Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Womens Studies

Major Professor

David A. Rubin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Travis Bell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Diane Price Herndl, Ph.D.


fairness, gender diverse, legitimacy, testosterone, racialised gender


Professional sports are a cornerstone of mainstream capitalist society, a site where issuesof race, class, gender, nation, and religion amongst others are produced, contested, and negotiated. In particular, gender regulation policies serve to delineate the acceptable boundaries of racialised gender and create sanctioned opportunities to surveil transgressive bodies. In this thesis, I posit that professional sports rely on and protect uniformity of gender experience to regulate and exclude trans* and intersex participation and, furthermore, that gender regulation policies delineate the boundaries of gender and particularly womanhood in a way that further marginalises nonbinary athletes. Using critical discourse analysis, a methodology that addresses the power relations and inequities of discursive practices, I examine the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism (2015) and the IOC Framework on Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Sex Variations (2021). In the IOC Consensus, I examine how scientific legitimacy, gender consistency requirements, and an emphasis on fairness contribute to gender regulation. Within the IOC Framework, I explore how such regulation is continued through the use of ambiguous guidelines, transferring of responsibility, and the asymmetrical gendering of fairness and inclusion. I also consider the implications of the document being reframed from a consensus to a framework and how this contributes to relinquishing of responsibility. Through this analysis, I show the (d)evolution of gender regulation in sport but also illustrate how nonbinary athletes are challenging sport to reckon with its relentless exotification and policing of transgressive bodies.