The Ethics of Sex Testing in Sport

Authored by: Jaime Schultz

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Exercise Systems Genetics

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138504851
eBook ISBN: 9781315146287
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315146287-41

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Abstract

Sport is one of the few remaining institutions to mandate sex segregation, but defining sex is not as clear cut as it may seem. Since at least the 1930s, athletic authorities have been consumed with the problem of how to distinguish between women and men. More accurately, they have been consumed with which characteristics best determine femaleness. In the process, they have relied on a range of “sex tests”: physical examinations, sex chromatin tests, genetic analyses, and hormonal assessments, all of which have disqualified women with differences of sex development (DSD) that may or may not relate to athletic potential (48). 1 In their efforts to level the playing field for women athletes, sport policymakers have generated more questions than answers when it comes to solving the riddles of sex.

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