A 'true sex' does not exist, so stop talking about testosterone

Jamaican Usain Bolt may be the fastest human in the world, yet he is not the fastest at every race. South Africa's 800m runner Caster Semenya is in a legal fight with the IAAF.
Jamaican Usain Bolt may be the fastest human in the world, yet he is not the fastest at every race. South Africa's 800m runner Caster Semenya is in a legal fight with the IAAF.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Tennis great Martina Navratilova backed away from her earlier claim that trans women "biologically, are still men".
Tennis great Martina Navratilova backed away from her earlier claim that trans women "biologically, are still men".PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES
Jamaican Usain Bolt may be the fastest human in the world, yet he is not the fastest at every race. South Africa's 800m runner Caster Semenya is in a legal fight with the IAAF.
Jamaican Usain Bolt may be the fastest human in the world, yet he is not the fastest at every race. South Africa's 800m runner Caster Semenya is in a legal fight with the IAAF.ST FILE PHOTO

T is involved in most people's athletic performance, but it's not a sufficient or necessary ingredient

Debates are raging again over who should be allowed to compete in women's sport. Take two recent examples that inflamed the Internet.

First the (London) Sunday Times reported that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) intended to classify women with higher natural testosterone as "biological males" - just as 800m runner Caster Semenya was headed to court to challenge IAAF regulations that would exclude her and others from competing owing to higher than typical testosterone levels. Then tennis great Martina Navratilova asserted that trans women "biologically, are still men", and shouldn't be allowed to compete in women's events.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 10, 2019, with the headline 'A 'true sex' does not exist, so stop talking about testosterone'. Print Edition | Subscribe