Transgender Athletes and Online Harassment Concern Sportswomen, Reveals BBC Study

The BBC’s new study surveyed 615 elite British sportswomen across 28 sports and revealed significant concerns over competing with transgender women, financial instability, and online harassment.

A New Study

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The BBC recently released the results of a study that sent a questionnaire to 615 female athletes participating in 28 different sports.

143 Responses

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Out of the 615 women who received the questionnaire, 143 women responded, and the results have shed light on the many controversies surrounding women’s sports today.

Transgender Participation Concerns

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One of the more controversial questions on the survey asked the women if they had any reservations about competing with transgender women.

Majority Concerns

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In their responses, more than 100 of the anonymous respondents said they were concerned about competing with trans women.

Ending Your Career

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The response also said the women were afraid to voice their concerns about trans athletes. One athlete went as far as to say that speaking out on the subject could mean “your career is sober.”

Financial Stability

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Another question from the survey that has received a lot of attention asked the women about their financial stability as professional athletes in women’s sports.

Below Minimum Wage

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The survey’s answers revealed that over three-quarters of the women are not even making a minimum wage salary, earning less than £30,000 a year.

Comparing the Numbers

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To put these athlete’s finances into perspective, the average wage in the UK is just short of £35,000 a year, with the average person over 23 working 35 hours a week making £18,000.

Unequal Sponsorship Opportunities

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The study also revealed that women face a very different reality from their male counterparts when finding sponsorship opportunities to help support them financially.

A Difficult Climate

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The athletes reported having a very difficult time finding sponsorship opportunities. Thanks to the current economic climate, women competing in more minor sports reported having almost no chance of receiving a sponsorship.

Looking for Equal Pay

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Equal pay was also a major concern for female athletes since many of them reported earning less than their male counterparts they trained with almost every day.

Social Media

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Over a third of the athletes reported that they had also faced difficulties on social media due to online trolling, and a quarter of the athletes reported problems with online sexual harassment.

Rawson’s Experience

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Tennis player Nadia Rawson had a particularly difficult time after the UK Pro League, where many people bet on the match and reached out afterwards.

50 Messages

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Rawson said, “Some matches, if it were a big win or big loss, I’d get 15-20 people messaging me on Instagram or commenting all sorts of things.”

Commenting About Weight

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“A lot of it was about weight, sometimes people would comment on my upper body being leaner than my lower body.”

Online Threats

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“Some of it was, ‘I’m going to find your mum and do x, y and z. Some of it was, ‘I know where you live.'”

Difficult Wins

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One of the anonymous athletes said they received the majority of their online sexual harassment after winning medals.

Online Requests

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The athlete said they received “requests for naked pictures” and “offers of sponsorship or funding in return for a relationship.”

Offline Harassments

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It should also be mentioned that many of the athletes reported experiences of sexism in real-life sports settings, with some reported instances even happening during award ceremonies.

The First Board of Women’s Sports

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After the results of the study were revealed, the UK’s sports minister, Stuart Andrew, said he would be holding the first Board of Women’s Sport later this month. 

A Defining Moment

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Andrew said, “We are at a defining moment for women’s elite sport in this country,” and “I want to see it continue to go from strength to strength, with a collective drive to deliver positive change.”

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The post Transgender Athletes and Online Harassment Concern Sportswomen, Reveals BBC Study first appeared on Edge Media.

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