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Monday, April 19, 2010

On Dr. Sloop's Presentation- Gender, Sex, and Caster Semenya

The point I found most interesting about Dr. Sloop’s talk about Caster Semenya is the fact that Semenya could always prove she is a female by going to the locker room and proving it. However, as Dr. Sloop said, the word now is that she has internal testicles, explaining her obviously higher than normal levels of testosterone. Semenya having a vagina and not a penis doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a woman if her testosterone levels are that of a man. I feel that from a biological standpoint, Semenya is technically both male and female since she has a vagina and internal testicles. I believe that Semenya should be forced to compete with the men because clearly she is physically superior than the other female runners. If Lebron James’s testicles were internal and he had a vagina, he still wouldn’t be allowed to play in the WNBA because he is obviously physically superior due to his levels of testosterone that are higher than the normal female’s. Further, if Lebron James was physically the same as Caster, but unlike Caster acted like a female, the case would still be the same; he wouldn’t be allowed to play with the women. He would be deemed a male and have to play in the NBA regardless of his vagina. I feel that Semenya’s gender, her male-like mannerisms, should most certainly ban her from competing with the women. Physically her outer sex isn’t necessarily her inner sex, and her internal testicles prove just that. In Semenya’s case it is apparent that a person’s gender certainly says something about their sex and vice versa. So while Semenya has a Vagina, her gender is certainly representative of the levels of testosterone that allow her excel athletically over the female competitors. Ultimately, I believe that Semenya’s internal testicles, man-like-mannerisms, and incredible race times provide substantial evidence to ban her from competing against other women.

1 comment:

  1. I understand your point of view, but a few questions come to mind. How can the world dictate the gender of a young woman, as she would define herself, based on her actions on the playing field? Why should she not be allowed to compete with the sex with which, for her whole life, she identified? I understand the "fairness" aspect, but, using your NBA reference, should Rik Smits not be allowed to play in the same league as Spud Webb because of the nearly two foot height advantage? Where is the fairness there? In professional sports the only advantage comes from God given biological anomalies. Semenya possesses those. As the saying goes, "You can't teach height", so why try and profile based upon testosterone levels?