Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Sex Determination Tests

Sex determination testing first began at the 1966 European Track Field Championships in response to suspicion that several of the best women athletes from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were in fact men posing as women. The International Olympic Committee introduced sex testing in 1968 at the Olympic games in Mexico City, after the masculine appearance of some competitors (many pumped up by anabolic steroids) had started to raise questions about the gender of athletes in female events.

Santhi Soundarajan, a 27 year old track runner, was stripped of her silver medal for the 800m at the Asian Games, suffered tremendous public humiliation and attempted to kill herself. Soundarajan, who has lived her entire life as a woman, failed a gender test.

Walsh, a Polish-American sprinter, was at one point the fastest woman in the world. She set more than 100 national and world records and was inducted into the American Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1980, Walsh was killed during an armed robbery. The postmortem revealed she had male genitalia (although this did not prove that she was a man as she was also found to have both male and female chromosomes- a genetic condition known as Mosaicism.)

Dora Ratjen, notable for her deep voice and her refusal to share the shower room with the other female athletes, was Germany's entry (during the Nazi regime) for the women's high jump. She came fourth. Dora, who had been born Hermann Ratjen, had in fact been a member of the Hitler Youth and said that the Nazis had forced him to enter as a woman.

According to the IOC transsexuals, who have had a sex change from male to female, can compete in women's events in the Olympics, as long they wait two years after the operation.


Radhika Saxena said...

Boredom I agree..
nevertheless,some interesting facts in there..!
oh and why are you prouda me? cz I played the guitar with a glove on? :P

Nikita said...

lol. No.. I'm proud because you are finally coming close to living up to my expectation for you. Ones involving insanity.

Vasudha said...

Surprising. I was kinda expecting your commentary on the entire thing, and I'd have commented on that. Turned impassive? Or is this self restraint? :P

Nikita said...

Lol. Nah.. I was going to, but realized my blog might be flagged for something like that. :P

Radhika Saxena said...


sunaina bhakhri said...

hey nikita,
aquick introduction, im Sunaina working with breakthrough delhi, we'r an ngo working for human rights development and our current focus is domestic violence.
Our latest multimedia campaign 'Bell Bajao' seeks to break the mould and address the issue of domestic abuse. Bell Bajao is an awareness and intervention campaign against domestic abuse. The campaign has been created pro bono by Ogilvy & Mather. It seeks to engage men as direct partners ready to 'ring the bell', and intervene in situations of abuse - a new venture within the Indian context. The campaign is unique, in that it uses media, education and pop culture to reach out and cause change in the zeitgeist.

The campaign also has an online avatar at www.bellbajao.org

what draws me to this post is the sensitivity you articulate towards human rights.
And it is this innate sensitivity that we at bellbajao.org want to tap, hoping that people like you will appreciate the cause we stand for and sensitise eevryone around you about it.

Please visit the site and do write back to me at sunaina.bhakhri@gmail.com about your thoughts on the campaign.And if you're interested, do blog on the site as well. And if you're a regular blogger, we'd be happy to put you on our blogroll and crosslink your blog page on our site.

Thanks and hoping to hear from you,
Sunaina Bhakhri