Gender Diversity and Sport : Interdisciplinary Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Gender Diversity and Sport
Interdisciplinary Perspectives

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 18, 2022
ISBN 9780367506285
April 18, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

This timely and urgent text presents cutting-edge research exploring the complexities of barriers to inclusive access to sport and physical activity, and discusses how sport, and society, can move forward beyond the gender binary, in both theory and practice.

Sport is one of the most influential, powerful, and visible institutions upholding the gender binary, even as the number of people identifying as transgender and non-binary increases rapidly worldwide. With this rising visibility, societal pressure has been increasing for the equal acceptance of gender diverse people, but while gains have been made in many areas, the participation of intersex, trans and non-binary people in sport remains harshly contested. Bringing together a world-leading team of established and emerging scholars from the UK, USA, and Australia, this collection presents an interdisciplinary analysis of current issues related to the participation of gender diverse individuals in sport and physical activity. Engaging with psychological ideas around identity, prejudice and discrimination, and sports psychology and performance, authors examine evidence that the rules, regulations, and practices that surround physical activity participation – from elite sport to sport in schools, universities, and society at large – are grounded in heteronormative, cisgendered, and sexist practices which unfairly discriminate against gender diverse people.

Also including analysis of personal accounts from non-binary and transgender athletes from a range of sports, this is fascinating and essential reading for education, health, and sports professionals who work with and support gender diverse children and adults, as well as academics and students in the fields of psychology, sport psychology, sociology, law, and sports science, and those participating in, and navigating, sport and physical activity spaces.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Situating Gender Diversity and Sport Gemma L Witcomb & Elizabeth Peel, Loughborough University

Chapter 2. Sex Segregation in Elite Sport: What’s the Problem? Jaime Schultz, Pennsylvania State University

Chapter 3. Law and Regulatory Barriers to Increasing Inclusivity for Trans Athletes Seema Patel, Nottingham Trent University

Chapter 4. "For Some People they’d Never be able to Tick all those Boxes": Exclusion of Trans and Non-binary Identities in University Sport Policy Catherine Phipps, Solent University

Chapter 5. The Navigation of Non-binary Expression through Sports Kit Lauren Whitehouse, Catherine Armstrong & Jennifer Cooke, Loughborough University

Chapter 6. Negotiating Gender Performances in Physical Education and School Sport: Gender Diversity and Inclusive Practices Hannah Kettley-Linsell, Rachel Sandford & Janine Coates, Loughborough University

Chapter 7. Understanding How Voice Impacts on Trans Women’s Participation in Sport Lauryn Stewart, Jennifer Oates & Paul O’Halloran, La Trobe University

Chapter 8. Representing Diverse Genders in Sports Media: The Discursive Production of Cisgenderism in the UK Press Gabriel Knott-Fayle, Elizabeth Peel & Gemma L Witcomb, Loughborough University

Chapter 9. Ripping up the Rulebook: Challenges and Opportunities in Moving Beyond the Binary Hannah J. H. Newman & Gemma L Witcomb, Loughborough University


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Gemma Witcomb is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Loughborough University, UK, whose research centers around gender, identity, sexuality, and health and wellbeing.

Elizabeth Peel is a Professor of Communication and Social Interaction at Loughborough University, UK. They have published widely in critical social and health psychology and are a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.


"Gender Diversity and Sport is an essential addition to the field around non-conforming people in sport at all levels. Its interdisciplinary research, and acknowledgement of more work needed across disciplines is clear, and should be seen as a calling to those working in social sciences." - Rachael Bullingham, Senior Lecturer of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, UK

"This is a well constructed and timely book on a very important, and widely discussed, topic. Rather than focus on exclusionary practices, this book draws on a range of interdisciplinary perspectives that address inclusivity to explain the diverse relationship between gender and sport in the 21st century. The quality of it is in its accessibility to students, researchers, and all who seek to develop their knowledge in this research area." - Jamie Cleland, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Management, University of South Australia

"This book provides the reader with a critical insight into the realm of gender diversity in sport; offering new perspectives beyond the polarised view and established ‘norm’ challenging what we thought we already knew. The chapters provide a well-considered introduction into the field for those how may be starting out in this area of interest as well as contributing to our understanding of the sector and the challenges sport faces to provide opportunities for everyone to be active. Congratulations to Witcomb and Peel in producing such a comprehensive consideration of environments; from educational experiences to the nuances of the legal system and the impact of the media. Gender Diversity and Sport is a must read for those not only interested in gender diversity but for everyone working within sport." - Helen Ives, Senior Lecturer in Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Brunel University London

"Witcomb and Peel have delivered a provocative and contemporary book that will be a prized asset for anyone interested in gender and sport. It is an invaluable interdisciplinary contribution that enriches our understanding and practice of gender, diversity and inclusivity." - Brett Smith, Professor of Disability and Physical Activity and co-author of the Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology, Durham University, UK

"Gender Diversity and Sport really gets to the heart of why inclusion and gender diversity in sport matters for trans and non-binary people. It’s accessible and relatable, and covers a rainbow of perspectives from social justice, human rights, university and school sport, to the ways gendered sports clothing can make gender diverse people feel excluded. Most importantly, the themes in this book are addressed sympathetically and draw on trans and non-binary people’s lived experiences in sport. Gender Diversity and Sport shows a genuine commitment to move the discussion away from historical hostilities, and reflects a passion for improving inclusion and celebrating diversity in sport for all. " - Verity Smith, Rugby Player/Trans Inclusion in Sports Youth Worker, Mermaids

 "At a time when gender diverse people are being targeting politically, Gemma Witcomb and Elizabeth Peel provide an insightful and compassionate view into the grand diversity of gender within sport. The ground-breaking essays highlight the experiences of a broad range of gender diverse people in sport; identify challenges and barriers facing trans, non-binary, and intersex people in sport; and point to strategies for inclusion. This engaging collection is a call to action that will challenge and inspire readers to envision a gender diverse and inclusive sport." - Vikki Krane, Professor of Teaching Excellence and author of Sex, Gender and Sexuality in Sport: Queer Inquiries, Bowling Green State University, USA