Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, June 25, 2012

Olympics sex distinctions

A couple of female academics in womens studies have written a NY Times op-ed complaining the the Olympics using scientific tests to distinguish male and female athletes:
Second, when it comes to sex, sports authorities should acknowledge that while science can offer evidence, it cannot dictate what evidence we should use. Scientifically, there is no clear or objective way to draw a bright line between male and female. ...

Bruce Kidd, ... “If the proclaimed human right of self-expression is to mean anything, surely it should protect the right to name one’s own gender,” he says.

We agree. At present, though, because most nations do not offer their citizens the right of self-defining gender, the best bet might be to let all legally recognized women compete. Period. ...

Sex testing of female athletes will always be discriminatory. Under the new policy, men will most likely continue to enjoy freedom from scrutiny, even though they, too, have greatly varying testosterone levels, along with other variations in natural attributes that affect athletic performance.

Sex tests are based on the notion that fair competition requires “protecting” female athletes. Protection has been the cloak that covers all manner of sex discrimination, and it is seldom, if ever, the best way to advance equality.
Yes, of course the Olympics discriminates between men and women when it has separate athletic competitions. If the sole purpose were to advance equality, then the separations would be abolished, and women would have to compete against men.

And yes, there are scientific ways to distinguish male and female. They have been used in the Olympics for decades. The right of self-expression is to express opinions, not to deny the results of scientific tests.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay--let the women then compete against the men in all sports and see how many gold medals they win then.

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