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Caster Semenya Is Being Forced to Alter her Body to Make Slower Runners Feel Secure in Their Womanhood

Caster Semenya Is Being Forced to Alter her Body to Make Slower Runners Feel Secure in Their Womanhood

Chase Strangio

Discrimination against some women is “necessary” to protect other women, according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s ruling in the Caster Semenya case.

This article makes many claims, but presents no evidence that intersex athletes like Semenya have no advantages over biological women. The author fails to note that the report stated that Semenya has XY chromosomes, one of the best markers for elevated levels of testosterone, and one that would challenge her status as a normal female with high testosterone. Transwomen by and large have male physiques, elevated testosterone, and the anatomical and physiological advantages that biological males have over biological females that is the reason that there are female sports in the first place. Many transwomen are biological males who have declared themselves female and do nothing whatsoever to lower testosterone levels; they do not have any surgeries and their only claim to be women is exactly that, their claim to be women. These athletes fail to win as males and the ease of competing as a female (sometimes, as with the Boston marathon, they only have to declare themselves as competing as a female and the next day go back to identifying as male) makes this easy and tempting. Rhys McKinnon is a biologically male bicycle athlete who now calls himself Rachel. He refuses to lower his testosterone levels because it would violate his civil rights. He now holds a women’s world cycling record. Marc Gregory now calls himself Mary. He just competed in his first women’s powerlifting competition and won all 9 events, setting four world records. Andraya Yearwood is a male high school track athlete who declared himself female. As a male, he would have little chance to win, but as a female he has easily won first place and set new records. The author argues that the best interests of the vast majority of biologically female athletes should be sacrificed to the interests of males claiming to be women and intersex athletes. Female, to him, is a self declared category with no association with reproductive functions, chromosomal differences, and well documented anatomical and physiological disparities between males and females. I am not allowed to put a link in this post, but a little poking around will give you a good sense of some of the performance differences between males and females as well as verify the information I have given about specific athletes. You can easily fine even more examples. While it is true that lots of transwomen athletes are mediocre and so do not always win, it is rather certain, if the author’s position prevails, that almost all female records will be eventually be held by males and intersex athletes with elevated levels of testosterone. Biological women who have trained, worked hard, and competed fairly will have no chance to excel at sports that now favor males competing as female. These biological males have frequently set records in their very first competitions as female. Intersex athletes like Semenya, transwomen and transmen who are taking testosterone should have their own competitive categories.


Interesting post. - Why can’t you post a link? Is it because you are new here?

This is interesting to me; because, most of my higher educational degrees are in zoology and human anatomy (but from some time ago).

However, I haven’t been following this issue and the use of the word “intesex” is new to me; but, appears to have originated in Germany in 1915.

With regard to this story, it looks like I might need to understand the difference between the use of “intersex” and the use of “hermaphrodite” (they appear to be synonyms?), since there are reports (see the link within the reproduced paragraph of the article linked below) that Ms. Semenya “has no womb or ovaries and that she also has internal testes”. If this is true, then I would think that Ms. Semenya might well have an athletic advantage over women with “normal” reproductive systems.

So, perhaps, the issue here is how much privacy, regarding an individual’s sexual anatomy, is warranted to individuals who desire to compete in various levels of athletic competition? This may sound crass; but, we do understand that it’s a fact that the average normal male definitely has a physiological advantage over the average normal female when it comes to athletic competition.

What No One Is Telling You About Caster Semenya: She Has XY Chromosomes – May 2, 2019 - Robert Johnson - LetsRun

This is an incredibly complex issue, and one of the reasons for that complexity is that the IAAF has two categories in which athletes can compete: male and female. The problem is, human biology doesn’t always neatly divide into male or female. Some people — intersex people — have traits of both sexes. Semenya isn’t male, but in addition to Y chromosomes, she isbelieved to have internal testes and lack a womb or ovaries — characteristics we don’t traditionally associate with females. However, you’d likely never know that from reading the coverage in the mainstream press on Wednesday.

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So, if a runner has much longer legs that another runner, should they be forced to have them shortened? Whole thing is ridiculous.

If there are to be male and female categories, there should be rules. I have read that as many as 1 in a thousand babies are born with mixed or both sex characteristics. In other cases there is a physiological irregularity and the sex is not clear. These are usually designates as female, but errors occur. I have known some. They are beautiful people. Often they are operated on at birth if both primary sexual parts are present. This still leaves internal organ variances.

If trans are allowed in either as they choose, and if people born with characteristics of both sexes are allowed to compete to their advantage, I see no reason to have separate male and female categories for competition. It looks to.me like we can’t please everyone on this.

Yes. A medical school level course in embryology is a real eye-opener. Unfortunate that not everyone is exposed to this at an early age. But, that still wouldn’t solve the problems encountered in athletic competition. Kudos to the people who, hopefully, are trying to sort this out in the spirit of fairness.

Time to recognize that all sexual variances are not psychological. All of the articles I have seen written on this subject are bereft of physical detail. The Hindu culture is aware of sexual variances at birth and set up a separate caste to which these babies are delivered at birth. Great that the situation is recognized publicly I think, but sad to give the babies away. I have read that their lives are not so free in the Hesara (sp?) caste, that their livelihood is often sexual services.

I don’t look at India as a shining example of anything. I met a lot of brilliant people working in high tech; but, I’m glad we don’t have their rigid caste system.

Also, I believe that people with physiological abnormalities, which are not readily apparent, should control whether they want to share that info.

Semenya was born with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. Semenya was also born with testicles. The testicles did not descend, and remain in the body. Semenya has no ovaries. In contrast, the other athletes competing in women’s divisions are XX and have ovaries, but not testicles. Based on this, Semenya’s sex is male. Because of the accompanying female body characteristics, Semenya’s sex is Intersex.

Semenya identifies as female in terms of gender. Semenya lives life as a female, and that is great. We can wish her all the health and goodwill in the world. However, if Semenya wishes to compete in athletics, it’s only reasonable she should compete against males or other intersex athletes.