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  1. 10 Aug '16 21:29 / 1 edit
    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/jul/29/the-return-of-caster-semenya-olympic-favourite-and-ticking-timebomb

    "The Return of Caster Semenya: Olympic Favourite and Ticking Time Bomb"
    --Donald McRae (29 July 2016)

    Caster Semenya (age 25) is a South African black woman, who's heavily
    favoured to win the women's 800 metre run at the 2016 Olympics.
    She's also intersex. Her body naturally produces an extraordinarily high
    level of testosterone (higher than almost all other women's, perhaps
    comparable to a man's). Her testosterone level gives her a deep voice
    (on the phone, she sounds like a man). It also evidently gives her a
    major competitive advantage over almost other women. Is that fair play?

    In 2011, the IAAF (governing body for athletics) ruled that intersex athletes who
    wished to compete as women needed to have testosterone levels no greater than
    a certain limit. So Caster Semenya was given testosterone-limiting drugs,
    which evidently helped make her into a good, but not a great, athlete.
    But in July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled that IAAF regulation.
    So since then Caster Semenya has been free to take full advantage of
    her naturally extraordinarily high level of testosterone.

    "She is proof of the benefit of testosterone to intersex athletes.
    Having had the restriction removed she is now about six seconds faster
    [in the 800 metre run] than she had been the last two years."
    --Ross Tucker (South African sports scientist)

    Some women athletes have been banned for using performance-enhancing
    drugs such as testosterone to improve athletically. That's considered cheating.
    Caster Semenya's not cheating, of course, but is it fair to other women
    athletes that she can take advantage of her naturally high testosterone level?

    "People say, 'Oh, there's overlap between testosterone levels' [in men and women],
    and there is a little. Some women are always faster than some men.
    But the best men are always faster than the best women. Testosterone
    is the least overlapping physical characteristic I've ever encountered.
    It's the most obvious difference between men and women--other than the gene."
    --Ross Tucker

    Some people have predicted that some women's athletic events may be
    dominated by intersex athletes with exceptionally high levels of testosterone,
    now that there are no regulations in place against it.

    I regard it as wrong to blame Caster Semenya personally for being who
    nature made her. I know that her life as a woman may be harder away
    from sport on account of her extraordinarily high testosterone level.
    But the issues of intersex athletes are complex, and I hope that there will
    be further discussion about what's most fair for these athletes and the
    other women against whom they compete.
  2. 11 Aug '16 00:28
    there shouldn't be any gendered sports. one event, if you are good, you win.
  3. 11 Aug '16 00:43 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    there shouldn't be any gendered sports. one event, if you are good, you win.
    So Zahlanzi would prefer that women *not* participate in sports--which would be the
    practical consequence of his proposal--rather than participate in events separate from men?

    There are natural general physical differences between men and women, which place
    women at a significant competitive disadvantage in most sports. Having separate events
    has encouraged women to participate in some sports traditionally reserved for men.
  4. 11 Aug '16 01:32 / 2 edits
    At the 2016 Olympics, the USA's being represented by Justin Gatlin, who has been
    banned twice for using performance-enhancing drugs. In the second (more serious)
    case, drug testing discovered that he had an 'excessive' level of testosterone.

    So everyone knows that 'excessive' testosterone can give an advantage to an athlete in some sports.
    How should an intersex athlete whose body naturally produces 'excessive' (for a female) testosterone be treated?
    Should that athlete be required to take drugs to lower her testosterone level before
    she's allowed to compete in events reserved for women?
  5. Standard member shavixmironline
    Guppy poo
    11 Aug '16 07:20
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    At the 2016 Olympics, the USA's being represented by Justin Gatlin, who has been
    banned twice for using performance-enhancing drugs. In the second (more serious)
    case, drug testing discovered that he had an 'excessive' level of testosterone.

    So everyone knows that 'excessive' testosterone can give an advantage to an athlete in some sports.
    How s ...[text shortened]... s to lower her testosterone level before
    she's allowed to compete in events reserved for women?
    Interesting!

    I certainly don't think anyone should be forced to use drugs.
    And I don't think the answer is going to be simple, if ever answered at all.

    I presume it comes down to definitions, for example: what's a woman?
    Logic says: if it's got mammary glands, a womb and a vagina... It's probably a woman.
    So, simply, if this athlete has these attributes... Then she can participate in woman-only events; no matter the size of her breasts, the length of her labia minoris or the levels of some natural hormone.

    Is it fair?
    I don't know and probably, if I thought about it, don't care.
    It really helps put the mundanity of sports into perspective.
    She's the fastest runner ever! Oh, she's got more hormones than someone else which probably means she has to shave her back... Yeah... Wow!

    He's the best footballer in the world? Oh, wow, he's got a mutated foot-eye coordination...

    Surely, taking drugs abuse, 30 hour a day training schedules, constant salt and vitamin supplements, hormones, etc. Into consideration, it's time to stop caring about sports and start shagging more instead?
  6. 11 Aug '16 08:32
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    So Zahlanzi would prefer that women *not* participate in sports--which would be the
    practical consequence of his proposal--rather than participate in events separate from men?

    There are natural general physical differences between men and women, which place
    women at a significant competitive disadvantage in most sports. Having separate events
    has encouraged women to participate in some sports traditionally reserved for men.
    "So Zahlanzi would prefer that women *not* participate in sports"
    no dear, i didn't say that.

    women should get to participate and compete under the same conditions. if there is a weight lifting contest, by all means women, compete. at the end we will crown whoever can lift the most.

