The Couch
The Question of Gender
Title The Question of Gender
Message
The nude parades that women were once subjected to weren’t just humiliating. They were also problematic, because about 1 in 1,500 to 1 in 2,000 people are born with atypical genitalia. At the 1968 Olympics, anatomical checks were replaced with chromosome tests, and only athletes with XX sex chromosomes among their 23 chromosome pairs (so-called 46,XX females) could compete in female competitions. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but once again, the method ran into trouble, because some people are born with anatomical features that don’t match their chromosomes. For example, María José Martínez-Patiño, a Spanish national champion hurdler, learned via a chromosome test that despite her life-long identification as a female, she actually had a 46,XY karyotype. Genetically she was male, but she was also born with an insensitivity to testosterone, which led her to develop as a female. The testosterone in her body didn’t give her an edge, because her body was incapable of responding to it. When her story leaked to the press, “I was expelled from our athletes’ residence, my sports scholarship was revoked, and my running times were erased from my country’s athletics records,” she wrote in the Lancet. “I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I lost friends, my fiancé, hope, and energy.” With almost nothing left to lose, she fought her disqualification. “I knew that I was a woman, and that my genetic difference gave me no unfair physical advantage,” she wrote. “I could hardly pretend to be a man; I have breasts and a vagina. I never cheated.”
fivethirtyeight.com/feature...ruggling-to-define-gender/ What say you, Couchees? Should Maria be permitted to compete as a woman in spite of lacking the appropriate chromosomes?
Ownership libertygrl
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Submission Date 06/30/16 - 3:21 PM

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