Are You Woman Enough to Compete in the Olympic Games?

While many athletes are busy training for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, some female competitors are undergoing treatment to become less masculine.

In an article at the Toronto Star, it has been revealed that the International Association of Athletics Federations have named themselves the gatekeepers of gender in sports:

“…recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.

If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games.”

Ok, so let’s break this down. Men are explicitly banned from using steroids to participate in higher levels of competition while female athletes undergo steroid therapy in order to compete.

What the hell?!

This is clearly gender policing, not to mention discriminatory as hell. Luckily, the scientific community is speaking out about this absolutely ridiculous double standard.

Check out this article from the Stanford School of Medicine:

Proposed Olympic policies for testing the testosterone levels of select female athletes could discriminate against women who may not meet traditional notions of femininity and distort the scientific evidence on the relationship between testosterone, sex and athletic performance

…They also warn that the proposed policies would not only be unfair, but also could lead to female athletes being coerced into unnecessary and potentially harmful medical treatment in order to continue competing”

I can understand that gender is a hard thing to tack down, as it is fluid. However, that is certainly not an excuse for transphobia, homophobia, or general douchebaggery (a.k.a trying to determine scientifically whether or not someone is a man or woman).

Has anyone ever asked Kobe if he’s actually a man? How about Lance Armstrong? Brett Favre? It would seem that it is usually the “fairer sex” that is placed under this kind of gender scrutiny.

What is really baffling about this whole thing is that testosterone has little to no effect on how good of an athlete you can be. There is literally no evidence that successful athletes have higher testosterone levels than less successful ones. In fact, women whose tissues do not respond to testosterone are actually over-represented in sports.

Women are capable of outstanding athletic performance, but it today’s society that is something that is strictly relegated to the boys’ club. Until the Olympic committee and the general public can get it into their heads that women are also capable of extraordinary athletic feats, female athletes are going to continue to have to put up with these ridiculous double standards.

About Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane is the co-founder of Skepticon, the Midwest's largest skeptic student-run conference and remains a lead organizer today. She has not one, but TWO fancy art degrees and is not afraid to use them.

  • Stev84

    Sounds like a return to the 60s and 70s when they did sex tests. While many if not most Eastern European athletes then were certainly on steroids, a lot of the women caught with the chromosomal tests were simply intersexed

  • M6wg4bxw

    Perhaps this is a move to keep things fair on the women’s side, so that women, who are more like women, don’t have to compete against women, who are more like men.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708596712 Sara Ann Mason

      What about “testosterone has little to no effect on how good of an athlete you can be” did you not understand?

      • m6wg4bxw

        None of it.

      • Michael

        As I read that paper, it seems to be saying that they were detected as genetically male but female due to their bodies not wholly responding to male hormones, not that they were genetically female and unresponsive to testosterone.  Could a geneticist give a proper breakdown of what the paper says?

        • Stev84

          Androgen insensitivity syndrome occurs when someone doesn’t respond to testosterone (either partially or completely).

          When developing, all embryos are originally female for the first several weeks. The presence of testosterone then leads to a differentiation and separate development (this is simplified a bit. Testicles develop solely due to the Y-chromosome and then some other hormones are produced by those that trigger changes). A woman with AIS is usually genetically male (XY chromosomes), but because her cells’ androgen receptors are defective due to a mutation, she develops a female phenotype. Though there are mis-developments of the internal sex organs due to the Y-chromosome, i.e. they have no uterus and testicles instead of ovaries.

          In the past, athletes weren’t always aware of this because even if doctors discovered anomalies, they didn’t necessarily tell them. With CAIS, they also wouldn’t always notice anything until puberty.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JBAMPHNDKNSKDNVTY3VRYGWMYQ Jack

     Ah yes! another gender-related post, I can feel the pool-pah coming already :3

    *takes cover*

    PS: “What does this have to do with atheism?” There! Now you don’t have to waste your time typing those insightful comments of yours, guys. :D

  • Jordan

    The obvious, non-discriminatory solution to this problem would be to leave gender out of it completely and just have everybody compete together. 

    • ruth

      Face it, women’s competitions  are no different that the special olympics.  But I don’t mind that a bit.  If people are interested in women’s sports, or  sports for the intellectually or physically handicapped, or senior sports, fine and dandy.   In fact, I’d rather watch that then sports where young fit men are always the winners.   

      The issue is determining whether someone is eligible and we have to decide whether there are lines to draw, especially as there is no bright line on any of these categories of people. 

