Why calls for athletes to compete as a homogenised group should be resisted | Sean Ingle

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In response to the impact of transgender athletes some advocate the sexes competing together, a move others argue would banish women from top-level sport

Can you imagine sport without separate men’s and women’s categories? A world where Serena Williams never got a sniff of 23 majors – not with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in her path – and the golden British women’s hockey team of Rio 2016 never even took to the field. It sounds like a dystopian nightmare. In fact it was an idea mooted on Radio 4 last week in a Woman’s Hour discussion about whether transgender women should play women’s sports.

When it was put to the psychologist Dr Beth Jones that it could lead to no woman playing for a British team again, her response was startling. “They may, they may not. That is all in the future to be determined,” she said. Told that the idea would seem a “horrifying prospect” for those who believe in the importance of female sport, Jones replied that women might also push themselves more. “There is a bit of an argument, academically, that perhaps women cap their capability psychologically because they are competing against other women,” she added. “If they feel they’re then competing against men – perhaps they would up their performance and be competing on more of that level.”

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Written by Sean Ingle
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/dec/10/calls-athletes-compete-group-resisted under the title “Why calls for athletes to compete as a homogenised group should be resisted | Sean Ingle”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.