Friday, September 11, 2009

Intersex Identity and Gender in Sports

This article is about a South African runner who, after winning a gold medal, is now under examination to determine her sex.,188930

It isn't like this is the first time intersex athletes have been so publicly questioned about their sex. Stella Walsh (1932 Summer Olympics), Ewa Klobukowska (1964 Summer Olympics), and Santhi Soundarajan (2006 Asian Games)have all failed gender tests and been either stripped of medals, prevented from competing, or the former have been discussed postmortem. Eight athletes failed the "gender test" in the 1996 olympics but were allowed to compete based on subsequent examinations.

What's the answer? Do we just prevent these athletes from competing because we can't put them in a gender/sex box? How do we define sex- chromosomes, anatomy, hormones? If it's hormones or body composition that really give athletic advantage, then should we group people solely by that and eliminate the gender test and division in sports? Thoughts?

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