      • Feline256

         “women’s competitions are no different tha[n] the special olympics.”
        Wow. Yes, those are totally the same thing.

      • amycas

         I just can’t bring myself to believe that somebody actually thinks this way. My mind is officially boggled.

        • http://twitter.com/moother moother

          i think you misread the entire post…. the grammar aint perfect but it doesn’t need to be to understand the premise…

          as for that boggling bit, you would actually need to posses a mind in order for it to be boggled.

          it’s noice to be able to come to a forum and take a half a dozen dumps in the comments without ever having actually contributed to the discussion.

          • amycas

            “Face it, women’s competitions  are no different that the special olympics”–And you think this statement is contributing something useful to the discussion? It’s demeaning to both women and the disabled. Have you seriously never seen me comment here before? I’m a regular here. If something really needs to be addressed and taken apart, then I will do so. But if it’s just mindless dumping on women’s sports, then I’ll call bullshit when I see it.

  • ChineapplePunk

    “Perhaps this is a move to keep things fair on the women’s side, so that women, who are more like women, don’t have to compete against women, who are more like men.”

    And will they have tests on men who exceed the threshold for oestrogen?  Sexuality and sexual identity has a spectrum. Many men and women do not fit neatly into the supposed standard of femininity and masculinity. This is blatant discrimination. 

  • Ethel Biscuit

    Isn’t his actually gender stereotyping MEN? It’s assuming that men are more likely to attempt to pass as women than vice versa. Presumably because they would thereby have an unfair advantage. But then, how likely really would it be for a woman to attempt to pass as a man?

    Should we abolish separate sporting categories for men and women? If not, how do we make sure that people aren’t cheating? Take their word for it?

  • Matthew Booth

    I’m not with you on this one. In general, men and women separately in sports where elite men and elite women are of significantly different standards. For example, the women’s 100m world record is almost a second slower than the men’s. It is fair to say that if men and women competed equally in the 100m there would be no (or certainly almost no) women at elite level. That is, separating the sexes *increases* opportunities for women in sports, and I find it hard to think of this as a bad thing.

    As a consequence, the governing body now *must* be able to differentiate between sexes. You seem to object to the very concept of this, but there’s no getting around that it’s required if men and women are to compete separately, and I’ve already argued that’s good for women in sport. At elite level, competitors use any and all means available to gain an advantage, so whatever the rule is it will be pushed to its limit. If there is no rule at all, the spirit will be flouted. It turns out gender isn’t black and white, hence the rather awkward position for the governing body. The only argument left is if they’re using decent methods. You argue that they’re not without proposing a better solution. It’s entirely possible there is no decent currently available method, and there’s simply making the best of an unfortunate situation.

    Incidentally, nobody is going to gender test Lance Armstrong because there are no numbers to suggest that being a woman in a men’s race is a competitive advantage. Gender testing is certainly an unpleasant necessity in some sports, but requiring gender equality in unpleasantness simply for its own sake would just be spiteful.

    • Stev84

      She isn’t proposing that women compete with men.

      There is no good solution. They found out decades ago that gender testing is pointless. The point though is that there isn’t even an issue demanding a solution. Originally they were worried that men dressed up as women to compete. That never happened of course. What they quickly discovered however were many intersexed women. For example, women with androgen insensitivity syndrome have male sex chromosomes, but a female phenotype (except possibly for some issues with internal sex organs). Gender just isn’t a binary thing you can test for easily. There are chromosomal abnormalities with both genders and both can have different hormone levels. A woman with naturally high testosterone levels shouldn’t be punished for that.

  • Watcher

    Why not abolish this silly gender distinction and just have men and women, oops I mean people, in one game?

    • Stev84

      On a casual level that may be feasible in some sports, but at the highest levels there are clear differences in performance. It simply wouldn’t work at professional competitions.

      • Michael

        There are also demonstrable racial advantages in some sports. We don’t discriminate for them.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          No, there aren’t.  There are correlations, such as North African distance runners, but those have not been linked to anything genetic.  We as a species are far too homogeneous to show those kinds of differences. 

          • Michael

            No, most racial traits have not been linked to anything genetic. As you state however, there are clear correlations between running speed and race.

            • amycas

               Correlation does not equal causation. Rich’s comment still stands.

              • http://twitter.com/moother moother

                no it doesn’t… his comment is pure assertion… your comment pure stupidity.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  So, correlation does equal causation?

                • amycas

                   Are you just going to every comment I make and calling me stupid for the hell of it?

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              What does ‘race’ mean when it comes to humans?

