(Un)ruly Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Race Inter-Actions in the Sport Field


  • Carla Maria University of Genoa, Italy
  • Alessia Tuselli University of Trento, Italy




Sport is a social field crossed by an unsolved tension between its vocation for inclusivity/equality and its normativity. Athletes embody this tension as subjects, objects and instruments in the sports field. This is particularly true for intersex and trans athletes, who are challenging the traditional binary division in sport and re-drawing the balance between fair play and non-discrimination. This contribution will discuss and analyse Caster Semenya case study, arguing for the need to adopt an intersectional lens. Complex inter-actions between heteronormativity, gender, sex, race and class will emerge from this analysis. Given the need to overcome a criterion based on a strict notion of gender/sex, the elaboration of a new set of rules- from the experience of Paralympic sports- will be considered. This solution is aimed at establishing a new framework to ensure sport is a place of equity for every/body, including the unruly ones.

Keywords: intersectionality, sport, intersex athletes, trans athletes, human rights.