The result of Caster Semenya’s preliminary ‘gender testing’ reveals that she has 3 times the ‘normal’ amount of testosterone for a woman. Woop-de-doo. Surely that’s not a great surprise. I think if you tested every single female athlete, especially ones that require a lof of muscle for their sport, you’d find high levels of testosterone in most of them.
There is a very good article in the SMH today in the Health and Science section that puts it out there plain and simple – there are lots of different combinations of chromosomes and hormones in people. But this does not necessarily make a person male or female:
The problem with Semenya’s testing is that seems to be this undecurrent of thought that female athletes who appear manly (?) are suspect. What of male athletes? Of course, men who appear womanly will not be tested, because less testosterone and more of those damn passive, fat-inducing and hysterical female hormones are no good to an athlete. But what about men who naturally produce three times the amount of testosterone that is ‘normal’ for a man. Should there perhaps be a new athletic category for those male athletes? The ‘uber-male’ might be an appropriate title for this category. In which case, what category do women like Semenya go into? Should there be a new category called the ‘uber-female’, or should she just compete with the men? Where does it end? Where are the boundaries? In other words, what are they going to do with the results of this ‘gender testing’ they are subjecting Semenya to??