The Semenya Rule



  • https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/sports/track-gender-rules.html

    Last week, track and field’s world governing body limited entry into women’s events to athletes who have testosterone levels that are capable of being produced solely by ovaries.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/sports/caster-semenya.html

    In an effort to address questions about fair play, track and field’s world governing body will publish regulations on Thursday that could force some elite female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels to lower the hormone with medication, compete against men in certain Olympic events or effectively give up their international careers.

    If this thread becomes too political, it can be moved, but I thought it deserved discussion in the Sports Talk thread. Seems like a reasonable approach for addressing the sex/gender identity division (regardless of people's thoughts about it) by limiting the key factor that leads to better performance. I'm still a bit concerned about the potential of prior gains not being considered, but it's interesting in that you can display as female, but if you have too much testosterone, you need to get on the lady hormones quick.



  • I really have no idea how to handle this situation, just ten years ago it was all so easy, the whole male/female thing, now people get pissed and throw tantrums (at least on the internet) when you're saying anything that hints at sex being a binary thing.

    I don't think forcing athletes to take hormones is the way to go, honestly. If there's somehow doubt about a person's sex, they should just compete with the men, as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Trans-people should also just compete with men in general. I don't care what's between your legs, if you went through puberty as a man you're so far ahead of women who put in the same amount of work, it's just unfair.

    Feel free to stone me, internet mob!



  • @tordah said in The Semenya Rule:

    as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Ultra running as well. Once you go over 150kms gender is very much less relevant.



  • Yeah, so this again. The issue is really about what a 'fair' playing field is, and what characterstics you need to have to be able to compete against women.

    In my head, testosterone seems to have an effect. When Semenya could compete at any level, her times plummetted (post 2015). The question is then about where you draw the line. Unfortunately, a number of top male athletes have low testosterone, to the point where there is substantial overlap between elite female and male levels.

    Competing as a female is a protected class. Therefore, the line has to be drawn somewhere. Where that line is will always piss some people off who are just on the wrong side - and I don't think there is a 'right' answer, you just have to draw a line in grey.

    ALso, I don't think it is as simple as people make out. Even genitalia is an issue - I understand there are a proportion of people with dual genitalia, with one type more formed than others. So how do you draw a line - at what point are you disqualified?

    Having said all of that, I think the current ban looks terrible, and appears to target Semenya. I am yet to see any evidence to support the assertion that testosterone in women does improve 400-1600m times, but has no effect on shorter or longer races.

    Also, I reckon this thread has about 2 hours before it gets locked, or moved to the equivalent of US politics.



  • @mooshld said in The Semenya Rule:

    @tordah said in The Semenya Rule:

    as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Ultra running as well. Once you go over 150kms gender is very much less relevant.

    Is that true? A quick Google of ultra running distances (100miles) has men well ahead of women. The fastest man running 100miles on a track is over 2 hours quicker than the best female.

    Even looking at 24 - 48 hour races have the best men covering a lot more distance than the females.



  • @toddy said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mooshld said in The Semenya Rule:

    @tordah said in The Semenya Rule:

    as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Ultra running as well. Once you go over 150kms gender is very much less relevant.

    Is that true? A quick Google of ultra running distances (100miles) has men well ahead of women. The fastest man running 100miles on a track is over 2 hours quicker than the best female.

    Even looking at 24 - 48 hour races have the best men covering a lot more distance than the females.

    Yeah it was one of those convincing claims in that very popular book "born to run". I think there were a few claims that weren't exactly true.



  • Semenya is a different kettle of fish to transgender people. Intersex (or hermaphrodite) people are a genuine anomaly and cannot easily be categorised. The best way to deal with people like her has to be case by case basis, as it is very rare.

    Transgender is completely different though. Someone that has grown up a man and now just "identifies" as a woman by taking some hormone treatment should be competing against the men. There's your line in the sand, backed by a mountain of scientific evidence that shows growing up male gives you a significant advantage over females.

    If you don't draw the line there then female sports get brought into disrepute.

    I honestly don't think this is very hard to get your head around, unless you actually believe that gender is nothing more than a social construct - a worrying amount of people seem to buy that idea these days.



  • @rembrandt Yeah, I think it was based on women having a higher '% completion rate' than men in the ultra marathons.



  • Probably not an issue in Synchronised Swimming.



  • I wonder whether there should be a category in-between the women's and men's competitions for women with abnormally high and for men with abnormally low testerone levels. Trans men (female to male) cannot be compared to cis-men even if they've received hormone treatment/surgery; they'll always be disadvantaged physically. However, also trans women (male to female) who have received hormone treatment/surgery - while possibly having an advantage over women - are not on a par with cis-men physically. Maybe they should lump all these sports people in a seprate category? Maybe then you receive the fairest outcome? Just a thought; not an opinion.



