• Voice Up Japan ICU

Event Report : LGBTQ+ and Women in Sports in Japan

[English] (日本語が続くJapanese translation follows)

On the 26th of June, Voice Up Japan ICU held an online event titled “Women and LGBTQ+ in Sports in Japan” with guest speaker Aya Noguchi, co-president of NGO S.C.P. Japan, assistant professor at Juntendo University's School of Sports and Health Sciences, and doctoral student at International Christian University. She played soccer from 3 to 25 years old and signed a professional contract in Sweden. She then worked at an NGO in Zambia and at the Japan Sports Agency International Affairs Division.

At this online event, we learned about the situation of women and the LGBTQ+ community in the sports industry in Japan and the image of femininity in sports, through watching videos like “Whisper” and “#LikeAGirl.”

During the Q&A session after the lecture, we received a lot of anonymous questions about gender and sexuality in sports via Mentimeter, out of which Noguchi-san answered a few. The event was held in Japanese but had English translation in the chat box for English speakers. With over 50 participants, the event was a great success.

A couple of things we learned from the lecture:

Modern sports

  • Modern sports refers to the sports we are nowadays familiar with, that we often see played at events like the Olympics. It spread in Britain in the 19th century as a means to develop the future leaders of the country.

  • The three ideologies inherent in modern sports are Westernism, male supremacy, and heterosexism.

The Olympics

  • Women were not allowed to compete in the first Athens Olympics in 1896.

  • There is some movement to introduce a ratio of 1:1 for male and female players in the Tokyo Olympics, but the gender ratio for board members and coaches is still very unbalanced.

Sports and Wome

  • In women's sports, both toughness and "femininity" are required, and female athletes are still sexually objectified. When Nadeshiko Japan, a women's soccer team, won the People's Honour Award, the prize they received was a makeup brush kit, which is a clear indication of this.

  • It has been pointed out that women's sports can easily become a hotbed of harassment. For example, there is the danger of power disparity caused by the close proximity between athletes and coaches, and the danger that the highly revealing uniforms worn in athletics and swimming will be posted on adult websites.

Sports and Sexual Minorities

  • It is said that due to a society with strong gender binarism such as in sports, bisexuals are mistaken as either gay or lesbian because “unclear” sexuality is difficult to understand. It is known that bisexuals have a 15% higher suicide rate than gays and lesbians.

  • Initially, transgender athletes were subjected to human rights violations such as nudity tests; in the case of MTF (male to female), they are criticized because they are in the female category but still have a masculine body, and adding female hormones can be considered as doping. On the other hand, in the case of FTM (female to male), even if they are given male hormones, they cannot become as physically strong as males, but they are too strong for the female category.

  • There have been cases where trans women athletes with XY chromosomes have been criticized for winning medals, but having XY chromosomes does not necessarily mean that you will have a masculine body.

I hope this event will give you some understanding of what issues women and LGBTQ+ face in sports. At the same time, we hope it gives you some tips on how to fight inherent sexism in the sports world so that you can enjoy sports more! See you at the next event!


Voice Up Japan ICU支部は、2021年6月26日に野口亜弥様をお招きして、オンラインイベント「日本のスポーツ界における女性やLGBTQ+」を開催しました。野口亜弥様は、現在、順天堂大学スポーツ健康科学部助教と、一般社団法人S.C.P. Japan 共同代表を務めながら、国際基督教大学(ICU)の博士後期課程に在学されています。野口様は、3歳から25歳までサッカーの選手として活動され、その後スウェーデンでプロ契約をされた後、ザンビアのNGO、スポーツ庁国際課にそれぞれ勤務されました。






  • 近代スポーツには、「西洋主義」「男性優位主義」「異性愛主義」の3つのイデオロギーが内在しています。


  • 第1回アテネオリンピックでは女性の参加は認められませんでした。

  • 現代の東京オリンピックなどでは、競技参加者に関しては男女1:1にしようという働きが見られますが、役員や指導者はまだまだ男性が多いのが現状です。


  • 女子スポーツでは、逞しさと「女性らしさ」の両方が求められ、性的対象としての女性アスリートの姿が強調されています。女子サッカーのなでしこJAPANが国民栄誉賞を受賞した時に、彼女たちに贈られた受賞物が化粧筆だったことが、このことを如実に表しています。

  • 女子スポーツはハラスメントの温床になりやすいことが指摘されています。例えば、選手と指導者の距離感が近いことで起こる権力格差の危険性や、陸上や水泳などの競技で着用される露出度の高いユニフォームがアダルトサイトに載せられる危険性があります。


  • スポーツ界のような性別二元論が強い社会では、はっきりしないセクシュアリティは理解されにくいため、バイセクシュアルはゲイ/レズビアンになる途中と言われています。バイセクシュアルはゲイやレズビアンより、自殺率が15%高いことが知られています。

  • トランスジェンダーの選手には当初、裸体検査などの人権侵害が行われていました。MTFの場合、女性カテゴリーだけど、男性的な身体つきは残っているから批判され、女性ホルモンを投与しても、ドーピングになってしまうという課題があります。反対に、FTMの場合、男性ホルモンを打っても、男性ほど身体的に強くなれないけれど、女性カテゴリーでは強すぎるという状況があります。

  • トランス女性の選手が、XY染色体を持っており、メダルを取って非難された事例がありますが、XY染色体があったからといって必ずしも男性的な身体付きになることはありません。



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