Including Transgender Student-Athletes in Collegiate Athletics Making Fair Policy & Enacting Best Practices
Transgender Student-Athlete Participation Participation in athletics provides studentathletes a unique and positively powerful experience. As a higher educational association, the NCAA and its member institutions govern athletics programs in accordance with the Association’s core mission to assure safe and equitable opportunities for participation.
Workshop Objectives To provide a basic understand of transgender identity To understand why collegiate athletic programs need to address the participation of transgender student-athletes
To discuss questions related to the inclusion of transgender student-athletes To identify recommended policies and best practices for including transgender student-athletes on school teams
Who Are Transgender StudentAthletes?
Transgender students’ internal sense of their gender does not match the sex/gender they were assigned at birth
Why Address Transgender Athlete Issues? Estimates are that 1-2% of the population identifies as transgender More young people are identifying as transgender at younger ages In recent years, the NCAA has had at least 40 inquiries from member schools about how to include transgender students on athletic teams
Why Address Transgender Athlete Issues? Participation in athletics contributes to students’ overall educational experience
The NCAA is a part of the higher education community and supports a broad commitment to inclusion and equal access
Why Include Transgender StudentAthletes on Collegiate Sports Teams? Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Commitment to Equal Opportunity
School Non-Discrimination Policy State and Federal Laws
First, A Few Definitions to Make Sure We Have A Common Vocabulary
Towards A Common Vocabulary Transgender - A person whose gender identity does not match the sex/gender assigned at birth.
A transgender woman (MTF) was born with a male body but identifies as a girl/woman A transgender man (FTM) was born with a female body but identifies as a boy/man
Toward A Common Vocabulary Biological Sex Sex/Gender Assigned at Birth Gender Identity Gender Expression Sexual Orientation Transgender
Intersex (Differences in Sexual Development)
Toward A Common Vocabulary Biological Sex – The anatomical, physiological, hormonal, genetic characteristics that we are born with Sex/Gender Assigned at Birth – Assignment of boy or girl based on appearance of external genitals
Toward A Common Vocabulary Gender Identity – A person’s internal sense of being a woman/girl, man/boy
Gender Expression – The behavior and appearance characteristics used to express our gender identity. Many characteristics are based on social expectations of what is appropriate for girls/women or for boys/men.
Toward A Common Vocabulary Sexual Orientation – A person’s sexual desires, behaviors, fantasies directed toward someone of another sex (heterosexual), the same sex (lesbian, gay), or any sex (bisexual).
Transgender - A person whose gender identity does not match the sex/gender assigned at birth.
Toward A Common Vocabulary
Intersex – A person born with both male and female anatomical, physiological, genetic characteristics (Also called differences of sexual development).
One in 2,000 babies are born intersex
What We Assume About Sex, Gender and Sexuality Biological Sex
Gender Assigned at Birth
Linear Relationship Among Sex, Gender and Sexuality
Binary & Fixed Assumptions Female Bodied
Lived Experiences of Sex, Gender & Sexuality Biological Sex
Gender/Sex Assigned at Birth
What Does Transitioning Genders Mean? Social Transitioning – choosing a name, behavior and appearance characteristics that express one’s gender identity. o Name, pronouns o Hair style o Clothes o Voice
What Does Transitioning Genders Mean? Medical Transitioning – Taking hormones and/or having surgery to better match one’s body to one’s gender identity.
Many transgender people choose not to have surgery.
Trends in Federal Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity/Expression Title IX - Addresses Discrimination Based on Gender Stereotypes
Student Non-Discrimination Act (Introduced in U.S. Congress in 2010)
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (Introduced in the U.S. Congress in 2010)
State Laws Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity/Expression California Colorado Illinois Iowa New Hampshire,
Minnesota Maine Washington New Jersey
Oregon Vermont District of Columbia
School Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity/Expression 377 Colleges and Universities in the United States Have Non-Discrimination Policies that Include Gender Identity/Expression Transgender Law and Policy Center http://www.transgenderlaw.org/college/index.htm#policies
What About Competitive Equity? Do Transgender Women Have An Unfair Competitive Advantage When Competing With Women identified as Female at Birth?
Addressing Concerns about Unfair Competitive Advantage We already accept many competitive advantages among women and among men as part of the game o o o o o
Physical differences (Weight, height, strength, etc) Genetic conditions ( Marfans Syndrome, etc) Access to excellent coaching, training, equipment Access to good nutrition, clean air and water Access to social support and reward for athletic abilities
Addressing Concerns About Competitive Equity: M2F Transgender Athletes on Women’s Teams Wide range of physiological difference and athletic abilities among women athletes
Overlap of physiological differences and athletic abilities between women and men
Student-Athletes Who Take Hormones As Part of a Gender Transition After Puberty Available medical research indicates that: After one year of taking estrogen, the hormone levels of transgender women fall within the range for non-transgender women Transgender men taking testosterone experience increases in strength almost immediately that could provide a competitive advantage in competition on women's teams
Student-Athletes Who Take Hormones as Part of a Gender Transition After Puberty Transgender women and men who take hormones have strength and endurance levels that are within the typical range for non-transgender athletes of their gender after one year of hormone treatment.*
* van Kesteren P, Lips P, Deville W, Popp-Snijders C, Asscheman H, Megens J & Gooren L. The effect of one-year cross-sex hormonal treatment on bone metabolism and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 in transsexuals. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 1996 81 2227–2232.
Student-Athletes Who Transition Gender After Puberty Transgender women do retain the effects of bone growth triggered by testosterone production during male puberty Transgender men taking testosterone will not have the bone growth that occurs during a male puberty Not all transgender women are big boned or tall Not all transgender men are slight and short
Policy Recommendation Slides 30-36 on hold
A transgender student-athlete at the college level should be allowed to participate in any sex-separated sports activity so long as that athlete’s use of hormone therapy, if any, is consistent with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) existing policies on banned medications.
