Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies

This is an interesting review of studies on advantages of trans people in sports.   Now the date is old.  I noticed it was published in 2016 so there maybe a more modern review but a quick google search did not produce it for me.    I have been interested in the medical science of this subject because most of the time it is only dealt with on an emotional level.     This article is very long and some times very tedious.   So I am only going to post the intro to the review and its summary conclusion.    If you want to dig through the data please go to the link above.   Thanks.  

 2017; 47(4): 701–716.
Published online 2016 Oct 3. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0621-y
PMCID: PMC5357259
PMID: 27699698

Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies




Whether transgender people should be able to compete in sport in accordance with their gender identity is a widely contested question within the literature and among sport organisations, fellow competitors and spectators. Owing to concerns surrounding transgender people (especially transgender female individuals) having an athletic advantage, several sport organisations place restrictions on transgender competitors (e.g. must have undergone gender-confirming surgery). In addition, some transgender people who engage in sport, both competitively and for leisure, report discrimination and victimisation.


To the authors’ knowledge, there has been no systematic review of the literature pertaining to sport participation or competitive sport policies in transgender people. Therefore, this review aimed to address this gap in the literature.


Eight research articles and 31 sport policies were reviewed.


In relation to sport-related physical activity, this review found the lack of inclusive and comfortable environments to be the primary barrier to participation for transgender people. This review also found transgender people had a mostly negative experience in competitive sports because of the restrictions the sport’s policy placed on them. The majority of transgender competitive sport policies that were reviewed were not evidence based.


Currently, there is no direct or consistent research suggesting transgender female individuals (or male individuals) have an athletic advantage at any stage of their transition (e.g. cross-sex hormones, gender-confirming surgery) and, therefore, competitive sport policies that place restrictions on transgender people need to be considered and potentially revised.

Keywords: Gender Identity, Sport Participation, Competitive Sport, Sport Organisation, International Olympic Committee

Key points


The majority of transgender people have a negative experience when engaging in competitive sports and sport-related physical activity.
There is no direct and consistent research to suggest that transgender female individuals (and transgender male individuals) have an athletic advantage in sport and, therefore, the majority of competitive sport policies are discriminatory against this population.
There are several areas of future research required to significantly improve our knowledge of transgender people’s experiences in sport, inform the development of more inclusive sport policies, and, most importantly, enhance the lives of transgender people, both physically and psychosocially.

4 thoughts on “Sport and Transgender People: A Systematic Review of the Literature Relating to Sport Participation and Competitive Sport Policies

  1. Many labs set up to study exactly this have been shut down and the researchers fired. The examples are legion. What has replaced them is gender supportive labs. The former raised the concern about rapid onset gender dysphoria; the latter ‘proves’ there’s no such element in the 2400% rise in cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Tildeb. Don’t out yourself as a conspiracist also. Yes I am sure there is a gobal cabal of wealthy trans people with enough government pull to shut down all legitimate labs and have them replace with pro trans facilities paid to find all the gender changing … I give up, I cannot even do the snark right I am so tired. Just think about what you wrote and use reason. It has not happened. The earth is not flat. The moon landing is not faked. JFK is not coming back to Dallas to install trump as king. Yes some Q people have been hanging out in Dallas for months waiting on that one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kenneth Zucker, only the a leading authority on sex, gender, and children. Editor in Chief of the most prestigious journal in the field and the go-to source for world class research regarding gender dysphoria.

        Yeah, what a dolt.

        A leading critic of conversion therapy regarding same sex attraction, his entire lab, staff, and research were dismissed, expertise disqualified, and employment denied after endorsing watchful waiting. We can’t have that. We all must toe the line and ALWAYS go along with ONLY affirmation, which is where we are today.

        One of the expert researchers (meaning ‘specialized’) from this lab was Dr Debra Soh (you may have heard of her, read her many articles, or listened to her podcasts) who left the field entirely because of this ideological take-over by the woke and dared to speak up about the dismemberment of sex-based research throughout the west. We can’t have that, either. Criticism means bigotry.

        So no, Scottie, your hand wave about ‘conspiracy thinking’ regarding transactivism and its ongoing harm again fails utterly to respect what’s true when the world’s leading expert suffers the fate of magically becoming a ‘transphobe’ (only having worked with gender dysphoric children his entire career but he’s just another bigot, donchaknow) and all research that conflicts with the affirmation approach suddenly and irrevocably becomes evidence of bias.


Leave a Reply to Scotties Playtime Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.