    "which would be the practical consequence of his proposal|"
    the same argument could be made that by allowing all men to compete in the 100 m dash, you would rather not have slow men compete at all. which is the practical consequence of the proposal. we should make a different 100m dash event where we don't allow usain bolt to compete.


    100 m dash. the fastest should win. gymnastics: the one who can do the prettiest tricks on the beam wins. football. american football, if you don't mind tanks running into you


    "There are natural general physical differences between men and women, which place
    women at a significant competitive disadvantage in most sports. |"
    there are natural physical differences between me and Usain Bolt which place me at a significant competitive disadvantage in most sports. (pretty sure he would beat me at any sport involving athleticism)

    "Having separate events has encouraged women to participate in some sports traditionally reserved for men"
    separate from men. sort of like segregation. sort of like how blacks and whites were kept in separate baseball leagues.
  7. Standard member vivify
    rain
    11 Aug '16 15:43 / 1 edit
    I doubt there are any intersex people who wouldn't choose to compete as women. After, all their chances of success are better.

    I think any athletes who could reasonably qualify as a males shouldn't be allowed to participate as a women, even if they could also qualify as females.
  8. Standard member vivify
    rain
    11 Aug '16 15:50
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi

    "Having separate events has encouraged women to participate in some sports traditionally reserved for men"
    separate from men. sort of like segregation. sort of like how blacks and whites were kept in separate baseball leagues.
    That's not the same at all. There's no justifiable reason to segregate races; there are, however, biological reasons to segregate men and women.

    I do agree that not all sports should be segregated. I see no reason why sports that are about marksmanship (like archery) should be separated. Same with professional billiards.
  9. 11 Aug '16 18:33
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    So Zahlanzi would prefer that women *not* participate in sports--which would be the
    practical consequence of his proposal--rather than participate in events separate from men?

    There are natural general physical differences between men and women, which place
    women at a significant competitive disadvantage in most sports. Having separate events
    has encouraged women to participate in some sports traditionally reserved for men.
    Donald Trump has a natural disadvantage when it comes to playing chess. Should there be separate chess tournaments for idiots just so they also have a chance to win?

    I don't care about sports, or winners, but if you have arbitrary categorizations of participants, you'll have arbitrary "winners."
  10. 11 Aug '16 18:52
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Donald Trump has a natural disadvantage when it comes to playing chess. Should there be separate chess tournaments for idiots just so they also have a chance to win?

    I don't care about sports, or winners, but if you have arbitrary categorizations of participants, you'll have arbitrary "winners."
    I agree with KN and Z. If we are going to have competitions and focus on who the best person is, then we should not worry about gender.
  11. Standard member vivify
    rain
    11 Aug '16 19:12
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I agree with KN and Z. If we are going to have competitions and focus on who the best person is, then we should not worry about gender.
    So should we eliminate women's sports?
  12. 11 Aug '16 20:22
    Originally posted by vivify
    So should we eliminate women's sports?
    Women can play sports. I personally play sports. I don't win international competitions and if women can't win against the best competitors so be it. I can't compete against 7 foot 300 pound chisled athletes like Shaq and I don't expect them to have international competitions for 5' 10" non-athletic white guys who have a white collar job. I don't see why we should create inferior leagues based on gender and not based on other characteristics.
  13. 11 Aug '16 20:45
    This is at least one thread where Duchess seems to be the far more reasonable one.
  14. 11 Aug '16 21:33
    Originally posted by techsouth
    This is at least one thread where Duchess seems to be the far more reasonable one.
    It might be a sign you should reconsider your position.
  15. 11 Aug '16 21:34
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Donald Trump has a natural disadvantage when it comes to playing chess. Should there be separate chess tournaments for idiots just so they also have a chance to win?

    I don't care about sports, or winners, but if you have arbitrary categorizations of participants, you'll have arbitrary "winners."
    "Should there be separate chess tournaments for idiots just so they also have a chance to win?"
    --KazetNagorra

    In fact, most USCF tournament players participate in *sections with rating limits*, not in the open section
    (against, potentially, GMs). USCF tournaments routinely create these sections in order
    to give mediocre or even weak players chances to win in their sections.

    "Donald Trump has a *natural disadvantage* when it comes to playing chess."
    --KazetNagorra

    Oh, really? Donald Trump disagrees (or disagreed). He once boasted that if he studied
    chess for a year or two, then he would become a grandmaster. I don't believe that could
    happen, but let's consider his supposed 'natural disadvantage'.

    If nature's a matter of birth, Donald Trump was born with the extraordinary advantage of
    being an extremely wealthy white male in the USA. (Almost all of chess's world champions
    so far have been white men.) He could afford to hire the best chess trainers in the world.
    If he wished, he would be able to train full-time in chess without worrying about money.

    Now I have noticed some aspects of his personality (such as extremely deluded judgment)
    that would make it harder for Donald Trump to excel as a chess player. One wonders to
    what extent he could objectively assess an unfavorable position and respond accordingly.
    But I would not be too surprised if, with enough training and assuming that he has average
    natural talent, Donald Trump could become at least an average USCF tournament player.

    And the biological differences between men and women are far from 'arbitrary'.