Gender Verification and the Olympics

Gender Verification and the Olympics

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Here is a re-post of my July 3, 2014 online journal about gender in sports.  I am taking a Sociology class, and we are at Chapter 12 of our book Introduction to Sociology called Gender, Sex, and Sexuality.  The text deals with gender around the world.  One of the threshold markers of the changing role of women in society is their role in the Olympics. I had written about Caster Semenya who is mentioned in our book on page 258, who had no internal organs of a female, XY chromosomes, and yet was allowed to compete as a female.  Gender verification in sports is a hot issue. Males and females are not allowed to compete against each other in almost all events involving upper body strength and running. Male hormones universally in every nation and culture change an athlete’s upper body strength and running ability. Many men are faking being women, and women are doping to become men in order to change their athletic abilities to compete in international sports.

“Expert: Gender testing ‘imperfect’ for female athletes” By Ann J. Curley, CNN (Wed August 8, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/08/health/athletes-gender-testing/ ) The article mentions the fact that women universally unable compete against male running standards in the following quote. “While both men and women produce testosterone in their bodies, in men it produces more muscle, adding to athletic prowess.” Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya was allowed to compete as a female runner. However, he/she had none of the internal organs of a female, no womb, and no ovaries, and was a male hermaphrodite. She got a second place in the 800-meter heats.

There is a greater issue at stake, however. Why are women driven to compete in male dominated activities like running for fame and fortune? Even with allowanced they will never do it constantly with equality to men. The United States military tests women and their running ability when they join the armed forces, this is called a PT test where push-ups, sit-ups, and a two mile run are central to testing.  I was a Corporal in the Army, and saw this PT tests first-hand.  One of the ways archeologists are able to determine if skeletons are male or female is their arm bones, their pelvic bones, and their running ability in legs. These are the precise areas males deviate from females in body structure.  The PT standards of the military are the dictionary definition of sexism,   They don’t just give women a light punishment if they are unable meet male running standards.  They fully dismiss women when they are unable to run like men, and this destroys a means of making a living wage.  Men outnumber women 9 to 1 in the military. Women are often forced to declare disability when dismissed from the military, which pays $500 per month as military men make $5000 per month with deployment pay, and the men have superior health insurance.  Women are fully a minority group singled out from the others for differential and unequal treatment for what is defined on page 249 of our text as Institutional Racism and Sexism which is racism and sexism embedded in social institutions.   Many women have been caught doping themselves into dangerous male hormone ridden states crushing their organs to gain unfair advantage in running. Many countries have been caught forcing women into male hormone doping in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to win the Olympics, and the U.S. used to stop them on the grounds that it was immoral What are the motivations which are driving this trend? Is it simply the age old adage that “The grass is always greener on the other side?” Or is society so completely destroying all dignity of old world women’s gender roles that the only way they can feel successful is to be miniature men?  It is a huge contrast in what the government publicly says its actions are, and what it does in actual public policy.

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