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teyvcs2S4mI

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            kenya and ethiopia: now in north africa…

            how can we be expected to believe anything you say if your geography is so appalling?

            so, if we as a species are too homogeneous to show those kinds of differences then you would be able to explain away the domination of africans in so many sports and their almost complete absence in others?

            other species of animals show definite differences in abilities. why should humans be any different? are we special?

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Your complete lack of understanding of human genetics far outweighs my lazy geography.  And it’s about as relevant as your grammar or my spelling.

              There are a number of theories as to why some countries do better in some sports.  At one point it was thought that Jewish people were better at basketball because they were naturally stingy. 

              High altitude and barefoot running have both been proposed, and are probably factors, but certainly not the ‘silver bullet’.  However, God of the Gaps.  Even if I can’t explain it without genetics doesn’t mean it is genetics.  If you want to show a genetic link, you need to actually show evidence for it by showing a group of humans being genetically different.  What studies comparing people have shown is that we are all remarkably the same.

              Other animals species aren’t humans.  We have a remarkably low level of genetic diversity due to a squeeze point in human evolution, at which time our population was very small.

              • amycas

                 He seems to be of the opinion that race=species I think.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I read a book in the 90s that showed the gaps in various sports (especially more endurance related) shrinking, and gave various predictions for the eventual level playing field.  I think it was overly optimistic, but it did demonstrate that the pure physical differences aren’t as great as most people think, and it’s at least partly due to identification of outstanding individuals.

        One significant outlier was Beryl Burton, who held the outright world record (men and women) for the cycling 12 hour time trial for two years.

  • Flora The Red Menace

    These are the same  mental set of people who want the female boxers to wear skirts in the ring.  Skirts!
    They also fought against women ski jumpers because it was unsafe for women. Actually,  the women were jumping farther than the men and that can’t be tolerated.

    • Nathan

      I’m not sure who these “they” you’re referring to are, but according to wikipedia, the objection to including women’s skijumping in the Olympics was that there weren’t enough competitors to make it a truly international sport. Nonetheless, women’s skijumping will be an official event in the 2014 Olympics.

      I can find no support for your claim that women were jumping farther than men. Wikipedia’s list of skijumping distance records consists entirely of men.

      • http://twitter.com/moother moother

        ah, someone lied to assert a victory position… i knew something smelled fishy…

  • anon101

    This one of the examples
    where feminism has gone completely batshit crazy. These rules about
    testosterone levels as inadequate as they may be are made to protect
    women from “unfair” competition. Why the hell do you think
    athletes use anabolic steroids that is testosterone-derivatives to
    dope? Because testosterone is useless? You could have a rational
    discussion about that in the context of doping rules like limits to
    red blood cell count limits etc. But you rather talk about bullshit
    like if genders really exist.

    • Feline256

      Those questions appear to be strawmen. They were not claimed by the article, notably your take on gender not actually being a rigid binary somehow meaning no gender exists. The history of women being allowed into sports is also more complicated.

  • Mark

    Isn’t this an atheist blog? I’m sure there are better venues for this post.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      Perhaps you are right, but I’ve learned a lot from Stev84′s posts on this topic. And I guess it’e easy enough to skip over a certain topic if you can see it’s not of interest to you.

      • AxeGrrl

        it’e easy enough to skip over a certain topic if you can see it’s not of interest to you

        Given the whining that’s been going on lately, you’d think that some people haven’t learned how to scroll :)

  • TiltedHorizon

    WTF? It sounds like they are attempting to regulate genetics as if natural ability or genetic advantage is somehow cheating. What’s next, will Michael Phelps be forced to smoke a carton of cigarettes before a competition? Will Kenyans be forced to run in wooden clogs? Was there even a problem that this “solution” was needed? 

    • Stev84

      The reason gender testing was started is because some idiots seriously thought that some men would dress up as women to compete against them. But there was never a real problem about gender as such.

      The true problem was always drug/steroid use. When women use steroids they are of course going to look more masculine. But that’s actually cheating and not just a fluke of biology.

      • TiltedHorizon

        “gender testing was started is because some idiots seriously thought that some men would dress up as women”

        For some reason the image of Dustin Hoffman as “Tootsie” in Olympic shorts  running a 5K sprung to mind…. I can’t stop giggling.

        • Stev84

          Well, sometimes it wouldn’t have taken a lot of dressing up. There are examples of female athletes in disciplines about lifting and throwing weights who don’t look all that feminine. Especially some decades ago when steroid use was common – and almost systematic – in some countries.

