Theses defended

Corpos extra-ordinários no desporto: uma leitura pós-humana crítica sobre a regulação da hiperandrogenia e identidades trans

Ana Lúcia Santos

Public Defence date
July 22, 2022
Doctoral Programme
Feminist Studies
Ana Cristina Santos
Conventional competitive sport is a gendered space that reproduces the organization of society based on binary sex expectations at a biological and behavioural level. Sports thus contributes to the reproduction and regulation of what biologist Gerald Callahan called the "myth of the two sexes". Several athletes have their sexuality called into question because they have physical characteristics considered too masculine, accompanied by above-average sports performances. If having a sexually non-normative body is a reason for social curiosity and medical discipline, "female masculinity" (Halberstam, 1998) is especially under suspicion when the athlete's performance reaches values higher than expected. Allegedly to promote fair play in women's competitions, several sporting organizations present norms for the admission of athletes with hyperandrogenism and/or trans athletes that involve sexual verification tests and medical procedures. This type of regulation is a long-standing practice that has undergone changes since the 1930s, ranging from observation of the genitalia and gynaecological exams to chromosomal tests and, more recently, hormonal studies. Taking as a starting point the history and current sexual regulation in sport, using documents produced by sports institutions and interviews with people related to the sports universe, I intend to understand in depth these policies, to determine their relevance and to reflect about the possibility of other paradigms of competition situated in a context of post-modernity. Through an interdisciplinary theoretical-empirical path, with contributions from the Sociology of Sport, Biology, Queer Studies, and post-humanist theories, it will be possible to reach the problematization of dualist thought that has contributed to the maintenance of a system that tries to keep the body detached from technology, male from female, white from black. This problematization allows us to suspend the idea of the westernized human subject from which the sports universe was organized, and then proceed to an epistemology that considers the contemporary athlete as a subject immersed in a post-human and technological reality.

Keywords: sport, hyperandrogenism, trans, sex verification, post-humanism