Feb. 28th, 2010

ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael
http://registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/sevendays/24479329-35/intersex-female-male-athletes-athlete.csp

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Who decides who is normal?
It may be impossible to be fair to athletes born with an intersex condition
By Elizabeth Reis
For The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Sunday 28 February 2010

The Winter Olympic games end today, but the International Olympic Committee has plenty of work left to do as it considers how to handle athletes who have an intersex condition — a discrepancy between genitals, internal sex anatomy (ovaries or testes), hormones or chromosomes. The IOC is obligated to achieve fairness with a policy that clearly and unambiguously sets out the criteria for gender verification. Yet any rules the committee imposes are likely to be unsatisfactory, perhaps even arbitrary. Here’s why:

Variation in the human body is natural and not as uncommon as we might believe: Approximately one in 2,000 people are born intersexed. Nonetheless we sort people into two distinct categories: male or female. When a baby is born with atypical genitalia, or when an adult woman discovers that her XY chromosomes don’t match her female genitals, then fitting into one of the male or female boxes becomes more difficult — particularly in sports, where the entire endeavor is divided along gender lines.
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