Regulatory Policy and Women’s Sports: The Nexus of Gender Verification, Title IX, and Trans Inclusion

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Emily Carol StetsAmerican University School of Public Affairs, Washington, DC, USA

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Title IX specifies that “no person” shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of sex. Yet, advocacy groups and state legislators have debated transgender girls’ and women’s right to participate in sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Such entities employ misguided research about testosterone’s role in sports, assert that transgender girls displace cisgender girls in sports, and weaponize gender verification against transgender girls. Title IX’s original intent catalyzes access for all young people in sports, regardless of gender identity. A review of the historical underpinnings of the regulatory policy driving Title IX’s implementation, leading up to the Biden administration’s current efforts to assess Title IX’s application to sports, underscores the path to the truest implementation of Title IX. The regulatory mechanisms establishing Title IX implementation compel maximization of sport opportunities for all girls and women, which includes trans girls and women.

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