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Van Cone De Head

Caster Semenya

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I’m not sure I’m articulate enough to discuss this wisely(I’ve resisted the urge to crack a joke)and I’m certainly no scientist.

But I suspect the decision to ban her is correct?

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Seems like a dangerous thing for the IAAF to get into making rules over imho. Are there an increasing number of "gender identities" being identified and used - therefore to conclude someone is not "female" does not necessarily make them "male".

If thats right, then crikey - with the number of new events needed, the olympics could be going on for months..........😂

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It's getting increasingly complex. Sharron Davies and Martina Navratilova have both been vocal recently in attempting to 'protect' womens' competition from an increasing number of trans athletes. Navratilova has been called transphobic and kicked out of a LBGT+ advocacy group over it.

Such name calling isn't helpful in my opinion. There needs to be a real debate about what is fair for all parties, and the IAAF seem to have taken a reasonably balanced view based on the science and consideration of fairness to all parties.

 Semenya has a natural condition that means she has no womb or ovaries. She has testes inside her body, that produce testosterone in a similar way to a man. 

The question to be answered is what combination of genetic or physical characteristics differentiate male from female. 

In these edge cases, it's complex and will always seem unfair to someone.

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12 minutes ago, therealhantsram said:

It's getting increasingly complex. Sharron Davies and Martina Navratilova have both been vocal recently in attempting to 'protect' womens' competition from an increasing number of trans athletes. Navratilova has been called transphobic and kicked out of a LBGT+ advocacy group over it.

Such name calling isn't helpful in my opinion. There needs to be a real debate about what is fair for all parties, and the IAAF seem to have taken a reasonably balanced view based on the science and consideration of fairness to all parties.

 Semenya has a natural condition that means she has no womb or ovaries. She has testes inside her body, that produce testosterone in a similar way to a man. 

The question to be answered is what combination of genetic or physical characteristics differentiate male from female. 

In these edge cases, it's complex and will always seem unfair to someone.

Should be a straight forward calculation of testosterone levels, surely?

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What if someone born male, with all the relevant bits and hormones, identifies as a woman aged 15 and then lives a full life as a woman but happens to be a brilliant athlete? Might that potentially be unfair to those born as female and continuing to be female if they were allowed to enter 'women's events'?

The IAAF are right to start to address the problem however difficult it may be for the sport and the individuals involved, and to try to lay down some kind of rules to apply.  There has to be some kind of external measure however imperfect it may be in covering every eventuality just as they tried to do with the blade runner. 

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Posted (edited)

I can see the logic behind the decision. That if the only real effect of her case of DSD is heightened testosterone, then taking medication that's only effect is to reduce it to more "normal" levels then in the eyes of the IAAF it's a no brainer.
Unfortunately medical conditions like DSD often aren't as simple as that. Neither is medication, the side effects could potentially be severe and make her completey unable to compete anyway.
It's a complex situation and any decision has the potential to set a dangerous precedent. Although I think that's less likely with this decision than the alternative.

I wonder if their decision has been made with one eye on the debates surrounding transgender women competing in athletic competition, as testosterone levels will surely be a relevant topic in that discussion as well. 
Although I suspect that sporting competition will work around the gender debate by separating athletes based on "body type" rather than "gender" sometime in the future - based on the fact that there are difference not only in chemical balances, but also in the physical structure of the different levels of the body.

Edited by SaintRam

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It's also curious how many people are adamant that there are only two genders - male and female

Until someone does well at sport - then they start debating how complex the issue is 🤣

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Athletics South Africa have released a statement accusing CAS of 're-opening the wounds of apartheid'.

Whichever side of the debate you're on, that has to go down as a spectacularly long stretch of the imagination doesn't it? Ridiculous and trivialising of both issues I'd say.

(Sharon Davies is probably right, but it's bloody harsh on Semenya)

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eddie
On 01/05/2019 at 16:01, StivePesley said:

It's also curious how many people are adamant that there are only two genders - male and female

Until someone does well at sport - then they start debating how complex the issue is 🤣

Ah, binary questions. Where have we heard that before?

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