Transgender Inclusion in Football: University Research Project

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Unistudent500

Rookie
Jan 19, 2021
20
15
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Hi everyone:

I am a student at the University of South Australia, and I am posting here to see if you would be interested in participating in my short survey. I received permission from Chief and this project has been approved by the University of South Australia's Human Research Ethics Committee Ethics Protocol 203610.

https://doit.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_07dasta7JjHoHNI

My research topic is exploring transgender inclusion in the AFL and Cricket Australia. This entails analysing policy documents, news media articles, and collecting and understanding fans thoughts and perspectives on this matter. To collect and understand fans views on transgender inclusion, I have created a survey that should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey is completely voluntary, and if you decide to participate, you will remain entirely anonymous. The only information collected will be your gender, age range, Australian state of residence, and favourite AFL/footy team(s). The main part of the survey will contain three open-ended questions that simply ask you your thoughts and perspectives on the inclusion of transgender athletes in football.

For more information about the study and your participation, please click the link to the survey above.

Thank you for your time.
 

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Unistudent500

Rookie
Jan 19, 2021
20
15
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Thanks to those who have filled it out! All opinions and perspectives are welcome on the survey, so if you think no, would love to hear why on the survey.
 

Unistudent500

Rookie
Jan 19, 2021
20
15
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Done. A small tip, TLDR.. people won't go and read a full document per se to fill in a survey. You need to spoon feed some information.
Thanks a bunch! And good point. The documents aren't necessary for the questions, but are to build context if someone doesn't know much. I'll make that more clear next time.
 

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Kwality

Hall of Famer
Aug 14, 2011
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The Tilt

Rookie
Oct 12, 2020
41
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AFL Club
Sydney
Still open and taking responses! Thank you to many of you who have taken the time to fill it out and write some really interesting responses.
Here is the link: https://doit.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_07dasta7JjHoHNI

Thanks - I completed this the other day.

Not that I want to tell you how to run your research project, but I'm a little skeptical of the value of a qualitative study like this. Presumably you're going to get a set of highly predictable responses: A bunch of respondents will say that trans women should not be eligible for the AFLW since it's unfair to existing female players (given the physical advantages etc); others will say that the AFL's current policy is discriminatory/unjust/transphobic, and that players vary in size and speed anyway such that we needn't worry about any potential physical advantages that trans women may enjoy. At the risk of sounding cynical, I also think this type of thing just leaves researchers free to cherry-pick responses to support whatever narrative he/she took to the study i.e. "Many of the responses indicate that trans women are perceived as "Other" or as a threat to women players. This suggests that ingrained cultural attitudes continue to as a barrier to trans acceptance and inclusion in football circles."

One thing missing from the evidence base in this discussion is how the AFLW players (or other female athletes) feel about trans women being eligible to compete. To my knowledge, we've not heard much from them. Since there are strong social (and possibly financial) incentives for those who oppose trans women competing to keep this to themselves, i'd hazard a guess that the relative silence of AFLW players is indicative: and that a good a number of them support eligibility being limited to biological females. Still that's only a guess: it would be good for an anonymous survey to provide some evidence.

Just some thoughts. Anyway, good luck with the project.
 

Unistudent500

Rookie
Jan 19, 2021
20
15
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Are you getting enough responses to form an opinion?
How widely (other than BF) are you seeking opinion?
I haven't done the analysis yet, so I can't answer your first question well. Basically, the more the merrier with responses. It will strengthen the end result. I am seeing some trends and themes emerging though. Once I am done everything, I will post an update and summary on the research.

As for your second question, I have reached out to a handful of other footy forums and been able to post on some including r/AFL.
 

Unistudent500

Rookie
Jan 19, 2021
20
15
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Thanks - I completed this the other day.

Not that I want to tell you how to run your research project, but I'm a little skeptical of the value of a qualitative study like this. Presumably you're going to get a set of highly predictable responses: A bunch of respondents will say that trans women should not be eligible for the AFLW since it's unfair to existing female players (given the physical advantages etc); others will say that the AFL's current policy is discriminatory/unjust/transphobic, and that players vary in size and speed anyway such that we needn't worry about any potential physical advantages that trans women may enjoy. At the risk of sounding cynical, I also think this type of thing just leaves researchers free to cherry-pick responses to support whatever narrative he/she took to the study i.e. "Many of the responses indicate that trans women are perceived as "Other" or as a threat to women players. This suggests that ingrained cultural attitudes continue to as a barrier to trans acceptance and inclusion in football circles."

One thing missing from the evidence base in this discussion is how the AFLW players (or other female athletes) feel about trans women being eligible to compete. To my knowledge, we've not heard much from them. Since there are strong social (and possibly financial) incentives for those who oppose trans women competing to keep this to themselves, i'd hazard a guess that the relative silence of AFLW players is indicative: and that a good a number of them support eligibility being limited to biological females. Still that's only a guess: it would be good for an anonymous survey to provide some evidence.

Just some thoughts. Anyway, good luck with the project.
Thanks you for completing the survey. I really appreciate it.

And thanks for your feedback and thoughts. I think you are right to be skeptical and you raise some good points. What I can tell you is that trans inclusion in sport is an already understudied (but emerging) field of study. While some of your predictions about responses could be right, we won't know until the analysis is done, and as far as I know, there are no studies that have empirically collected and evaluated fans perspectives on this matter. As for cherry-picking responses, as much as it is worth to you, all I can say is my methodology will be rigorous so as not to allow me to cherry-pick in that way. I am using a thematic and discursive analysis which takes into account the entire data set, and it is surely something my examiners and others would raise as a concern, so I am very conscious not to do that.

