There are more female Olympians who are looking masculine. Because of that did you know that the IOC has devloped a new policy around ‘sex’ at the London Olympic Games? I am only going to give you the cliff notes from Alice Dreger’s article: The Olympic Struggle Over Sex because I want to give you the opportunity to read it for yourself.
There are two schools of thought around ‘sex’ in the Olympic Games. The anatomists think we should base our sex division in sports on some sort of biological feature (in this case: how much androgens a woman’s body makes, but also how much her cells respond), even if it means we have to just pick one. The identifiers believe the line between men and women athletes ought to be based in self-identity.
Here is the new IOC policy that will be inaugurated into the London Olympic Games: an athlete who was raised a girl and identifies as a woman will be allowed to play as a woman so long as the IOC does not discover that her body makes and responds to high levels of androgens. Androgens, of which testosterone is one type, naturally occur in both male and female bodies, but higher production usually means more male-typical development.
The article talks about the problems with this policy, social agenda’s and politics and at the end the author talks about why she agree’s with anatomists. I have a lot of questions around this policy: mainly the psychological implications for female Olympic athletes.
What are your thoughts about the psychological implications?
Photo credit: olympic.org.my