As you’ve probably heard, an 18 year-old S. African woman won the 800 m at the world championships. But that’s probably not the way you heard it. You probably heard that her gender is being questioned because she “looks like a man”. I think there are lots of tricky issues about sex in sports: this is one place where we really see the problems that result from having a variety of accepted definitions of biological sex out there in the world: e.g. genitalia and chromosomes, to name the two most frequently used. But, of course, we’ve got *no* reason at all to think there’s even a tricky issue in her case, and I’ll bet it’s no fun at all to be a teenager who has accomplished what’s undoubtedly a lifelong dream only to be confronted by people saying you look like a man– and accusing you of cheating.
Being a pedant, though, I’m going to call attention to something else. I’ll bet those tests they’re now doing on her are not actually tests of her social role. (Thanks, Jender-Parents!)