How hard is it to know if an elite athlete is a woman? (Read 2186 times)

    Personally, I find this entire argument insulting to the athlete who has always been considered a female. Usain Bolt is a freak in his own right but he's not questioned as being an uberman and placed in his own category. Why this girl? We may be seeing one of the woman track athletes of all time and she is questioned for her femininity. How 'bout those East German "girls" in the 70s and 80s?

     

    +1.

     

    If Semenya is in a class of her own because she has more "masculine traits" than most women, then good for her. I hope she continues kicking ass and, apparently, making some men really nervous.


    Prince of Fatness

       I skimmed through this disaster of a thread and found only one post that made any sense.

       

       

      God this thread sucks.

      Semi-retired.

        But hey it provided some entertainment while I was getting that paper finished last night.

          There was a woman from India that failed a gender test after the 2006 Asian Games and was stripped of her medal.  She later tried to commit suicide. 

           

           

          The suicide part is not true. An interesting article from Time gives her take on the Semenya situation.

           

          http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1919562,00.html


          A Dance with Monkeys

            But hey it provided some entertainment while I was getting that paper finished last night.

             

            I can think of a paper you should be working on.


            Right on Hereford...

              1. Semenya has never claimed to be man, has never self-identified as a man. Her mother says she's a woman. She did not "choose" to be a woman in order to gain competitive advantage.

               

              Those facts are all irrelevant. Nobody here thinks she's trying to cheat. The issue is whether Semenya is truly female. This is something that even Semenya may not know for a fact.

               

              She's competed in a number of national and international events through the course of her career, and this gender--until she won the gold at the WC--was never formally questioned.

               

              Yes it was. The IAAF requested a gender test earlier this year (before the WC even started), based on race results and an improvement curve that were more typical of a male than a female.

               

              The official results of the testing are in and she will not be stripped of her medal. Now that it has been formally questioned and decided upon...

               

              This is news to me. What's your source? The latest I read was that her people are refusing to proceed with the full gender test.

               

              Define "unfair advantage."

               

              Look, we could have one division in all of athletics, instead of separating them out into men and women. Is that what you want? Men have an unfair advantage over women in the 800. If Semenya is a man, she shouldn't be allowed to compete as a woman. That's my opinion. If she's neither male nor female, is that fair to her female competitors? I guess the answer is, it depends...

               

              here comes a woman, born with all the tools to be perhaps the greatest female track athlete of all time. The female Usain Bolt. And we want to make her into a freak sideshow.

               

              Well, you're still assuming she's a woman. How do you know? All I'm saying is that I would like to withhold my opinion until I know the results of the gender tests.

                 

                Those facts are all irrelevant. Nobody here thinks she's trying to cheat. The issue is whether Semenya is truly female. This is something that even Semenya may not know for a fact.

                 

                 

                Huh? If she was born a woman, I would think she (and her mother) would know it. If she has unusually high levels of testosterone, she probably doesn't know it. I guess I don't see that that would make her a "man" or give her an unfair advantage.

                 

                When I ran track in college, one of the fastest girls on the team was seriously ungirly and even had a slight moustache. I imagine she had higher levels of testosterone...but she didn't get kicked off the team because of it. Where would you draw the line?

                 

                God, I can't believe I'm still contributing to this @$#* thread.


                Prince of Fatness

                  That sound that you just heard was my head exploding.

                   

                  I didn't want anyone to be alarmed.

                  Semi-retired.

                    That sound that you just heard was my head exploding.

                     

                    I didn't want anyone to be alarmed.

                     

                    Do you get mashed potatoes when that happens?


                    Prince of Fatness

                       

                      Do you get mashed potatoes when that happens?

                       

                      Something like that.  First all of my eyes pop out.

                      Semi-retired.


                      Idiot

                         

                        Something like that.  First all of my eyes pop out.

                         

                        Heh... nice.

                        I decided that if I'm going to call myself a runner, I should probably run.

                          I do think I learned something from some of the articles.  Including this one. 

                           

                          http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=235

                           

                          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                          http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                           

                           

                           






                          Right on Hereford...

                             

                            Huh? If she was born a woman, I would think she (and her mother) would know it. If she has unusually high levels of testosterone, she probably doesn't know it. I guess I don't see that that would make her a "man" or give her an unfair advantage.

                             

                            Tanya, most people would think they know their own gender, so your reaction is understandable. It's usually that easy, but not always.

                             

                            Here's a link that will hopefully help: Caster Semenya debate: Some physiology explained

                             

                            You're right, high testosterone levels (alone) don't make someone a man, but what if the testosterone is being produced by testes that happen to be internal, and thus outwardly invisible?


                            straw man

                              Jeff seems to be of the opinion that there is no reason for any division of the genders in athletic competition. If I tried to see things his way, I'd be confounded by the fact that there has been this division for so long. There's no way to confront that viewpoint. It is what it is. Women athletes would almost disappear from the national and international stage if they had to compete with men.

                              Personally, I think there are great women athletes who are not men, and they deserve recognition. And they are inspiring to female athletes of all ages.

                              I don't get this idea that it is strange to ask for proof of womanhood when someone starts to win competitions. Until they are winning, it hardly matters.

                              If being male were really not an advantage, then those who are more masculine would have no tendency to win.

                              He who has the best time wins. Jerry


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                At least no one will ever accuse me of being a shemale. 

                                Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)