  • People overthink these things.

    Was she born a woman? Yes. She's a woman. Has she taken any performance enhancing drugs? No. Let her compete.

    News flash people ... not everybody has the natural attributes to be world champions. Every single world record holder, multiple champion, is undoubtedly a freak of nature born with some luck on their side - be it physical attributes, naturally high levels of whatever chemical or pinpoint hand eye co ordination.

    If she ain't cheating just bloody deal with it that she got lucky. I bet she trains just has hard as anybody else and is deserving of whatever she wins.



  • @chimoaus said in The Semenya Rule:

    Probably not an issue in Synchronised Swimming.

    The bulge in the one swimsuit will break the illusion of synchronisation



  • @majorrage said in The Semenya Rule:

    People overthink these things.

    Was she born a woman? Yes. She's a woman. Has she taken any performance enhancing drugs? No. Let her compete.

    She was also born with testicles (admittedly undecended but functional, a lifetime building a manly frame with the benefits of testo, so can she run against bolt aswell?)

    Her taking testo suppressants and forced removal of her balls, after years of development of her manly physique is very much on the level of a transgender person if you ask me..

    That said, I don't like the fact that this rule only applies to certain races. Races, which incidentally Semenya runs.

    What's the point of female sport if it's champions are basically ex-men.



  • @pn said in The Semenya Rule:

    @majorrage said in The Semenya Rule:

    People overthink these things.

    Was she born a woman? Yes. She's a woman. Has she taken any performance enhancing drugs? No. Let her compete.

    She was also born with testicles (admittedly undecended but functional, a lifetime building a manly frame with the benefits of testo, so can she run against bolt aswell?)

    Her taking testo suppressants and forced removal of her balls, after years of development of her manly physique is very much on the level of a transgender person if you ask me..

    That said, I don't like the fact that this rule only applies to certain races. Races, which incidentally Semenya runs.

    What's the point of female sport if it's champions are basically ex-men.

    Have any of those things actually been verified? I've read about them but most are simply rumours aren't they and "leaks" to the press from people who may or may not have agendas?



  • @rembrandt said in The Semenya Rule:

    @toddy said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mooshld said in The Semenya Rule:

    @tordah said in The Semenya Rule:

    as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Ultra running as well. Once you go over 150kms gender is very much less relevant.

    Is that true? A quick Google of ultra running distances (100miles) has men well ahead of women. The fastest man running 100miles on a track is over 2 hours quicker than the best female.

    Even looking at 24 - 48 hour races have the best men covering a lot more distance than the females.

    Yeah it was one of those convincing claims in that very popular book "born to run". I think there were a few claims that weren't exactly true.

    Check out what Courtney Dauwalter did in the Maub 240. On a race by race basis you get woman winning a lot more frequently then you would if you looked at shorter distances. I didn't say its a 50 50 but like I said gender is less of an issue and you do sometimes get woman winning outright.



  • @majorrage said in The Semenya Rule:

    y been verified? I've read about them but most are simply rumours aren't they and "leaks" to the press from people who may or may not have agendas?

    I don't think that the results of the tests are meant for public consumption. That said, a statement from IAAF Secretary pretty much confirmed it. Whether or not she underwent tests (to remove her testes) is not clear, however, one would suspect that the fact they are looking to further reduce testo levels indicates something is producing it.

    Maybe something else is producing high levels of testo in her body, if it's not testes, what is it? Good Genes? It cant be doping or she would have been banned.

    The International Association of Athletics Federations received the results of Semenya's 'gender verification test' this week, but it has refused to confirm the findings until they have been verified by a panel of independent scientific experts and the athlete has been personally informed.
    
    But Pierre Weiss, the IAAF secretary general, hinted strongly at the results on Thursday when he said: "It is clear that she is a woman, but maybe not 100 per cent. We have to see if she has an advantage from her possibly being between two sexes compared to the others."```
    
    It took a doping Russian to beat Semenya in the 2012 Olympics, and Mariya Savinova only just beat Semenya too.
    
    ![alt text](http://www.bluebirdnews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Picture5.png)


  • Getting an error when editing my posts so to add:

    It took a doping Russian to beat Semenya in the 2012 Olympics, and Mariya Savinova only just beat Semenya too.

    alt text



  • @pn said in The Semenya Rule:

    Getting an error when editing my posts so to add:

    I get that quite often as well. I have found that if you close the error box then go into edit on the post again your previous edit is still there and gets accepted second time around.