          But I still have trouble believing that someone thought that men would go to such lengths to win. Seems more sensible to assume they would just take drugs themselves.

      • anon101

        What about people that
        undergo a sex change (and I mean male-to-female, as well as,
        female-to-male)? Should they be allowed to compete with the women?

        What you seem to be forgetting is that if you would just go by the
        genetics Semenya would be a male and would simply on that basis not
        be allowed to compete with the women. Testosterone levels are already
        a concession to allow genetic males to compete with women.

        http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1918668,00.html

        • Stev84

          They actually haven’t released her medical files. We don’t know if she is intersexed or just has some kind of hormonal imbalance. So you can’t say that she is genetically male. They are keeping that secret. The article linked originally implies that she is taking female hormones now and looks different though.

          And some athletic associations (including the IOC since 2004) now allow transgenders to compete in their own gender under some conditions. If they’re on hormone replacement therapy it’s really not an issue. Whatever they’re taking alters their muscle and body fat distribution to their target gender.

  • anon101

    Sorry, I just read the last
    paragraph and I had to comment again. You must be kidding. The
    Olympic games are coming up so you can see for yourself. Women would
    not stand a chance against men in any discipline including shooting.
    (Yeah I know there is one exception.)

    • Stev84

      She didn’t propose that women compete against men. She criticized that sometimes when women get excellent results competing against other women, they are accused of  somehow cheating biologically. See Caster Semenya. The whole hoopla about her only started after people questioned why she was so good

  • AxeGrrl

    A story that involves the scientifc determination of gender?   I predict this thread hits 3 digits in less than 24hrs…..

  • Hibernia86

    Actually, the whole reason for gender testing is to make it more fair for women. We could have co-ed teams, but that would tend to exclude women since men, on average, are stronger than women. So in sports we make men’s teams and women’s teams in order to allow more women to participate in sports.

    I do agree, though, that testosterone may be the wrong thing to be testing.

  • Villa

    >Has anyone ever asked Kobe if he’s actually a man? How about Lance Armstrong? Brett Favre? It would seem that it is usually the “fairer sex” that is placed under this kind of gender scrutiny.

    Why would they ask Kobe?  There’s no requirement that NBA players be men.

    Basketball has a league without sex requirements.  It also has a league that’s only open to women.  There’s something disingenuous about using this as an example of anti-women bias.

    • Onamission5

      Pretty sure the point was not a criticism of the NBA or baseball, and was rather an observation that when men do well at things they are expected to excell in such as competitive sports, nobody questions their masculinity. Yet female atheletes are subjected to scrutiny as to whether they are “real” women. It’s as if there’s a double standard or something. Odd, eh? 

      • Villa

        Nobody tests NBA player’s masculinity because the result doesn’t matter.  The league is open to both genders.

        This complaint seems like the standard “there are scholarships for Native Americans, so why aren’t there special programs for white people?” complaint, dressed in some socially-conscious jargon.

        The answer is the same.  The admissibility test goes one way because the need goes one way.  As a class, caucasians don’t need help getting admitted to universities.  As a class, men don’t need help getting onto professional sports teams.

        The under-represented group’s division was created to give the under-represented group a chance to shine.  These restricted divisions test for admissibility because they’re trying to help a particular group.

        If we’re going to fault the Olympics for anything, it seems like it would make sense to fault them for claiming to ‘gender’ test when they really should be (and largely are) testing biological sex.

        The Olympics could be faulted for trying to split gender into a binary (as opposed to following basketball’s example of an open division and a women’s division). 

        But I don’t see that verifying the status of a person from an under-represented group is unreasonable when the goal is to create a division just for the under-represented group.

        • amycas

          Ok, change the question (since you apparently didn’t get the point): Has anybody ever questioned if Michael Phelps is really a man? Or any male Olympic record-breaker?

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            and? what would be the point of this enquiry?

            or are you just dumping in more rhetorical questions to confirm the extent of your stupidity?

            • amycas

               That wasn’t a rhetorical question. You see, Michael Phelps was in the Olympics and he’s a particularly great swimmer. Nobody has ever asked him to be subjected to gender tests to be sure that a girl didn’t swoop in and steal the medals from all the *real* men. So, why is it that when a woman is particularly good at sports, people start questioning whether or not she is a *real* woman?

              P.S. If you’re going to continue to just swipe at my comments by asserting that I’m stupid and/or lack a brain, then I will just ignore them and flag them. Please don’t harass people here.

