Transgender Athletes and Competitive Sports: A Conversation

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Biddeford Campus (Harold Alfond Forum Room 283)
Carole Hooven Ph.D.; Steph Richards
The increasing visibility of transgender athletes in athletic competition has spurred dialogue around biology, possible competitive advantages and fairness, and whether various governing bodies need to develop new considerations in what historically has been a binary arena. Several high-profile cases involving transgender women athletes and recent federal court decisions have attracted considerable media attention in recent months. 

We’re fortunate to have two experts who have demonstrated respect for each other despite their difference of opinion on this subject and are the perfect interlocutors to model thoughtful, nuanced, civil discourse on difficult topics — UNE’s primary goal for this series.


Carole Hooven, who earned her Ph.D. at Harvard, currently works in Harvard’s psychology department as an associate in the lab of Steven Pinker. She is the author of T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us (Henry Holt, 2021). 

Steph Richards is a British transgender woman and the founder of “Steph’s Place UK,” a trans advocacy organization (re-branded as TransLucent.Org.UK). She won the UK’s National Diversity Awards “LGBT+ Organisation of the Year” award in 2022. 

Political scientist and educational consultant Jeanne Hey, former dean of UNE’s College of Arts and Sciences, will moderate the conversation, which will include ample opportunity for audience participation through comments and questions. 

Poster for the 2023 President's Forum "Transgender Athletes and Competitive Sports."