The Tokyo Olympic Games are likely to feature the first transgender athlete, a topic that will be highly contentious during the competition. But transgender and intersex athletes such as Laurel Hubbard, Tifanny Abreu, and Caster Semenya didn’t just turn up overnight. Both intersex and transgender athletes have been newsworthy stories for decades. In Sporting Gender: The History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes, Joanna Harper provides an in-depth examination of why gender diverse athletes are so controversial. She not only delves into the history of these athletes and their personal stories, but also explains in a highly accessible manner the science behind their gender diversity and why the science is important for regulatory committees—and the general public—to consider when evaluating sports performance. Sporting Gender gives the reader a perspective that is both broad in scope and yet detailed enough to grasp the nuances that are central in understanding the controversies over intersex and transgender athletes. Featuring personal investigations from the author, who has had first-person access to some of the most significant recent developments in this complex arena, this book provides fascinating insight into sex, gender, and sports.
Foreword David Epstein
1: “Prehistoric” Women’s Sport
2: The Science of Intersex Conditions
3: Intersex Athletes in the 1930S
4: Postwar Sex Testing
5: Transgender 101
6: Early Transgender Athletes
7: Not the End of Sex Testing
8: Joanna’s Story
9: Transgender and Intersex Athletes, 2004–2009
10: Caster Semenya
11: Transgender and Intersex Athletes, 2009–2014
12: The Post-Semenya Landscape
13: Dutee Chand
14: Dutee Chand versus the IAAF in the CAS
15: Transgender Athletes, 2013–2017
16: The 2016 IOC Transgender Guidelines
17: Aftermath of the CAS Decision in the Chand Case
18: Transgender Athletes, 2015–2018
19: Transgender Athletic Research Update
20: The Caster Semenya Trial
Epilogue: One Last Story
Recent Developments in Gender and Sports
About the Author
Like no one I have ever seen, Harper has an ability to engage in controversial conversations without pandering or making others feel attacked.
The author’s own story as a trans woman athlete is compelling in itself, and the autobiographical account of her personal and athletic lives both before and after her transition is the most interesting part of the book.
6/22/2021: As Laurel Hubbard makes history as the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, CBS This Morning asked author Joanna Harper to give her expert opinion on the subject.
2/3/22, Radio Times: Joanna Harper was interviewed for a segment about transgender athletes and fair play.
3/16/22, NBC News Online: Joanna Harper was interviewed for an article on Lia Thomas and the history of discrimination and gender policing of female athletes.
3/17/22, Forbes: This article on Lia Thomas’ history-making NCAA Division I win included quotes from Joanna Harper.