Blurring Boundaries: Does Sex Matter in Sports?

Victoria Troeger

Abstract


Due to the widely accepted belief that men are physically superior to women, men and women have always participated in separate athletic competitions. The verification of the biological sex of women athletes has historically existed to ensure that no men passing as women can compete with an “unfair advantage.” Still, cases sometimes occur where an athlete is neither male nor female; their genitalia is ambiguous or their genetic code for sex does not parallel their physical appearance. This case explores the experiences of intersex athlete, Caster Semenya, and addresses the following questions: Where do these athletes fit in the sex-binary world of sports? Should sports be divided by sex, or are there other more fitting categorizations for athletes? In terms of athletic ability, is there an innate difference between a man and a woman?

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