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Extracts from this document Introduction. February LLB (hons) Full time; Year One. (See separate sheet for full page of references) Tort Coursework;.

She wrote:. A man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies. Navratilova added that, as a lesbian, she is sensitive to feelings of sexual minorities and has no issue with addressing a transgender woman according to preference. Navratilova also drew an even more critical distinction: intersex conditions. In her article, she pledged support for Caster Semenya, the Olympic meter champion, who is female but has a rare condition that results in naturally high testosterone levels, and who is challenging the International Association of Athletics Federations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after they introduced a rule requiring her to take hormone therapy.

They sweep up Grand Slam tennis titles and cycling world championships. They monopolise the Olympics. They fill our football and cricket and netball teams. Why would that be bad? Imagine the power of a trans child or teenager seeing a trans athlete on the top step of the Olympic podium. In a way, it would be inspiring. Nope, still not inspired. And, at any rate, testosterone is only part of the matter. Other well-documented physical advantages men have over women include height, weight, broader shoulders, greater circulating blood volume, greater resistance to dehydration, larger lung capacity, thicker skin, faster sensory frame shifting, more hemoglobin in the blood, greater upper-body strength, faster reaction times, greater bone density in the arms, larger sweat capacity, higher systolic blood pressure, higher muscle-to-fat ratio, and larger hearts — as Tia Ghose of Live Science details:.

Men are physically stronger than women, on average. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that men had an average of 26 lbs. Women also exhibited about 40 percent less upper-body strength and 33 percent less lower-body strength, on average, the study found. The researchers found that height and weight differences between men and women could explain only about half of the difference in strength. And a study in the same journal revealed that men had much stronger grips than women — the difference was so big that 90 percent of the women scored lower than 95 percent of the men.

The team also looked at highly trained female athletes who excelled at sports requiring a strong grip, such as judo or handball. Though these women did have a stronger grip compared with other women, they still performed worse than 75 percent of the men on this task. In general, men are also faster than women. The fastest woman in the world , Florence Griffith Joyner, ran the meter dash in just All this is obvious, of course, to those of us with eyes that see and minds capable of critical thought.

But the effect of ideology on eyes and minds should not be underestimated. Take Representative Ilhan Omar D. Really Ms. Omar, is that so? Again, from the Times of London :. Lauren Jeska, a transgender woman, won four English and British fell running championships. After officials asked to test her hormone levels, she attacked three with a knife and is serving 18 years for attempted murder.

Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, set junior male records before transitioning at I wonder how the girl who finished third felt?

Women In Sports Essay Examples | Kibin

Most likely she felt similar to the bronze medalist in the cycling world title, Jen Wagner-Assali, who lost to Rachel McKinnon — a male who identified as such until the age of There must be some standards and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard. McKinnon was not pleased by this and began a tirade against Navratilova. Sensible media outlets are backing away. When you receive the information, if you think any of it is wrong or out of date, you can ask us to change or delete it for you. Silvia Camporesi.

Edited by Pam Weintraub. For elite athletes, the metre event in track and field is a breathtaking race of two laps completed in under two minutes. The world record for women is The world record for men, It is the only sprint where athletes do not leave from starting blocks. After running only metres in their own lanes, the runners converge on lane one, where they battle for position during the remaining metres.

Although I was never fast enough to qualify for national championships, I know what it feels like to run those two metre laps on the track. That is why I first became interested in Caster Semenya, the metre runner from South Africa whose case spurred a new, fevered controversy on gender in sport.

She won the metre final in Only a few hours after the end of the race, the International Association for Athletics Federation IAAF questioned her medal and announced an investigation into her gender. She is an athlete, an elite one who has worked and trained hard to get to where she is, and whose body is the result of interaction between her biology and her years of training.

Rumours went flying. She was accused of a condition known as hyperandrogenism, in which women have high levels of testosterone due to a number of causes, from benign microcysts on the ovaries a common condition affecting one out of five women to more dangerous conditions such as tumours on the pituitary glands. Hyperandrogenism is, by definition, associated with virilising features such as excessive sweat, acne and increased body hair, but only rarely does it pose a risk to health.