As for your last point, I think your idea for a study like that would be very interesting and has been done by some researchers in the field. Someone like Sarah Teetzel comes to mind. That said, more studies like the one you suggest would be great to add to the literature. I was actually considering proposing that the next step to research like mine would be going and doing interviews or surveys with athletes themselves in the conclusion of my thesis.

Thanks again for your engagement.
 

Kwality

Hall of Famer
Aug 14, 2011
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There is an interesting (to me) article in The Aus that I chose not post here as I didnt think this is the right spot to regurgitate the well held opinions, BUT:
We can’t protect women’s rights by denying biology (theaustralian.com.au)
by
Katherine Deves is co-founder of Save Women’s Sport Australasia.

What happens under federal discrimination law when both sex and gender identity can be the basis for a complaint? If a man makes a successful complaint he has been discriminated against because of his gender identity, that may have a discriminatory effect on a female on the basis of her sex. What takes precedence — subjective feelings of a male-born person about his gender, or the material reality of living in a female-sexed body? This is territory with extraordinary implications, and it is a debate that everyone has an interest in.
 

Shannon M

Debutant
Feb 1, 2021
106
167
AFL Club
Adelaide
I think you should ask a female centric board because you will get different answers and concerns.

Most men would have no issue playing against a transgender man born as a woman, but many women would have an issue competing against a transgender woman born as a man. Especially a transgender the size of Hannah Mouncey.
 

Back One Out

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 2, 2015
15,244
26,324
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Completed the survey

It's misleading and offensive that people use the word "inclusive" to advocate for transgender athletes. I don't think anyone wants to deny a transgender athlete from competing in their chosen sport. The issue is transgender women (i.e. biological males) competing against biological females. Sport should not be segregated as either "men's" or "women's". It should be delineated as "male" or "female". It is not the expression of gender, but the biology which counts. A person may even identify as non-binary, but their chromosomes should determine who they compete against on the sporting field.

Sporting organisations in Australia are just like other sporting organisations around the world. They've fallen victim to a progressive social agenda which will be corrected in the future when sanity prevails. Misguided people in our society think it's more important that our sporting organisations don't hurt the feelings of transgender women than it is to provide a fair and level playing field for female athletes. Why can't transgender women be honest and acknowledge their biological physical advantage from growing up in a man's body before they transitioned?

I support the formation of a transgender football league. I also support transgender men playing against anyone they choose (as long as they adhere to ASADA guidelines on testosterone.) I support transgender women competing against males. I just don't support transgender women cheating by competing against females. Fairness is one of the central pillars of any sport.
 
Last edited:

Foucault1989

Premiership Player
Oct 16, 2016
3,814
7,760
AFL Club
Carlton
Completed the survey

It's misleading and offensive that people use the word "inclusive" to advocate for transgender athletes. I don't think anyone wants to deny a transgender athlete from competing in their chosen sport. The issue is transgender women (i.e. biological males) competing against biological females. Sport should not be segregated as either "men's" or "women's". It should be delineated as "male" or "female". It is not the expression of gender, but the biology which counts. A person may even identify as non-binary, but their chromosomes should determine who they compete against on the sporting field.

Sporting organisations in Australia are just like other sporting organisations around the world. They've fallen victim to a progressive social agenda which will be corrected in the future when sanity prevails. Misguided people in our society think it's more important that our sporting organisations don't hurt the feelings of transgender women than it is to provide a fair and level playing field for female athletes. Why can't transgender women be honest and acknowledge their biological physical advantage from growing up in a man's body before they transitioned?

I support the formation of a transgender football league. I also support transgender men playing against anyone they choose. I support transgender women competing against males. I just don't support transgender women cheating by competing against females. Fairness is one of the central pillars of any sport.
Don't want to get into a big debate mate but from my understanding, the process of transitioning via different medications actually changes ones biological by reducing testosterone, thereby reducing muscle development. I'm not an expert here but that's my lay understanding and if so, that should probably be acknowledged.

Trans issues really bring out some heated debates. As other posters have suggested, I'd love to hear from female athletes and I'd love more accurate information in the public sphere about these issues.

Good luck with the survey. I'd like to say I'd be interested in reading the results, but I can guarantee I could guess the main responses and it's not pretty
 

Back One Out

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 2, 2015
15,244
26,324
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Don't want to get into a big debate mate but from my understanding, the process of transitioning via different medications actually changes ones biological by reducing testosterone, thereby reducing muscle development. I'm not an expert here but that's my lay understanding and if so, that should probably be acknowledged.
There is more to men's physical advantage over women than their muscle development.

Men are larger than women. They have a far greater bone mass.

Men have larger lungs, wider airways, and greater lung diffusion capacity than women, even if they're the same height.

There are differences in cardiovascular function. Men pump more blood than women. They have far greater left ventricular mass and chamber size than women. Because the left ventricular ejection fraction is the same in both sexes, the stroke volume is larger in men than in women


None of these physical advantages are adjusted by the use of medications during the transitioning process.
Even the muscle development of a man takes longer to "equalise" with transitioning drugs than was previously thought.


Trans issues really bring out some heated debates. As other posters have suggested, I'd love to hear from female athletes and I'd love more accurate information in the public sphere about these issues. Good luck with the survey. I'd like to say I'd be interested in reading the results, but I can guarantee I could guess the main responses and it's not pretty
Why would you type this last sentence?

Are you trying to characterise those who are opposed to trans women in female sport as bigoted transphobic knuckle-draggers?
 

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