This is me when I'm not doing the stuff for my regular blog. That means not necessarily as careful, not necessarily as able to do things, lots of things could be different than usual. I don't do trigger warnings, and I have genuine well thought out reasons that aren't just some kind of callous BS.
IAAF Gender Testing Policy Denounced As Bad Science And Discrimination by Bioethics Panel
In 2009, South African athlete Caster Semenya won gold in the women’s 800m at the World Athletics Championships. With barely enough time to bask in her achievement, Semenya was thereafter subjected to a publicly humiliating “gender test” and forced to withdraw from the rest of the competition. Now, a Stanford bioethics panel is contesting this practice, citing it as an unnecessary, poor application of the science of hormones.
Semenya was essentially turned into a spectacle because she is an intersex person, a term that denotes a category of conditions that result in uncommon combinations of physical sex characteristics. In her case, her medal was contested because she does not have ovaries, she has internal testes, and consequently produces a larger amount of testosterone than most women.
In light of her testosterone levels, and the fact that she had won the race, the International Association of Athletics Federations instituted a policy that held that women with unusually high levels of testosterone would be banned from competition unless they lowered their hormone levels via surgery or drugs. This policy was based on the assumption that “androgenic hormones (such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone) are the primary components of biologic athletic advantage.” The IAAF planned to instate these regulations as early as this year’s London Olympics.
However, a panel of scientists, sports experts, and bioethicists from the Stanford Center for Biomedical Research has recently stepped up to challenge this policy and the entire notion that higher levels of testosterone result in a fundamental physical advantage in sports, releasing a critique of the policy today in the American Journal for Bioethics.
Fuck tha gender police
This isn’t even gender policing, its just straight up cissexism, dyadism and sexism based on the presumption that men are better athletes and testosterone is the ‘better’ hormone.
No it isn’t.
Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone lead to higher levels of muscle mass. This is why generally speaking, with the same level of training, a man will be physically stronger than a female.
Having levels of testosterone higher than would be allowed by someone taking synthetic hormones gives an unfair advantage.
Simple as that.
There is no ‘this hormone is better than this’ or ‘gender policing’. No one is saying what she can and cannot do, or is better doing. All they’re saying is that in ONE area (i.e. physical competitions requiring muscle tone) she has an unfair advantage.
I am ALL for equality for people of ALL genders.
I will fight for their rights to join scouts, use the bathrooms they want, have any job, anything.
However, this is nothing to do with that. This is not to do with gender equality, (or one hormone being ‘better’). It is simply unfair on a medical level, and I’d be interested to read the ‘scientists’ who say that it isn’t.
Thank you Kate for being an intelligent person and thinking before formulating opinions. This office chair activism where people are so fast to jump on any bandwagon is stupid.
That the blue hell are you talking about? What “bandwagon” is that? The one that believes in NOT subjecting people to humiliating testing for which there isn’t even any proof that there is a “normal” amount of testosterone for a female athlete to have?
I already posted the rest of the article this morning:
Actually, it does have to do with gender bias and gender policing that flies in the face of facts:
In addition to the gender test being a gross invasion of privacy, it is fundamentally flawed in that there is no simple link between testosterone and athletic advantage. According to Rebecca Jordan-Young, ”individuals have dramatically different responses to the same amounts of testosterone, and it is just one element in a complex neuroendrocrine feedback system.” The panel argues that athletic performance is not wholly decided by hormone levels, and that there are a variety of other biological variations that could influence performance that they are not testing for, including a “rare mitochondrial variations that give them extraordinary aerobic capacity” and “acromegaly, a hormonal condition that results in exceptionally large hands and feet.”
These conditions likely aren’t tested for, however, because they aren’t tied up with a rigidly enforced sex and gender binary, where women and men fit into discrete categories with appropriate levels of certain hormones (regardless of the fact that “it’s not known what typical testosterone levels even are for elite female athletes.”) As Monica Roberts on TransGriot points out, “if it coincides with what the ‘experts’ consider as ‘too rapid’ athletic performance for a woman, she may find herself being subjected to a battery of embarrassing and invasive tests just to prove to cynical skeptics that she’s ‘woman enough’ to compete in elite sports with other women.” As such, “gender testing” functions less as an instrument to “level the playing field” for women and more as a tool to police the gender of women athletes, women who are often denigrated for being “too manly.”
Not only was this gender policing & cissexism & binaryism like woah.
It’s also racism. It’s also…whatever they call it when you’re saying “they don’t look feminine enough”. I don’t have a word for that, but so much of this is a Black woman who doesn’t look like a societally designated as “pretty” woman outran a whole bunch of people. Cuz we can’t have that. Heavens forbid. OUR FEMALE ATHLETES NEED TO BE PINUP MODELS! (except no. Run, run, run. That’s what this sport is. RUNNING. Not posing. Anyway).
And it was un-fucking-acceptable. Jesus crispies. And the public medical testing oh my god.
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