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Gender Verification in Sport XX??XY?? XXXY??XO/XY?? Becky Beaton Melinda MacLean Paul Kovalske Crystal Kennedy Jen Hughes Outline Gender verification entering sport world effected women explanation on intersexuals effected intersexuals Explanation on "trans" terms

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becky beaton melinda maclean paul kovalske crystal kennedy jen hughes

Gender Verification in Sport



Becky Beaton

Melinda MacLean

Paul Kovalske

Crystal Kennedy

Jen Hughes



Gender verification

entering sport world

effected women

explanation on


effected intersexuals

Explanation on "trans" terms

Transexuals enter the

sport scene

Every sexuality

is accepted



  • In the early days of the Modern Olympics, gender verification was not considered a pressing issue
  • Males used to have to parade in the nude as a tradition, so there was no question of their gender
  • However, when females began entering the sports world, gender issues came along with them…

Arising Suspicion...

Culturally constructed

veiws of gender roles

1920's - Sex reasignment




Stella Walsh



Mildred Ella Didrikson


Helen Stephens



Was discovered to have male genitalia at autopsy after she was killed in a shooting

Was discovered to have male genitalia after the European Championships. The German Athletic Federation then banned her from competing in women’s sports.

Both underwent genital surgery, and somehow one of them became a father.

1932- Stella Walsh

1938- Dora Retjen

1946 (shortly after) - Claire Bresolles and Lean Caula



  • 1948 – Women’ Amateur Athletic Association required a doctor’s letter verifying their sex after a gynecological examination.
  • 1966 – the European Athletic Championships introduced the mandatory gender verification test on site
  • 1968 – IOC introduces the sex chromatin test at Mexico Olympic games



"The Sex Chromatin Test"

  • AKA the “Buccal Smear” test; taking samples from check to examine chromosome makeup
  • These tests rely on fact that all cells of females contain two x chromosomes, where cells from the male have one x and one y
  • Until 1991, each woman competing internationally needed a gender verification

card which contained a

photograph and statement that

she had passed the

chromosome sex test

Barr Bodies =




  • The trouble with the Buccal smear test is that it does not detect certain hereditary disorders and genetic abnormalities.
  • Caused many women with such disorders to be exposed as genetically male (had a Y chromosome).


Gynecological exams and

Buccal smear testing =

Discriminating to






An intersexual is a person (or individual of any unisexual species) who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sexual characteristics of indeterminate sex, or which combine features of both sexes

in many cases individuals are neither xx f nor xy m
In many cases individuals are neither XX (F) nor XY (M):

Possible Genetic Combos:

XO, XXY, XO/XY, XYY, XX male and XY Female.

  • Klinefelter's syndrome: The presence of one or two additional X chromosomes in a male (XXY or XXXY)
  • Turner's syndrome: Presence of only a single X chromosome (XO). It inhibits breast development, and also causes a range of medical problems.

Eva Klobukowska

Maria Jose Martinez Patino

xy male intersexuality
XY (Male) Intersexuality

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome:

develop either partially or fully as females, due to their bodies failing to respond to testosterone.

  • Complete Androgen Insensitivity (CAIS):

- Normal Female External Organs and breasts at puberty.

- Will NOT develop a uterus or Fallopian Tubes.

- NO Menstruation.

• Partial Androgen Insensitivity (PAIS):

- Reduced sensitivity compared to male ‘normal’.

- Individuals can develop male or female or a combination of both external anatomy.

xy male intersexuality cont d
XY (Male) Intersexuality (Cont’d)

5-Alpha Reductase Deficiency:

  • Have Testes, Vagina, Labia and a small penis capable of ejaculation instead of a clitoris.
  • Individuals normally raised as girls.
  • At puberty, testes descend, voice deepens, limited facial hair
  • At puberty, will often develop a male sexual identity.
xx female intersexuality
XX (Female) Intersexuality
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia:

- Female internal anatomy.

- Male or ambiguous external anatomy

- Will develop Male secondary sexual characteristics.

• Progestin-Induced Virilisation:

- Male hormones caused by use of drug Progestin.

- Internal and External Female anatomy.

- Will develop some Male secondary sexual characteristics.


Dora Retjen

All Ineligible were Intersexuals!!!.....

in fact...

Results of Sex Verification Testing...

Only male individual in history

to pass off as female


“It is outrageous on so many levels, I hardly know where to begin. First there is the tacit sexism that implies no woman would ever try to pass her self off as a man but a men would try to pass themselves off as women, because the competition would be so much easier. Second, its very presence suggests that if a woman is a great athlete, she may not really be a woman. Her femininity is suspect. And last, there is the incorrect scientific assumption that having a Y chromosome is and off itself, gives a person athletic advantage.”

