Gender Equality In Sports Participation: A Case Study Of Transgender Athletes

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Sumera Sattar , Dr. Yasmeen Tabassum , Syeda Maryam Zahra , Dr Sehar Saleem


Background: Over time, the historically male-dominated world of sports has become more aware of equal rights and offers female athletes the same level of sports participation as male athletes. Barriers between gender identities still exist, making it difficult for certain groups to participate in sports.

Objectives: The main objective of this study was to highlight the current situation regarding transgender athletes and the injustice they endure and its implications on their participation in sports.

Methodology: A five-point Likert Scale with eight statements was developed. A pilot study was conducted and the pilot data was not included in the original study. The pilot study was carried out to assess the appropriateness and articulation of the study instrument. The original study employed a cross-sectional research design to identify sports coaches' perceptions of the inclusion of transgender athletes in their respective sports programs and the potential effect on sports teams. There were 60 coaches, who identified themselves as a male (n=30) and female (n=30), recruited from different colleges and universities in Lahore, Pakistan.

Results: Out of 60 participants, 35% were between 18-25 years of age; 33.3% were in the range of 26-35 years of age; 10% were between 36-45 years of age; 20% were between 46-55 years of age; and 1.7% were 56-65 years of age. There were 58.3% of the participants, who reported working with transgender athletes; 21.7% had no experience of working with transgender athletes; and 20% were not sure of working with transgender athletes. There were 56.6% participants who reported discrimination against transgender athletes in their educational institutes and 26.6% reported no discrimination. Only 46.6% respondents agreed that transgender athletes can participate in competitive sports; 41.6% did not agree with the sports participation of transgender athletes. Mean comparisons indicated difference in the responses of male and female coaches on all the variables. The findings of Paired Sample T-Test indicated significant differences in Knowledge and understanding about transgender athletes (p=.000 < 0.05) and stigma against transgender athletes (p=.000 < 0.05).

Conclusion: Policy makers need to take this issue seriously. There is a strong need to develop and implement clear policies about sports participation of transgender athletes.

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