Gender Ambiguity..


18-year old Caster Semenya

Very interesting story going around about South African runner Caster Semenya.  The teenager burst onto the Track and Field scene earlier this week by shattering world record times in the 800 and 1500 meter races.  Three weeks ago she set a world record time of 1 minute, 56.72 seconds at the African Junior Championships.  The controversy began after officials required her to submit to a gender test after setting these records.  The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspected Semenya of being a man because she had a deep voice and a strong muscular build.  Relatives and supporters close to Semenya have denied the accusations and are saying they absolutely, 100% know that she is a woman.  These tests can take weeks to finish and she will be tested by gynecologists, psychologists and a gender expert among others.  If it is determined by these parties that she is indeed a man, her gold medals will be stripped.  This seems very strange to me.  It seems as though trying to determine ones gender is so ambiguous these days and could be easily disputed.  What is going to happen if it is determined that she is a man?  I would assume that Semenya and her team will come out and show their own proof that she is a woman.  It just seems that these days, with so many different developments in gender and lifestyle choices, that it will be extremely difficult to determine what makes a true female.  Obviously Semenya is not just a regular girl in the world.  She clearly has tremendous athletic talent, and that talent and ability obviously separates her from a “normal female.”  So how can a doctor determine her gender in this way?  There doesn’t seem to be a clear benchmark anymore on what makes a female and a male.  It used to be either you have a penis or a vagina, but in today’s world, that’s obviously not good enough anymore.  It will be interesting to see how this whole situation plays out.  What are your throughts??

**UPDATE**  Usain Bolt just broke his own record in the 200 meters.  I think the IAAF should test to see if he is a man or a robot……