ASU professors awarded grant to study transgender athletes
Two Arizona State University professors used university funding to orchestrate a study on transgender inclusion in sports.
The professors plan to use their findings to advocate for the abolishment of laws that ban men from competing in women’s sports.
Two Arizona State University (ASU) professors are using school-sponsored funding to advocate for the repeal of state laws that ban biological men from competing against women.
Loretta LeMaster and Alaina Zanin, both professors under the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, received funding from the ASU Global Sport Institute to study how transgender and gender non-conforming athletes participate in sports.
Their study examines how transgender and gender non-conforming athletes “cultivate a sense of belonging in sport organizing” despite the “racialized histories and binary structures” of athletic organizations.
Scott Brooks, Director of the Global Sport Institute at ASU, confirmed to Campus Reform that the project, titled “Gender (Non-Conforming) Belonging in Sport: A Critical Narrative Analysis of Gender Non-Conforming Athlete Sport Experiences,” received $19,136 in funding.
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The professors interviewed 20 transgender and gender non-conforming athletes to describe their experiences competing in sports. The athletes detailed how “included and excluded” they felt competing as their gender identity.
According to the study description, the research will be published “in the coming months” to “construct a roadmap for trans and gender non-conforming athletes.” The timeliness correlates with a growing trend across the United States to ban biological men from competing in women’s sports.
So far, 18 states have passed legislation to prohibit transgender athletes from competing as their gender identity, including Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
The professors plan to use their work to advocate for the abolishment of the laws.
“My work connects with a number of ongoing issues in the news,” LeMasters told ASU News, “including the abhorrent everyday violence organizing everyday lives of transgender people and transgender women, and femmes of color especially.”
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In June, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll revealed that a majority of Americans oppose permitting biological men to compete in women’s sports.
58% of respondents stated men “should not be allowed” to compete as women at the collegiate and professional level, while 55% and 49% said the same at high school and youth levels, respectively.
However, LeMaster is adamant about transforming the Arizona campus into a trans-inclusive environment.
As ASU News reports, LeMaster is attempting to establish a “transgender wellness center” to provide transgender people with resources such as health care, legal help, food, and shelter.
Zanin and LeMasters refused to comment on the grant.
Campus Reform contacted ASU for comment and will update accordingly.
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