Should she/he be stripped of medal?

#1
I looked but was surprised not to see a thread about this already. Did I miss it?

Regardless, I'm putting it in the 'divisive' category because of all the debate I've heard about this already.

South African runner Semenya a hermaphrodite

After undergoing gender testing, it was determined that South African runner, Caster Semenya is both male and female, a hermaphrodite.

She has 3 times the testosterone level of the average female, but still not as much as the average male. She has a vagina outside and male parts inside.

Should she be stripped of her medal? Does her male side give her an unfair advantage over the other female runners?

I'm still on the fence about this one and am curious to hear your thoughts.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
#2
hm .. interesting.

when i saw her/his picture, i could tell she's a man but then she's in the women category.

it would sound discriminating if they strip of her medal just because she's 2 gendered ... but yet ... the issue of having more advantages than other females exists.

the article says : "In the past, you used to do a gynecological exam, blood test, chromosome test, whatever.
don't they do these tests now?

plus, didn't anyone know she was a hermaphrodite before entering the race?
it's just confusing.

:shifteyes:
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
#3
That's a tough question. I'm sure that hormone levels vary widely for all individuals, not just Caster Semenya. If they're going to strip her (I'm going to use that pronoun because she's been raised as a girl) of her medal based on higher testosterone levels, then they need to test each and every runner and disqualify those females whose testosterone is above a given point.

This also raises an interesting question about what gender really is.
 
#4
Should she be stripped of her medal? Does her male side give her an unfair advantage over the other female runners?
Yes and yes. As you pointed out she has 3X the testosterone level of the average female. It's not fair to the other athletics.

If anything she should be able to try out on the male side.
 
#5
Yes and yes. As you pointed out she has 3X the testosterone level of the average female. It's not fair to the other athletics.

If anything she should be able to try out on the male side.

Then it's unfair to her. Her testosterone is below the average males. I'm not sure there is a happy medium in this situation.
 

Nevyrmoore

AKA Ass-Bandit
#6
If anything she should be able to try out on the male side.
This is where the problem lies - while her body produces more testosterone than the average female, she has less testosterone than the average male. Forcing her to try out for the male side would mean that they have an advantage over her.

I reckon she should be able to keep the medal. However, because she has an advantage over the women, and because the males will have an advantage over her, she should retire.

As a bit of an off topic, to quote Frankie Boyle, "Whether you have a vagina or not is good enough for the rest of us, it's good enough for the law, it's good enough for GOD but it's not good enough for RUNNING ABOUT apparently. 'I'm so sorry, I can't marry two men' 'Oh well you see Father, my partner isn't actually a man because he's been judged as shit at running' 'I'm very sorry, I do apologise, God Bless you Gordon and Keith'"
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#7
That's a tough question. I'm sure that hormone levels vary widely for all individuals, not just Caster Semenya. If they're going to strip her (I'm going to use that pronoun because she's been raised as a girl) of her medal based on higher testosterone levels, then they need to test each and every runner and disqualify those females whose testosterone is above a given point.
They already do. That's basically what steroid testing is, looking for heightened t-levels (testosterone).

This also raises an interesting question about what gender really is.
No, it raises questions about sexuality. Gender is one's social sexual identity, like when a girl who wants to be a boy chooses to represent herself as a boy to the public, her gender is male but her sexuality is female since biologically, she remains female. Questions about sexuality is what really comes into play.

I see it like this: nature has two sexualities, male and female. One is needs the other to procreate (usually, some rare species of animals can asexually reproduce meaning they can have offspring on their own without a partner). Now, with someone like Semenya who appears to be female but possesses male parts, she is in the middle. I don't want to say "freak" because that would be insensitive, but she's certainly something outside of biologically normal. Society functions on two sexualities and tosses everyone else into the "weirdos and mutants" category which is not the way to handle it. However, cases like this are rare and by that very trait, extremely difficult to judge. To segway to my next point, women and men are judged differently in sports.

When it comes to a contest like this, her testosterone levels give her an advantage. It helps her push harder, be more aggressive and have more energy so yes, she is at an advantage. However, she is not doping or injecting herself, she's not cheating. So we come to a crossroads. She doesn't fit in the male category nor the female. Should we have men and women race against one another? I'm all for it, but then again, men naturally have more testosterone, so how fair would it be to the women? That's not saying women would never win, but they would definitely not be favored to.

All in all, I have no idea what I'd say about this. I think she should keep her medal since she earned it, but with this new information revealed, I think future events should be blocked from her until they come up with a solution. She's in a difficult spot since she doesn't meet requirements in either category, so maybe the only option is to identify her sexuality genetically then place her in a group, but that's the best I have.
 
#8
No, Castor can't be stripped of her medal as she didn't try to cheat. I'd say the problem lies with Athletics South Africa for not conducting any tests prior to the Berlin races and avoiding this unsavory situation.

It is unfair to other female competitors but perhaps with hormone therapy could she resume her career as female athlete.
 
#9
I heard on the radio that she only found about her unique situation when the world did. If this is true, imagine the difficultly she’ll be dealing, not to mention the normal problems of any 18 year old girl.
Also, it was mentioned that she faces serious health risks if she doesn’t have surgery to remove the testicles. Doing this would obviously reduce the testosterone levels, which in my opinion makes her a fair candidate to compete against the females.
 

Merc

Certified Shitlord
V.I.P.
#10
No, Castor can't be stripped of her medal as she didn't try to cheat. I'd say the problem lies with Athletics South Africa for not conducting any tests prior to the Berlin races and avoiding this unsavory situation.
I don't think a standard test would be "are you male or female?" :lol:

That's usually a little check box on a few forms and nothing else.

It is unfair to other female competitors but perhaps with hormone therapy could she resume her career as female athlete.
That was something else on my mind as well, the potential for hormone therapy to bring her down to even levels with other female competitors.

I heard on the radio that she only found about her unique situation when the world did. If this is true, imagine the difficultly she’ll be dealing, not to mention the normal problems of any 18 year old girl.
Also, it was mentioned that she faces serious health risks if she doesn’t have surgery to remove the testicles. Doing this would obviously reduce the testosterone levels, which in my opinion makes her a fair candidate to compete against the females.
I'm skeptical of the "serious health risks". The medical establishment has been known to use that excuse with newborns with ambigious genitalia and disguise their own agenda to make sexuality easier to identify by convincing the parents that their child will face "serious health risks" if they don't "fix" their child. In some ways, it does sound like the best route would be "picking a side" so to say because I just can't think of anything plausible that would be fair and in her favor.