Transgender Student-Athlete Participation & Hormone Treatment for the Purpose of Gender Transition A [trans male] student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition, for purposes of NCAA competition, may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team. A [trans female] student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition, for the purposes of NCAA competition, may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.
Policy Recommendations For StudentAthletes Undergoing Hormone Treatments It is the responsibility of the NCAA institution to submit the request for a medical exception for testosterone treatment prior to the student-athlete competing while undergoing treatment. In the case of testosterone suppression, the institution must submit written documentation of the year of treatment and ongoing monitoring of testosterone suppression.
For the purpose of NCAA competition, interruptions of treatments for gender transition will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Policy Recommendations For StudentAthletes Undergoing Hormone Treatments A male-to-female (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is taking medically prescribed hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate on a men’s team at any time, but must complete one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition before competing on a women’s team. A female-to-male (FTM) transgender student-athlete who is taking medically prescribed testosterone related to gender transition may not participate on a women’s team after beginning hormone treatment, and must request a medical exception from the NCAA prior to competing on a men’s team because testosterone is a banned substance. A female-to-male (FTM) transgender student-athlete who is taking medically prescribed testosterone for the purposes of gender transition may compete on a men’s team. In any case where a student-athlete is taking hormone treatment related to gender transition, that treatment must be monitored by a physician, and the NCAA must receive regular reports about the athlete’s eligibility according to these guidelines.
Policy Recommendations for Transgender Student-Athletes Who are NOT Undergoing Hormone Treatment Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sexseparated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender. A female-to-male transgender student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team. A male-to-female transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.
Participation on Mixed Teams Transgender Student-Athletes Taking Hormones For purposes of mixed gender team classification, a male-tofemale (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is taking medically prescribed hormone treatment related to gender transition shall be counted as a male participant until the athlete has completed one year of hormone treatment at which time the athlete shall be counted as a female participant. For purposes of mixed gender team classification, a female-tomale (FTM) transgender student-athlete who is taking medically prescribed testosterone related to gender transition shall be counted as a male participant and must request a medical exception from the NCAA prior to competing because testosterone is a banned substance.
Participation on Mixed Teams Transgender Student-Athletes Not Taking Hormones For purposes of mixed gender team classification, a female-tomale (FTM) transgender student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may be counted as either a male or female. For purposes of mixed gender team classification, a female-tomale (FTM) transgender student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition participating on a women’s team shall not make that team a mixed gender team. For purposes of mixed gender team classification, a male-tofemale (MTF) transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition shall count as a male.
Best Practice Recommendations: Education All members of the school community should receive information about transgender identities, non-discrimination policies, the use of pronouns and chosen names, and expectations for creating a respectful school and team climate for all students, including transgender students.
Best Practice Recommendations: Facilities Access Transgender student-athletes should be able to use locker rooms and bathrooms in accordance with their identified gender Every locker room and toilet area should have provisions for privacy accessible to all students When requested by a transgender student-athlete, separate changing and toilet facilities should be provided
Best Practice Recommendations: Facilities Access Many schools have already accommodated facilities use by transgender students and staff. Athletics staff should work with colleagues on campus for implementing best practices for facilities use.
Best Practice Recommendations: Hotel Rooms Transgender student-athletes should be assigned hotel rooms according to their identified gender in the same manner that other members of the team are assigned rooms Provisions should be made for any student-athlete who need extra privacy whenever possible
Best Practice Recommendations: Language Coaches, teammates and media should refer to transgender athletes by their preferred name
When referring to a transgender student-athlete, coaches, teammates and media should use pronouns that reflect the student-athlete’s identified gender
Best Practice Recommendations: Dress Codes Transgender student-athletes should be able to dress in accordance with their identified gender
Dress codes for athletic teams should be genderneutral (For example: Do not require women to wear dresses or skirts. Instead require attire that is neat, clean and appropriate for the occasion)
Best Practice Recommendations: Team Uniforms All team members should have access to uniforms that are appropriate for their sport and that they feel comfortable wearing.
No student should be required to wear a gendered uniform that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.
Best Practices: Media Provide Training to All Staff Who Interact with the Media Respect confidentiality. All medical information must be kept confidential in accordance with applicable state, local, and federal privacy laws.
Use appropriate language (transgender, preferred pronouns and name) in media interviews and insist that this terminology be used in media reports on transgender issues in athletics. Focus on the importance of providing equal opportunities for all students to participate in athletics. Describe how departmental policies provide equal opportunities for all students.
Best Practices: Communications with Opponents Talk with athletic directors and coaches from other schools prior to competitions about expectations for treatment of transgender student-athletes on and off the field. Do not identify a particular student-athlete as transgender, but rather establishing general expectations for the treatment of all studentathletes, including those who may be transgender.
Overall Guidelines Be Proactive, don’t wait for a crisis Focus on inclusion, not exclusion Protect the privacy of transgender student-athletes Educate athletic staff and student-athletes about gender transitions and athletics
NCAA Executive Committee Framework for NCAA Inclusion As a core value, the NCAA believes in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its studentathletes, coaches and administrators. We seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators from diverse backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion improve the learning environment for all student-athletes and enhance excellence within the Association.
The Office of Inclusion will provide or enable programming and education, which sustains foundations of a diverse and inclusive culture across dimensions of diversity including, but not limited to age, race, sex, class, creed educational background, disability, gender expression, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation and work experiences.
Primary Contacts Bernard Franklin – [email protected]
(Executive VP, Chief Inclusion Officer) Kimberly Ford - [email protected]
(Minority Inclusion) Karen Morrison - [email protected]
(Gender Inclusion and LGBT)