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Promoting human rights and equality for all intersex people through arts, education and action.

Our E.D. on intersex athletes in California magazine

Today, our E.D. Hida Viloria is quoted in h/er alma mater U.C. Berkeley’s California magazine, alongside intersex ally and Stanford bioethicist Katrina Karkazis, in the article, Who Gets to be A Woman in Sports? The article focuses on the issue of intersex women in sports, and the need to confront the prejudice with which this issue is often covered, which has been a longtime focus of OII’s, and o our E.D.’s.

Last year, the Court of Arbitration of Sport ruled that athlete Dutee Chand, who had been banned from competition due to having high natural testosterone levels, could compete without having to artificially lower her testosterone levels, and this has ushered in a slew of anti-intersex statements and articles leading up to this year’s Olympics in Rio. These articles foster ignorance by ignoring top scientists’ and sporting association’s findings that there is no scientific evidence that high natural levels of testosterone gives women a competitive advantage, and instead quoting athletes who are dismayed at the prospect of competing against intersex women with an “unfair advantage”. Many also foster prejudice against intersex and gender nonconforming women by focusing on these athletes “looking masculine”, or “not looking like women”, as a basis for claiming they should not be allowed to compete with women with lower testosterone levels.

We thank and commend author Kelly O/Mara and the editors at California for providing an alternative too this irresponsible journalism with this well researched, intelligent, non-discriminatory article!