Gender verification in sports (also sometimes loosely referred to as Sex determination) is the issue of verifying the eligibility of an athlete to compete in a sporting event that is limited to a single gender. The issue arose a number of times in the Olympic games where it was alleged that male athletes attempted to compete as women in order to win, or that a natural intersex competed as a woman. Sex testing began at the 1966 European Track and Field Championships in response to suspicion that several of the best women athletes from Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were actually men. At the Olympics, testing was introduced in 1968 at the Mexico City games. While it arose primarily from the Olympic games, sex determination affects any sporting event. However it appears it most often becomes an issue in elite international competition.
At its introduction, sex determination testing involved the athlete parading naked in front of a panel of gynecologists. The IAAF, on the other hand, abandoned gender verification altogether starting in 1992, since it was felt that males masquerading as females was unlikely given that the administration of doping tests involved the athlete producing a urine sample under an official's scrutiny.
Nowadays, sex determination tests typically involve evaluation by gynecologists, endocrinologists, psychologists, and internal medicine specialist.
The article also states:
"Gender verification has long been criticized by geneticists, endocrinologists, and others in the medical community. One major problem was unfairly excluding women who had a birth defect involving gonads and external genitalia (i.e., male pseudohermaphroditism). ... A second problem is that only women, not men, were stigmatized by gender verification testing. Systematic follow-up was rarely available for female athletes "failing" the test, which often was performed under very public circumstances. Follow-up was crucial because the problem was not male impostors, but rather confusion caused by misunderstanding of male pseudohermaphroditism."
The International Association of Athletics Federations too stopped conducting the tests in 1991. However the Olympic Council of Asia continues the practice.
New rules permit transsexual athletes to compete in the Olympics after having completed sex reassignment surgery, being legally recognized as a member of the target sex, and having undergone two years of hormonal therapy.
- Sisters Tamara and Irina Press won five track and field Olympic gold medals for the Soviet Union and set 26 world records in the 1960s. Their careers suddenly ended when they failed to appear for gender testing at its introduction in 1966.
- Princess Anne of the United Kingdom was the only female competitor not to have to submit to a sex test at the 1976 Summer Olympics. She was a member of her country's equestrian team.
- Sexual differentiation
- Olympics Sex Test: Why the Olympic sex test is outmoded, unnecessary and even harmful.
- Gender Verification No More? An essay.
This article is based on "Gender verification in sports" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gender+verification+in+sports&action=history