  • @crucial said in The Semenya Rule:

    @pn said in The Semenya Rule:

    Getting an error when editing my posts so to add:

    I get that quite often as well. I have found that if you close the error box then go into edit on the post again your previous edit is still there and gets accepted second time around.

    Yes, only when editing posts that are over 1024 characters. Editing a second time works

    It’s a bug in the last release we installed. It will go when I get around to installing the latest update



  • This thread is way too fucked up for me.



  • @majorrage 100% agree with this. It's like saying Bolt shouldn't compete with male sprinters as he has long legs AND fast turnover, whereas its normal to only have one or the other.

    Semanya should not be conflated with transgender athletes, two different issues.



  • Why do we even have handicapped sporting events? An antiquated 19th Century mystery to me. I’m all for equality, and I don’t like restrictions based on gender, NOT EVER, not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, so let’s make athletic events Open — and I mean, truly OPEN — to everybody — EVERY-BODY — every race, every sex, and all 57 genders. And if that means for the time-being that women get underrepresented in some events, like at the Olympic Games, then tough-titties baby, you wanted equality, you got it. They’ll just have to train harder to qualify, or find something else to do. It’s the right thing. Zero discrimination. Each by their own merit. TRUE athletic competition. Of course, the sheilas will still dominate ultra-long distance swimming events, because they have physical advantages, just like they can have babies, whereas men, regardless of what “Loretta” thinks about the “right to have a baby,” men just can’t do it.



  • @mn5 41 and done aye!!



  • @paekakboyz don't think this is a recent thing for him...although given this is the internet and I have never met @MN5 I probably shouldn't assume gender.



  • @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @paekakboyz don't think this is a recent thing for him...although given this is the internet and I have never met @MN5 I probably shouldn't assume gender.

    Thanks, I'll get offended just in case though.



  • @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?



  • @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?

    Surely all of the above - isn't that what we do on the internet?

    Is equestrian (and horse racing) reasonably evenly matched between men and women?



  • @godder said in The Semenya Rule:

    @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?

    Surely all of the above - isn't that what we do on the internet?

    Is equestrian (and horse racing) reasonably evenly matched between men and women?

    The horses or the people? What gender horse dominates? And do any horses identify as non-binary? This could open a big can of worms in the horse racing industry.



  • @no-quarter said in The Semenya Rule:

    @godder said in The Semenya Rule:

    @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?

    Surely all of the above - isn't that what we do on the internet?

    Is equestrian (and horse racing) reasonably evenly matched between men and women?

    The horses or the people? What gender horse dominates? And do any horses identify as non-binary? This could open a big can of worms in the horse racing industry.

    The sky is falling!



  • @salacious-crumb said in The Semenya Rule:

    Why do we even have handicapped sporting events? An antiquated 19th Century mystery to me. I’m all for equality, and I don’t like restrictions based on gender, NOT EVER, not under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, so let’s make athletic events Open — and I mean, truly OPEN — to everybody — EVERY-BODY — every race, every sex, and all 57 genders. And if that means for the time-being that women get underrepresented in some events, like at the Olympic Games, then tough-titties baby, you wanted equality, you got it. They’ll just have to train harder to qualify, or find something else to do. It’s the right thing. Zero discrimination. Each by their own merit. TRUE athletic competition. Of course, the sheilas will still dominate ultra-long distance swimming events, because they have physical advantages, just like they can have babies, whereas men, regardless of what “Loretta” thinks about the “right to have a baby,” men just can’t do it.

    No handicap events?

    Just in case this is actually what you think, and not a Poe.

    No age handicaps? No weight handicaps?

    All adult rugby is open grade -- no President's grade and no Colts. Schools can play a 20-year-old provided he is enrolled?

    All weightlifting, boxing etc is open grade?

    Or are you happy with small men being allowed their own events? Just not women.



  • @no-quarter said in The Semenya Rule:

    @godder said in The Semenya Rule:

    @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?

    Surely all of the above - isn't that what we do on the internet?

    Is equestrian (and horse racing) reasonably evenly matched between men and women?

    The horses or the people? What gender horse dominates? And do any horses identify as non-binary? This could open a big can of worms in the horse racing industry.

    Yeah and what about the para-events? At the very least I expect to see a horse with a wheel on it or something.



  • @godder said in The Semenya Rule:

    @taniwharugby said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mn5 at which part, or just offended in general, at me, the internet?

    Surely all of the above - isn't that what we do on the internet?

    Is equestrian (and horse racing) reasonably evenly matched between men and women?

    I don't know about horse racing (I think there is aa arguable strength element) but in show jumping and eventing there is no issue with one gender having an advantage. In eventing there used to be a slight advantage due to the old 'roads and tracks' phase (with has now disappeared). