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Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 10, 2009 02:17PM
hermaphrodite. Or in Hollywood parlance, a Jamie Lee.

[www.thesun.co.uk]

Those internal testes provide it with enough testosterone to have some advantage, I'd say.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: September 10, 2009 02:26PM
Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 10, 2009 02:30PM
As my Russian teacher might say "Herm".

Him and Herm are different enough to think how to use in Russian.

S/He?
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: michaelb
Date: September 10, 2009 02:39PM
As I posted before when this came up the first time, deciding whether someone is a male or female is a social and political determination, much like "race". There is no clear biological truth to splitting humans into two gender groups. The different possible standards, DNA, physical anatomy, gender identification, etc, can lead to different results, and are subject to much disagreement and interpretation. This is now a very difficult bioethical decision, that will have repercussions throughout "woman's" sports.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Janit
Date: September 10, 2009 02:40PM
Quote
AAA
hermaphrodite. Or in Hollywood parlance, a Jamie Lee.

[www.thesun.co.uk]

Those internal testes provide it with enough testosterone to have some advantage, I'd say.

Not really the right word -- intersex is the more appropriate term, if the report is correct. A true hermaphrodite has fully functional organs of both sexes -- not a likely phenomenon to find in humans, but common enough in some other animals.

Caster Semenya does have a name, and using the pronoun "it" seems like a bit of a cheap shot.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2009 02:55PM by Janit.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 10, 2009 03:00PM
Caster Semenya does have a name, and using the pronoun "it" seems like a bit of a cheap shot.

Janit, his whole post was a cheap shot.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 10, 2009 03:10PM
Quote
michaelb
As I posted before when this came up the first time, deciding whether someone is a male or female is a social and political determination, much like "race".

Drivel!
Gender is NOT the same as race. nuts smiley

With successive generations race can, and does become more and more mixed and diluted.
With successive generations gender does NOT become more mixed and diluted.

The fact that there are anomalies and sports from time to time signifies nothing other than the fact that they occur.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: michaelb
Date: September 10, 2009 03:18PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
michaelb
As I posted before when this came up the first time, deciding whether someone is a male or female is a social and political determination, much like "race".

Drivel!
Gender is NOT the same as race. nuts smiley

With successive generations race can, and does become more and more mixed and diluted.
With successive generations gender does NOT become more mixed and diluted.

The fact that there are anomalies and sports from time to time signifies nothing other than the fact that they occur.

I didn't say they were the same. They are indefinite though in similar ways. There is no "race" in the first generation, and it can't/doesn't get diluted in subsequent generations, since it didn't exist in the first place.

Certain groups of humans interpret certain groups of humans as being of this "race" or this "gender". But there is no biological absolute for those interpretations, and they can vary depending on the viewpoint or standards used. As here: she could be clearly defined as a woman, or not, or viewed as some 3rd option, all of which seems fundamentally unfair to her but at the same time causes serious problems for her sport.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: davester
Date: September 10, 2009 03:24PM
Interesting. Unfortunate for her since she was raised as a female but now will with little doubt be classified as a male for the purpose of athletics, but fair's fair.

Quote

The 18-year-old South African champ has no womb or ovaries and her testosterone levels are more than three times higher than those of a normal female, according to reports.

The tests, ordered by The International Association of Athletics Federations after Semenya's 800-meter victory in the World Championships, determined she's a hermaphrodite - having both male and female organs....

...According to a source with knowledge of the IAAF tests, Semenya has internal testes - the male sexual organs that produce testosterone.

Read more: [www.nydailynews.com]




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2009 03:26PM by davester.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 10, 2009 03:25PM
My point was not a cheap shot.
It was just a breaking 'news' story.
I do not know what to call a human with those traits.
Not quite a she, not a he. No slight was meant.
I apologize to everyone that felt it was such.
Better now?
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 10, 2009 03:32PM
Quote
michaelb
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
michaelb
As I posted before when this came up the first time, deciding whether someone is a male or female is a social and political determination, much like "race".

Drivel!
Gender is NOT the same as race. nuts smiley

With successive generations race can, and does become more and more mixed and diluted.
With successive generations gender does NOT become more mixed and diluted.

The fact that there are anomalies and sports from time to time signifies nothing other than the fact that they occur.

I didn't say they were the same. They are indefinite though in similar ways. There is no "race" in the first generation, and it can't/doesn't get diluted in subsequent generations, since it didn't exist in the first place.

Certain groups of humans interpret certain groups of humans as being of this "race" or this "gender". But there is no biological absolute for those interpretations, and they can vary depending on the viewpoint or standards used. As here: she could be clearly defined as a woman, or not, or viewed as some 3rd option, all of which seems fundamentally unfair to her but at the same time causes serious problems for her sport.

I think that why its an issue. If there sex was social construct, there would be no need for LPGA, WNBA, etcetera. I don't know if there is a women's bowling league or Women's Dart's Champion, but there women have been the world's best Billiards player.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: 3d
Date: September 10, 2009 03:34PM
Since we have the gender test kits out, could we have some of those Olympic men's figureskaters tested as well?
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: ScottG
Date: September 10, 2009 03:48PM
I would wait for official conformation for what Caster Semenya's situation actually is, rather than commenting on a story published in the Sun, based on information from anonymous sources.

cheers

scott
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 10, 2009 03:54PM
Quote
michaelb
There is no "race" in the first generation, and it can't/doesn't get diluted in subsequent generations, since it didn't exist in the first place.

False premise. Just because you don't like an idea, opinion or behavior doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Dramatic, obvious and measurable physical differences did exist between human societies which, until recent centuries, were essentially isolated from each other.
By definition, the concept of race could not spring into existence based on nothing whatsoever. The physical differences were real, observable and could be passed from generation to generation.

Again, comparing gender to race; as being "much alike" and both being merely a "social and political determination" is pure PC myopia.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: billb
Date: September 10, 2009 04:12PM
Quote
AAA
My point was not a cheap shot.
It was just a breaking 'news' story.
I do not know what to call a human with those traits.
Not quite a she, not a he. No slight was meant.
I apologize to everyone that felt it was such.
Better now?


That was very Wilsonian of you.:fawkdance:
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: September 10, 2009 04:14PM
I don't believe michaelb expressed an opinion on the matter. What's more, If I undeerstand it correctly, the scientific community does not believe in the concept of race. While there may be statistical differences in physical traits, there is no line you can draw that differentiates people in an absolute sense. Start walking in any direction and you'll fnd a gradual transition in physical traits.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: September 10, 2009 04:16PM
Quote
AAA

I do not know what to call a human with those traits.


I do!


GIRLZILLA!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 10, 2009 04:22PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Quote
michaelb
There is no "race" in the first generation, and it can't/doesn't get diluted in subsequent generations, since it didn't exist in the first place.

False premise. Just because you don't like an idea, opinion or behavior doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Dramatic, obvious and measurable physical differences did exist between human societies which, until recent centuries, were essentially isolated from each other.
By definition, the concept of race could not spring into existence based on nothing whatsoever. The physical differences were real, observable and could be passed from generation to generation.

Again, comparing gender to race; as being "much alike" and both being merely a "social and political determination" is pure PC myopia.

Incorrect. The less that 100,000 chimpanzees on earth have greater genetic diversity than the 6 Billion Plus Humans.

[www.thefreelibrary.com]
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: threeprong
Date: September 10, 2009 04:22PM
I wonder who she could marry if she was an American?
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: michaelb
Date: September 10, 2009 04:23PM
Quote
DeusxMac
Dramatic, obvious and measurable physical differences did exist between human societies which, until recent centuries, were essentially isolated from each other.
By definition, the concept of race could not spring into existence based on nothing whatsoever. The physical differences were real, observable and could be passed from generation to generation.

Maybe that is true: but it doesn't make whatever that is "race". At least you can't define what the races are on this planet (or were), and even if you try, lots of other smart people are going to have good reasons to disagree with you. Race does not exist as an immutable, identifiable, or measurable concept in humans.

I understand that saying gender is similar is controversial. But this case shows that "we" as a society can't clearly define what gender is either; and that our simplistic notions of gender, no matter how deeply ingrained, are clearly and absolutely wrong, and unlikely to be replaced by anything clear in the near or even medium term future.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: September 10, 2009 04:25PM
Quote
threeprong
I wonder who she could marry if she was an American?

Her birth certificate says she is a female. In the US that is what your legal gender is based off of. Therefore she could marry a male.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: September 10, 2009 04:29PM
Chromosome XX = Female
Chromosome XY = Male


It's really not THAT complicated. Politics has thrown unnecessary definitions into the mix.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: September 10, 2009 04:30PM
Quote
Carnos Jax
I don't believe michaelb expressed an opinion on the matter.

I took this to be an opinion - "deciding whether someone is a male or female is a social and political determination, much like "race"," and that's what I was responding to.

I wasn't saying "race" was absolute and immutable; on the contrary, as centuries pass and the globe shrinks it becomes less and less meaningful as a descriptive method.

I was taking issue with this statement that gender and race were so similar as to be results of the same mechanisms. They're NOT!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: billb
Date: September 10, 2009 04:33PM
Quote
threeprong
I wonder who she could marry if she was an American?


Any one she wants, but she would have to be in the right 'state'.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: September 10, 2009 04:37PM
I think it is VERY racist to speak about the race she has won.

You should all be ashamed of yourself for making a big deal about race!

Same goes for you NASCAR hillbillies!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: September 10, 2009 05:03PM
Well, color me surprised that Jimmypoo is making racy comments!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: andypie48
Date: September 10, 2009 05:12PM
"Shem" is a lot better than "it".
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Panopticon
Date: September 10, 2009 05:17PM
Quote
Jimmypoo
Quote
AAA

I do not know what to call a human with those traits.

I do!

GIRLZILLA!

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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: laarree
Date: September 10, 2009 05:38PM
I'm still not quite sure which gender half the people on this forum
belong to. There are folks here that I had guessed were male based
on their posts and later found out were female, and vice versa.
Is there a MacResource forum gender test, and if there is, does
the test tickle??




.................................................................................................
*We are just a quarantined people under an evil sun.*
--- Richard S. Shaver
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: September 10, 2009 06:10PM
Quote
laarree
Is there a MacResource forum gender test, and if there is, does
the test tickle??


Only if your testicles are on the outside!!

wall smiley
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: JoeH
Date: September 10, 2009 06:29PM
Quote
Paul F.
Chromosome XX = Female
Chromosome XY = Male


It's really not THAT complicated. Politics has thrown unnecessary definitions into the mix.

Actually biology has complicated the matter. The majority of people can be defined that way, XX vs. XY, but that does not work for the XY's who do not develope male aspects due to aspects of the Y gene not being activated during development. Or the similar happening to a XX person. Then there is the XXY and other genetic variations.



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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 10, 2009 07:30PM
ok ok I said I am sorry already! smiling smiley

Quote
andypie48
"Shem" is a lot better than "it".
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Buzz
Date: September 10, 2009 08:48PM


'nuff already!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 10, 2009 09:03PM
Quote
Paul F.
Chromosome XX = Female
Chromosome XY = Male


It's really not THAT complicated. Politics has thrown unnecessary definitions into the mix.

Not really. There are many examples of biologically unambiguous females with an XY (or XXY) chromosome complement. In that case, the Y chromosome was defective.

I consider this situation very sad. For 99% of the population, gender is not ambiguous. But this person is obviously a variant that truly confounds the norm. I think there is no easy answer to this case.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: September 10, 2009 09:38PM
Quote
sekker
But this person is obviously a variant that truly confounds the norm. I think there is no easy answer to this case.


Yes there is. No Playboy offers, NO MEDALS.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: September 10, 2009 09:42PM
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 10, 2009 10:13PM
Quote
sekker
Quote
Paul F.
Chromosome XX = Female
Chromosome XY = Male


It's really not THAT complicated. Politics has thrown unnecessary definitions into the mix.

Not really. There are many examples of biologically unambiguous females with an XY (or XXY) chromosome complement. In that case, the Y chromosome was defective.

I consider this situation very sad. For 99% of the population, gender is not ambiguous. But this person is obviously a variant that truly confounds the norm. I think there is no easy answer to this case.

Quite. There's the interesting case of androgen insensitivity syndrome, in which an XY person can develop phenotypically (appearance) as female. The person may have very well been raised as, and fully thought of themselves, as female. Should we now tell her that she is a he? So is gender defined by chromosomes, by genitalia, or something else altogether? I pretty much agree with michaelb's assessment that it's largely cultural, like race. Sure, it's based mostly on genitalia, but even that is not always clear-cut ... in cases of ambiguous genitalia, we pretty much do gender-reassignment surgery to "correct" the problem. If we didn't feel that we need to put people into one of two genders, we wouldn't "need" to do this kind of surgery. If it were possible to "reassign" people to a different race, I wonder if we might not be doing this too...?




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: September 10, 2009 10:25PM
Quote
PeterB
If it were possible to "reassign" people to a different race, I wonder if we might not be doing this too...?


Two words.

Michael Jackson



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Janit
Date: September 10, 2009 11:03PM
And why does this all matter -- because of a social construction known as "competitive athletics."

We pit contestants against each other to see who's "best" and try to control the "fairness" of the contest by devising classification systems for the competitors -- classes by weight, classes by sex, and so on.

What's interesting is how we choose the classification system -- what qualities are legitimate for determining who's best, and what qualities constitute an "unfair advantage."

This IS a sad case -- to see someone build a life on an identity that may well need to be dramatically redefined.

It will be interesting to see the final report of all the tests. If Semenya were simply XY, that would have been the headline.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: PeterB
Date: September 10, 2009 11:49PM
Quote
Paul F.
Quote
PeterB
If it were possible to "reassign" people to a different race, I wonder if we might not be doing this too...?


Two words.

Michael Jackson

Two words.

Freak Show. (OK, that's really one word)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Janit
Date: September 11, 2009 12:29AM
Quote
PeterB
There's the interesting case of androgen insensitivity syndrome, in which an XY person can develop phenotypically (appearance) as female. The person may have very well been raised as, and fully thought of themselves, as female. Should we now tell her that she is a he?

This appears to be the case for Santhi Soundarajan, the Indian runner who lost the silver medal she won in the 2006 Asian Games after failing a gender test. She was later diagnosed with AIS.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: September 11, 2009 04:02AM
Posting a story?

This is an OUTRAGE!
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: AAA
Date: September 11, 2009 06:28AM
I am not a big proponent of sports.
But what is wrong with someone choosing to do it or watch it?
What else are they going to fill their days up with before they die?

Quote
Janit
And why does this all matter -- because of a social construction known as "competitive athletics."

We pit contestants against each other to see who's "best" and try to control the "fairness" of the contest by devising classification systems for the competitors -- classes by weight, classes by sex, and so on.

What's interesting is how we choose the classification system -- what qualities are legitimate for determining who's best, and what qualities constitute an "unfair advantage."

This IS a sad case -- to see someone build a life on an identity that may well need to be dramatically redefined.

It will be interesting to see the final report of all the tests. If Semenya were simply XY, that would have been the headline.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: michaelb
Date: September 11, 2009 09:23AM
To complete the discussion related to women in sports, I will note that the IAAF has a fairly comprehensive and seemingly reasonable policy on gender verification, that should govern this situation.

[www.iaaf.org]

Not being a doctor, I don't really know much about the conditions listed, but AIS is listed as an allowable condition that does not confer an advantage.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: September 11, 2009 10:37AM
Just though someone should mention that "sex" and "gender" have been completely conflated in this discussion.

Sex is a biological category (merely -etic) constructed through a scientific model that defines difference based on dimorphic reproductive function.

Gender is a social category (both -etic and -emic) constructed through a cultural model that distinguish qualities of personhood based on biological sex.

Sex and gender are both constructed, but they are not the same.

For the record, i'm completely with michaelb on race.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 11, 2009 12:13PM
Whatever. She's being ridiculed, ostracized and pointed at. They didn't even tell her what she was being tested for. She thought it was for doping. She is a "she" because she says she is. I hate, hate.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Janit
Date: September 11, 2009 03:07PM
Here are some reasonably good articles on the issues and the biology involved by a PhD exercise physiologist.

[running.competitor.com]

[www.sportsscientists.com]

[www.sportsscientists.com]

[www.sportsscientists.com]

[www.sportsscientists.com]



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2009 03:34PM by Janit.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Maddog
Date: September 11, 2009 03:52PM
Ok, I have to chime in on this thread because there is so much misinformation. If this athlete has testicular feminization (like Jamie Lee Curtis), then she is a she. Her genotype is XY and her testosterone levels are high, even by normal male standards. However, there is no performance advantage here because that testosterone can not act as a normal androgen; there is a receptor defect that essentially makes the circulating testosterone useless. By all appearances (phenotype) this is a female. In fact, most individuals with this syndrome are quite attractive females. The difference is that this individual does not have a uterus or the upper 2/3's of her @#$%&. Also, her testicles are inside, not out, and would need to be removed somewhere in the teen age years because of a high risk of developing testicular tumors.

Statements like XX is a girl and XY is a boy are way too simplistic. It would probably be more correct to state that an individual with a functional penis is a boy and everybody else is female. However, there is really no need to be so dogmatic as there is a wide spectrum when it comes to human sex, both definition of and in activity.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: Janit
Date: September 11, 2009 04:32PM
Quote
Maddog
Statements like XX is a girl and XY is a boy are way too simplistic.

Even "testicular feminization" is a less than simple phenomenon. This older term has more recently been replaced by the term "androgen insensitivity syndrome."

AIS is actually a spectrum of syndromes, since different defects in the androgen receptor can result in different levels of androgen sensitivity/insensitivity. Individuals with complete AIS can appear to be "super-feminine" in appearance because they are unlike "normal" women, who do respond to the low levels of testosterone in their system.

On the other hand, individuals can have partial AIS, which may result in intersex conditions. The mildest forms of partial AIS will result in individuals who appear to be normal males, but who turn out to be infertile.

XY individuals with complete AIS would not be athletically "advantaged" compared to normal females, in fact they might be at a disadvantage because they do not react to testosterone at all.

The relative advantage of individuals with Partial AIS is more problematic to decide...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2009 04:37PM by Janit.
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Re: Olympic 'female' runner determined to be a ....
Posted by: michaelb
Date: September 11, 2009 10:59PM
Don't know if you will come back, but thanks for the posts and the links Janit and Maddog. Reading all that expanded my thinking. At least for sports, they are looking at testosterone level as the "crux" of the matter, and suggest that there is a wide gap in levels. This may be true for sports, and that may prove to be the best choice for that venue, but to me determining sex or gender by the hormonal level seems like a really problematic way to organize society.
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