

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Abstract

Sport sociologists are often required to interpret, question and respond to the ways in which fairness and eligibility concerns in elite sports are represented in policy frameworks produced by sports governing bodies. Drawing on Carol Bacchi’s critical policy analysis framework, ‘what is the problem represented to be?’, this paper explores the importance in devel- oping a critical eye and reading about representations of women athletes with particular differences of sex development (DSD) with elevated testosterone levels and the idea of regulating their testosterone levels in the female classification. Through using the above critical policy analysis line of questioning, this analysis aims to consider what the problem of women athletes with relevant DSDs with elevated testosterone levels in female elite sports is represented to be; what the assumptions underlying these representations of the problem are; how these representations of the problem have come about; what is left unproblematic in this problem representation; what the lived effects produced by these representations of the problem are; and how these representations of the problem have been produced, disseminated, defended, questioned, disrupted and even could be replaced. The critical policy analysis argues that the continuing persistence of policies marking particular women with DSDs as a problem, is related in part to societal views defining particular bodies and athletic abilities in the female classification as either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ and in need of fixing. In moving forward and redressing the problem, it requires the embodiment of biomedical ethics and human rights advocacy work by sports governing bodies.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 04:27
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2021 00:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomedical ethics; intersex; critical policy analysis; sex/ gender; women’s sport; testosterone
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220101 Bioethics (human and animal)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950401 Bioethics
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940113 Gender and Sexualities
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2020.1834432
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/39969

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