sex scandals

Caster Semenya Not Officially Intersexed Yet (But She’s Quitting Running for Now)


Toldja the media would use Caster Semenya as an excuse to print the word “hermaphrodite.” So, after yesterday’s (leaked) results of the track star’s gender tests, South Africa is responding with this: F off. And: It’s not true.

The results of Caster’s “he or she?” tests were supposed to be released, at least internally to the International Association of Athletics Federations, in November, which has led to Athletics South Africa chief Leonard Chuene to call the media reports lies. Which they might be! But for now, an intersexed international sports start makes for great copy. (Chuene’s camp says the tests so far are inconclusive, so any results are, at best, preliminary.)

It also makes for great scandal. Whether Semenya’s “true” gender has yet to be determined (god, what an awful thing to say), the pressure from yesterday’s report is great; Semenya just pulled out of a 4k race in South Africa tomorrow, and a press conference Semenya was scheduled to attend as canceled.

Quick, before it gets lame, keep freaking out about this girl! And add her to this list!

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  • Ian

    There’s a very large problem in this, in that this is prejudicial to essentially say that an intersexed human being is neither “he” nor “she” thus can compete in NEITHER gender athlete grouping. What the regulatory parties are basically saying in this is that like the Special Olympics, the only way for an intersexed person to compete is to make an “Intersexed Olympics” and they can’t compete with the “regular” gendered folk.

  • Qjersey

    “Whether Semenya’s “true” gender has yet to be determined”

    Arrgh, guess our editor skipped psych class in college.

    Gender is a social construct and a sense of self (identity)whereas sex is based on our biological development in response to chromosomes.

    If the tales are true, her gender is female as that is how she was raised and identifies herself, but she genetically male because of condition (AIS) in which her body did not respond to male hormones when she was a fetus.

    And she ain’t the first, Sarah Gronert, look it up

  • Kropotkin

    This whole story is just getting depressing. I wish people would Just leave her alone to compete as who she is and just live her life.

  • InExile

    All the media attention this girl is getting is just horrible. She was born the way she is and is a great athlete, the media should leave her the hell alone. Imagine the entire world examining your genitalia, it is disgusting what they are doing to her and cruel.

  • schlukitz



    Next, they’ll be wanting a body-cavity search.

  • Fitz

    There are so many ways to go with this.. but for me, the big issues are about privacy. Yes to all the other issues, I am there with you… gender politics, sports politics, etc.. But my concern is how she lives the rest of her life now that this is so public in a world that giggles and gawks (or is violent) at difference.

  • TI-EL

    uh…whats everyone freakin out about. He/she should get gender tested. Theres a reason why women compete separately from men. Men have higher levels of testosterone, and thus develop muscles easier and at a faster rate than women. The officials did there job by testing him/her because he/she freakin shaved a minute off the time in the race!!! that doesn’t happen EVER! Clearly something was up- he/she ha literally a man’s chest, no feminine facial features, and a deep voice; an now test reveal he/she has no womb or ovaries, and internal testosterone pumping balls. Com’on that cheating, unintentionally..but still unfair. Just like winning the special Olympics w/o being special.

    Why is every one Chirs Crocker-ing? “LEAVE HER AAALOOONE!!” You can’t just leave it alone, it’s unfair to the women who raced who don’t have balls inside them giving them extra testosterone! Thats just like taking steroids/testosterone ( which some women athletes do) This isn’t about gender identity ( w/e that is), political, or social norms, it’s about sportsmanship. You can chose how ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ you behave, but bottome line there are biological, physical, and genetic difference between the two. Try re-taking 4th Grade human development. He/she has a biological unfair advantage…pure and simple.

  • RainaWeather

    If everything were intramural…

  • Fitz

    @TI-EL: I am fine with the testing– it’s the public display, and the mismanagement of information. If testing is done for everyone, it should be done early- before it matters to the public. Access your compassion file.

  • Jessica Howlin

    @ TI -EL

    Spot on!

    One of the true women in the race was the real winner but did not get the medal because of this person. It’s unfair towards all the women who do not have have extra testosterone.

    The medal must be returned. End of story!

  • Byggvir

    This is a person who has lived her entire life as a woman. That should be the only qualification. Renee Richards was allowed to compete as a woman in pro tennis, and Richards voluntarily transitioned.

  • Katelyn

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that she didn’t deserve the metal as some of you have said because she did not know that she was a hermaphrodite. She was raised a female, taught how to be a female, and mentally she IS a female. So, how is it fair that she trained hard and worked hard just to have it taken away from her, and now she is publically embarrassed by this, it’s just not right. She’s a woman, so what if she doesn’t have overies, what about all the women who get theirs surgically removed, does that make them men also? She’s a woman, get over it.

    oh and ponder this: 27 in about every 10000 olympic women are actually XY, but it doesn’t nessicarily give them an advantage, and Caster might not have that genetic advantage either.

  • Fitz

    @Katelyn: It might seem like a detail, but I discourage the use of the word “hermaphrodite” in this case. It is inaccurate and insulting. Hermaphrodites can reproduce as traditionally “male” or “Female”. A human is not capable of this. And Inter-sexed humans are always fully sterile. (even the ones who have functional genitals). I know that you didn’t mean harm by it, I offer this in the spirit of just sharing some information. There are several plants and a few worms who are capable of hermaphrodite reproduction.. but for complicated genetic reasons, a human never will be.

    I just really want people to consider her as a person with a previously undiagnosed genetic disorder and not a circus freak or someone trying to dupe the world.

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