each individual will fall somewhere on the continuum owing to a myriad of reasons (not all of which are known to us). Hyperandrogenism and other Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) are thus, scientifically difficult to understand, let alone regulate. -The practice of sex testing is not a site for preservation of ideals of fair play, but a mechanism for social control demanding a form of bodily impassiveness in accordance with socialized codes of feminine bodies. Scientifically backed accounts of the complexity of sex and bodily hormone interaction when coupled with the performative and constructed nature of gender, essentially point to how our cultural and lived experiences situate our performativity on a continuum not a binary. -The premise of sex segregated sport is rooted in the belief of male biological superiority and female subordination owning primarily to strength. -Biomedical inspection, at least the kind in sex testing directed at women, matches the institutionalized forms of racism, sexism and global politics by othering a kind of “strange”
female body as “too good” to compete with the “natural”. By discarding intersex athletes, athletes with cases of hyperandrogenism or Disorders of Sex Development, these organizations are claiming to make it a level playing field, fair for all. But can the same be said about men? No man has ever been decried as being too manly to compete with the rest. Then why do women need the playing field leveled so unjustly? Research suggests that judging athletic capability on the sole basis of testosterone levels doesn’t take into account other genetic advantages such as height, muscle mass, oxygen uptake etc. Is it fair then as a man to compete against LeBron James, Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt who obviously have these kinds of genetic advantages? The institution of sports rejoices outliers on the gamut of genetic diversity when it’s the men. No one is pursuing male sportspersons who might have higher levels of testosterone than their peers, or revel in any other freakish benefit -As for cheaters (steroids), there is little evidence that synthetic testosterone behaves the same as real testosterone -We cannot read testosterone on people’s bodies, there is no such thing as surface masculinity. Testosterone levels are also a very poor predictor of sex or gender. -This is a highly sensitive topic and has been written poorly about even by historians. There have been inaccurate assertions about gender “fraud” and we must question everything we read on the topic. - Just because the policy was officially abandoned, it doesn’t mean the oppression is over. It is a kind of sexual harassment to scrutinize female bodies the way they’re done right now. We must move beyond testing and towards real diversity in athleticism.
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- Fall '18