Alison Carlson

-member of the IAAF work

group on gender verification

new testing procedures
New testing procedures
  • 1992 – the IOC decided to move on to more sophisticated tests
  • These tests looked even more closely at the genetic makeup of the y chromosome
  • This test still did not eliminate all the issues surrounding the accuracy of the gender verification process
  • At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, officials again reverted to the buccal smear test
  • 1 in 400 females in Atlanta tested male but all were cleared after further physical examination
In late 1999, the IOC medical commission reviewed its medical code and agreed to change the requirement for gender verification tests from mandatory for all female athletes to random
  • Resultantly, intersexuals were more accepted in sports, which enticed transsexuals to try and follow their lead

Transexuals Entering the Sporting Scene

The 1998 Amsterdam Games required competitors who had changed their birth gender to the opposite gender to provide proof

The 2000 Sydney Games tried dividing competitions into 2 divisions: “male” or “female”. Where everyone including transgender and intersex athletes had to choose a category to compete in, based on the passport or birth certificate gender


Clearing up some gender related terms...

  • a person who establishes a permanent identity with the opposite gender to their assigned sex.
  • −Desire to make a transition from birth sex to that of opposite sex
  • a person who derives pleasure, esp. sexual pleasure, from dressing in clothing and assuming behavior specifically associated with the opposite sex.
  • Gender identifies primarily as the opposite sex, and in most cases cross-lives as the opposite sex on a full-time basis.  This person may alter physical appearance by the intake of hormones of the opposite sex, but has no intention of altering the genitalia. (Also known as non-op transsexual)





Terms con'd...



Personal Identity NOT Sexual Desire

transsexual golfer allowed to play in women s british open

“Transsexual golfer allowed to play in women's British Open”

“It has taken a considerable amount of time to finalize the gender policy document and we are convinced that we have a document that is fair to all”- Andy Salmon, chief executive of the LGU

Mianne Bagger, is a transsexual golfer who is playing this season on the Ladies European Tour and is expected to enter the women’s British Open.

Transexual Golfer

Identity = Genetics =

Bagger has become the first male-born golfer to play in a professional women’s tournament.
  • Bagger had a sex-change in 1995.

Video Clip


Renee Richards

Transexual Tennis Player

  • Formerly known a Richard Rashind
  • Had SRS in 1975
  • Began playing in Women’s Tennis Tournaments
  • 1976- The U.S. Tennis Association denied her entry into the U.S. Open
  • Took it to court

Michelle Dumaresq

Transexual Mountain Biker

  • Had a SRS in 1997
  • Began racing in the women’s circuit in 2001
  • License was suspended later that year, but was reissued in April 2002
  • Is it fair???
  • Won the National Series in 2002 and 2003. In 2003 she dominated by a
  • 2.62 s lead.
may 18 2004 ioc announcement
May 18, 2004 IOC Announcement
  • IOC approved consensus proposed by the IOC Medical Commission with regard to athletes who have changed their sex.

Stated that if sex reassignment before puberty:

-Male to Female = Girls or Women (Female)

-Female to Male = Boys or Men (Male)

may 18 2004 ioc announcement cont d
May 18, 2004 IOC Announcement (Cont’d)

∙ Stated that if sex reassignment after puberty:

May participate in reassigned sex category


  • Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and removal of gonads.
  • Legal recognition of their assigned sex has been conferred by the appropriate official authorities.
  • Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered for long enough to minimize any gender-related advantages in sport competitions, a period that must be at least 2 years after removal of gonads.
transsexuals in sport today
Transsexuals in Sport Today
  • -Now the International Olympics Committee has approved a rule change that allows transsexuals to compete under their assigned sex, - first in the Summer Olympics held in Athens Greece.
  • Only if they are legally their new gender and have undergone postoperative hormone therapy for at least two years . This covering both male – to – female and female – to – male cases
  • Although men have higher levels of testosterone, greater muscle to- fat ratio and heart and lung capacity; testosterone levels and muscle mass drop after hormone therapy and sex – change surgery

“It is important that all society, including sports organizations, recognize that gender development is not always clear cut. The only appropriate way to assign to one or the other sex is to allow them to choose for themselves. It is equally important that this minority not be discriminated against. It is possible of course (but not established) that the accompanying hormonal imbalances in some of these [‘disorders’] might prove athletic advantage. However, people are not equal in athletic prowess in regard to height, weight, coordination, or any other parameters, and it follows that this is just another way in which athletes will not be equal.”

Jean Wilson

- cheif editor of the Harrison's Principle of

internal Medicine (1992)


Discussion Time!!!

Do you think it is fair to include intersexuals and transsexuals in athletic competition???


Jaime Lee Curtis