What is Fairness?

The elite sports world is hard to enter, but those who fairly succeed deserve a chance for their coveted title. Fairness means one thing to the elite sports boards, but another to the athletes who strive for equality. The issue of gender verification of women in elite sports has hurt many women rather than make the competitions fair. I believe it is unfair if women with DSD are ostracized because they have naturally higher testosterone levels than most women or are built differently from the “average female”. If men with low levels of testosterone are not considered too feminine to compete in men’s sports, why should women who do not completely fit into the societal mold of femininity be thrown out of the sports world? If a woman with DSD was raised female and identifies as a female, should she not be free to compete as a female? In the beginning, gender verification was just a precaution to make sure that men were not masquerading as women, but it has become a pestering process for slightly different women. What the sports boards believe is fair for women who are “completely female” can be extremely devastating for women who have DSD.

(Journal of Genetic Counseling Commentaries on the Caster Semenya Controversy (2011)

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