In Defense of Women’s Sports

No one really knows what officials found in their case against Semenya, but she was allowed to return to the track only after taking drugs to suppress her level of testosterone, provoking an Olympian new world order that threatens progressive views on gender overall. Not all females have two X chromosomes.

And there are individuals with an X and Y chromosome who look and live like females because of androgen insensitivity syndrome, which inhibits the impact of testosterone on the cells. In , the Spanish Athletics Federation disqualified her from competing after learning that her chromosomal constitution was XY. She fought the decision and refused to stop competing as a female. The European Athletics Association declared her eligible to compete two years later, however she never recovered her former standing. In so many ways, this assumption is wrong.

No testosterone ceiling exists for male competition. Language is never neutral here, as the American philosopher Judith Butler points out. If you are not compliant, you are a bad patient, a difficult patient. Semenya did not make it to her previous performance level, finishing second at the London Olympics with a time of Her slower times led to speculations that the androgen suppression therapy had reduced her performance. Another plausible explanation, though, is that she did not want to be under the spotlight again, and purposefully ran slower than in the past.

A round the time the Semenya story was unfolding, I was pursuing my PhD in philosophy of life sciences and ethics at the European School of Molecular Medicine in Milan.


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I was also competing for a new track and field team called ALA, which stands for Atletica Leggera Abbiategrasso, in a small town on the outskirts of the city. It was an ideal place for cross-country running, with fields of rice dotting the flat countryside between Piedmont and Lombardy. Pistorius is now serving his term in prison for murdering his girlfriend in , but in he was a heroic pioneer appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport CAS for the right to compete with able-bodied athletes. The contrast between the way that the media portrayed Pistorius and Semenya was striking.

Pistorius was a handsome white male athlete who had overcome many misfortunes, including congenital malformation of leg bones that led to amputation, and the early loss of his mother. No such dispensation was granted to Semenya, a black lesbian runner who pushed against Western ideas of the female norm.


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  • Elite athletes have all sorts of genetic and biological variations that make them who they are, and differentiate them from the rest of us. They both involved human beings who wanted to have a chance to fulfil their potential as athletes and to compete with the bodies they were born with. In one case, it was a body without lower limbs that required the use of technological prostheses to walk and run; in the other case, it was a body that produced too much testosterone.

    Indeed, elite athletes have all sorts of genetic and biological variations that make them who they are, and differentiate them from the rest of us. This is why you and I are here, reading and writing about it, and not out there, competing. In races where Phelps or Biles competed, they functioned at a different level than other athletes — only the silver medal contest held any suspense.

    Analysis of gender and sexuality in Sports Films

    Great athletic giftedness often has a component associated with genes. Elite Jamaican runners more frequently have a special version of the gene coding for the alpha actinin-3 protein , a component of the contractile apparatus in fast skeletal muscle fibres, which plays a key role in generating contractile force during anaerobic efforts in sprinting.

    Sports, sex, and the case of Caster Semenya.

    The great endurance runners more frequently have unique versions of the gene for the angiotensin-converting enzyme ACE , which regulates blood pressure and the balance of body fluids. Indeed, a child born with this mutation could, at the age of four and a half, hold two 3kg weights dumbbells with arms extended straight at both sides.

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    In fact, talent development programmes for children actively seek genetic variations that confer an advantage in competition. Adidas has launched a gene testing scouting programme to find new soccer players. China has summer camps where children are tested for genetic characteristics that will lead them to become the next generation of Chinese Olympians.

    Why seek out — or at least wilfully ignore — biological variations that confer advantage across a wide range of skills while penalising women for more testosterone? Why single out hyperandrogenism as the only variation that confers an unfair advantage in sport? Think of Phelps. Think of Biles. Is it unfair for fellow athletes to compete in the same category as these athletes who are — sometimes literally — head and shoulders above their competitors? There is no level playing field in elite sport.

    Of course, what counts as excessive body hair is in the eyes of the beholder and is, in part, a social and cultural construct. Outrageously, another section of the same guidelines contains charts drawn from the Tanner-Whitehouse scale on breast development. Sport therefore becomes the new arena for gender as performance — something you do, not something you are. Nor did she wear her hair in a bouncy ponytail. Nevertheless, her case seemed to go under the radar for good after the London Olympics, when she finished second after the Russian athlete Mariya Savinova.