  • Blanc_Slate

    This is but one of the many examples of why I fear for humanity’s future. 

  • Stev84

    By the way, there is an error in the original article

    Men are explicitly banned from using steroids to participate in higher
    levels of competition while female athletes undergo steroid therapy in
    order to compete.

    The issue is that some women have too much testosterone in their opinion. So it’s really the same problem, with the difference that men take artificial drugs, while those women have naturally high hormone levels. The prescribed therapy would then lower the testosterone level or counteract it somehow (maybe with female hormones?). That sentence makes it sound like they’re taking even more of it.

    • amycas

      This made sense to me (the actual practice) until I thought about what other type of biological “advantages” competitors might have over other players. What if it’s found in future studies that a certain active gene makes people better runners? Would they then test all of the players for that active gene and somehow deactivate that gene? I don’t think this is right, if she was born that way, then leave it be (unless it’s hurting her somehow).

      • http://twitter.com/moother moother

        it’s clear from your comments in this thread that you are not overly educated and lacking intellectual rigour.

        your rhetorical question is not only sloppy but it is also stupid.

        yes, there are some people (notably east africans) that have a genetic advantages on the track but the point that you did not make (as it would expose your stupidity) is this:

        either this genetic advantage is shared by both male and female or it is not.

        whichever the case, it does not make for a competitive advantage… do you understand how your question is invalid? unless of course you are suggesting that we ban kenyans and etheopians from competing in which case you would have a point but it would not be a very classy point.

        comparing genes to hormones is FAIL.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          yes, there are some people (notably east africans) that have a genetic advantages on the track but the point that you did not make (as it would expose your stupidity) is this:

          citation please (for this gene or genes that makes East Africans better on the track)

          • http://twitter.com/moother moother

            instead of just asking for a citation why don’t you present contrary evidence or do you have a lazy gene in your family?

            well, the fact that over the last 13 years of the berlin marathon, of the 26 winners (men and women) 19 of them have been from either kenya or etheopia… and that’s just the winners.

            in the 2010 berlin marathon kenya an etheopia took the first 8 places (men) and 2 places (women)

            so, there is either something in the genes or in the water… which is it?

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              For the same reason I don’t present evidence as to why God doesn’t exist.  You’re making the positive claim that there is a link.  I’m not arguing that Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners aren’t superior.  I’m arguing that it has nothing to do with genetics.

              And how come there are so many distance runners from Kenya and Ethiopia, but not from Uganda and Tanzania?  Do they have better water in Kenya and Ethiopia?

        • amycas

          It’s pretty clear from your post that you did not understand the point of my question or how it relates to this topic. Normally I would go into more depth with you about why I asked the question, what I meant by it, and why it is relevant, but it appears that all you want to do in this thread is follow my comments around and proclaim my stupidity. That type of dismissive behavior gives me no reason to want to have any kind of discussion with you about any topic.

  • Ian Reide

    Not a big fan of the Olympics. Supposedly “amateur” sports. Athletes at the extreme end of the curve. $ training. All dressed up as a huge media event, with billions sitting in front of the big screens munching popcorn. Corruption, IOC, money, politics, etc.  AND China hosting the Olympics, reminded me of 1936. Not a fan of the Olympics. 

    • amycas

       I’m not sure I understand what you have against China hosting the Olympics. I think I’ll go google 1936 Olympics to see what you mean.

  • http://stephenmarsh.blogspot.com/ Stephen

    I haven’t done a ton of research into the specifics of the new IOC policy (and don’t know about the IAAF policy), but this seems to be a way less shitty way of handing the mens’/womens’ sport distinction than the policy that existed back when the Caster Semenya catastrophe happened a few years ago. 

    NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/sports/olympics/ioc-adopts-policy-for-deciding-whether-athletes-can-compete-as-women.html?_r=1&hp788E7DF
    Blog post by Judith Butler about the Caster Semenya stuff from ’09, where she suggests testosterone testing as a way around the “sex/gender test” problem: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2009/11/20/judith-butler/wise-distinctions/

    Based on the NYT article, the IOC seems to be framing the testosterone testing specifically as not gender testing, and relying on a combination of testosterone levels and receptivity to make judgment calls. It also seems to claim agnosticism on the whole surgery / hormone therapy thing but explicitly says that women who test in the “male” range can compete in mens’ competition. Is the Times article legit as far as these details go? 

  • Guest

    Yet another post from Lauren Lane that has nothing to do with atheism.

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    I need to disagree with the entire premise of this argument.

