Sunday, 13 September 2009

Caster Semenya

I am seething over how this girl has been and continues to be ripped apart by the media.

Read the Guardian's latest here

She is 18 years old and has been repeatedly and publicly and internationally humiliated to the point where now she has had to go into hiding.

18! Think back. What would you have done at 18 if you were told that you had internal sex organs of the opposite gender? Now what would you do if your whole family knew? Friends? College/ university? Random people on the street that you have never met having intimate

Although yesterday I heard that she definitely had Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome*, the IAAF have yet to publish any results regarding Caster's gender. Apparently the Australian press got a lil trigger happy and decided to let the unverified cat out of the bag early.

South Africa seem to be standing behind their athlete and have threatened "world war 3" should she be banned from competing. I hope that they call for an investigation into the privacy measures (or lack thereof) of the IAAF. They would be well within their rights to do so.

The IAAF have said that they won't be releasing their conclusions until the board meets in mid-November.

*What is Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome?

The default gender setting for developing mammals is female unless there is a high level of testosterone present, usually the result of a Y chromosome. In AIS the person is chromosomally male (XY), but their body's physiology is insensitive to the effects of testosterone, therefore they follow the default gender setting and to all intents and purposes appear female. Most people with this condition don't find out until they have a gynae exam, usually to check out their infertility.

There are other conditions where chromosomal sex, physiological sex and social sex don't coincide, I think a wiki search is in order...

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  1. it is really messed up. People forget that she's still a teenager.

  2. It's a tricky one isn't it?! Poor sausage getting vilified in the press. Apparently you assign yourself to a particular gender at the age of five so she sees herself as a female, has grown up as female and appears female (on the magazine cover, soz but that track outfit did her NO favours). But, as she technically is a male, is it fair for her to compete against women? I feel soooooooo bad for her as the situation has been dealt with APPALLINGLY and should have been contained. I await the IAAF decision with bated breath.