The story of Caster Semenya is certainly sad and raises questions how to deal fairly with persons of unclear biological sex. But the article seems not to ask what is fair for those women competing against someone who is genetically male and has a male hormone profile (as I assume Caster does)? Biology indicates that, on the average, such individuals will have a clear advantage in a variety of sports where muscle mass and height are of importance. Based on biology, there is no reason to think that athletic ability in such sports is significantly related to gender roles, the superficial appearance of exterior genitals and the like.
True, certain American sports seemed to be designed for the most extreme of body types (football, basketball) compared to soccer or tennis, which could raise similar questions of fairness. Maybe putting the basketball hoop six feet off the floor would help.
Takoma Park, MD
Sep 24 2009 - 8:55am