    There are 2 points to make:

    1) Have you seen women’s tennis in the last 20 years? It’s terrible… horrendous… appalling… and this is not to say that I want to see a thriller between Sharapova and Djokovic to prove who is mightier…. but have you seen the standard of women’s tennis where women play against each other? It’s an abomination… The major contenders have little staying power each match, are terribly inconsistent and the execution of their art leaves a lot to be desired. Since Navratilova, we’ve seen precious little career staying power either.

    Lauren Lane is not entirely incorrect to declare that “women are also capable of extraordinary athletic feats,” but, by and large, they can only execute these “feats” against other women and, then, only occasionally. The tennis analogy should now be clear. Female competitors in sport are less spectacular (against each other) than men are.

    So, if women are also equally “capable” then where are the female darts champions? Or how about snooker? What about chess?

    2) If there is not some kind of stance taken by sporting authorities towards gender identity we risk having the entire women’s sporting arena filled with biological anomalies. Imagine if, as a female, your every success in sport is usurped by a man with a micro-penis or a woman with a 3 inch clitoris who is allowed to compete in your category.

    What is clear to me is that we need to continue offering women the chance to compete against each other on equal terms.

    For me there is only one solution to this conundrum but it involves drawing (different) arbitrary lines than are presently drawn.

    Men
    Women
    Indeterminate

    The only other viable solution is cancelling any divisions altogether. Good luck with that.

    • amycas

       Another comment from someone who I can only hope is trolling and does not actually believe this crap.

      You don’t like how women’s tennis has been going, so therefore all women suck at sports? Maybe if we pushed sports on girls to the same extent that it’s pushed on boys, the pool from which we get female athletes would be much wider. As it is, the pool from which we get male athletes is substantially bigger than the pool from which we get female athletes. It only stands to reason that this gives males a perceived advantage at athletic competition. Of course, I guess it could be that the presence of a “micro-penis” or extra-large clitoris could somehow bestow more “staying power” and greater athletic prowess on the fake-female competitor. Where can I get me one of these magical “micro-penises?”

      • http://twitter.com/moother moother

        so, we agree then… women suck at sport…. you say because there is a narrower player base and you may be right but i just think you’re over-emotional and can’t accept the reality of my premise that they are just bad.

        are you seriously suggesting that if we pushed sports on girls and that there were equal player pools that the ladies will be slam-dunking their way into the NBA before lunch tomorrow? dumb justification is dumb.whatever the truth, in order to maintain some level of honesty within the pool of (bad) women then a line needs to be drawn somewhere… the question is, where do we draw this line?the truth is that sexuality is not binary and there will always be a grey area but, as you missed my point entirely, i shall repeat it: create a third category.

        ** you’d do well to google micro-penis before you look like a dick and put it inside quote marks like i made it all up…. you might learn something about sexuality, hormones, steroids and doping.

        • amycas

          ” you may be right but i just think you’re over-emotional and can’t accept the reality of my premise that they are just bad.”

          My response was not an emotional one. What gave you that idea? And, no we don’t agree. I didn’t say women suck at sports. I said that is the perception, and I gave a possible reason why that may be, but I did not say unilaterally that women suck at sports.

          Since you read more into my post than what I actually wrote (that line about dunking in the NBA), and automatically assumed I was being emotional (with no justification) I will disregard the rest of your comment in the same way that you did mine.

          Have a nice day.

          *Yes, I know what a micro-penis is. I put it in quotes because you seemed to indicate that the mere presence of a micro-penis means that the person is automatically male. I still fail to see how a micro-penis of a large clitoris should disqualify a woman from competing in the women’s Olympics. I wouldn’t disqualify a man from competing in the men’s Olympics just because he has ovaries, is missing his testicles or some other biological anomaly. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Porter/100001075278352 Ben Porter

    This is stupid. are they gonna start testing men next. women have to have this level men have to have that level and so on bs. this is stupid if the woman has naturally more testosterone. lets ignore the fact it has no proven baring on their athletic ability. Even if it did my argument is the same. Why should women be penalized for how they were born. This is stupid and i say boycott the olympics

  • http://www.rotundus.com/ Dave

    “There is literally no evidence that successful athletes have higher testosterone levels than less successful ones. ”

    False.

    • http://www.rotundus.com/ Dave

      I should add to that this New York Times piece which in addition to supplying more information about the influence of testosterone also gets a bit into the differences in body types between sports which can influence this.  (With genetic quirks not limited to gender-related ones seemingly keeping the vast majority of the rest of the population also out of the Olympics).


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