The unusually high incidence of intersex athletes in the women’s middle distances and their reported 100 percent win share in the women’s 800 meters at the Olympic Games in Rio show their disproportionate power. Under Title IX, sex remains the principal and generally uncontroversial basis for classification and legal protections.
Indeed, it is because they clustered in the middle distances that these events are the initial focus of the rules. Testosterone readings outside of the female range were also found in the throws, but these were attributed to doping, not intersex conditions.
This may be true in gender studies departments, but at least for competitive sports purposes, they are simply wrong. Testosterone throughout the life cycle, including puberty, is the reason the best elite females are not competitive in competition against elite males.There is no characteristic that matters more than testes and testosterone.Pick your body part, your geography, and your socioeconomic status and do your comparative homework.Eric Vilain, a geneticist who specializes in differences of sex development, has been blunt about it: removing sex from the eligibility rules would “be a disaster for women’s sport … It simply adopts the standard of care in transition medicine, which is very much embraced by those who seek to match their bodies to their gender identity.
a sad end to what feminists have wanted for so long.”This may sound like hyperbole but it isn’t. Intersex athletes who have gone through puberty may not want to drop their testosterone levels to female levels if they don’t identify as female or don’t see the need to feminize their bodies for reasons other than sport. Using testosterone as a proxy for sex may seem like subterfuge, but it’s not.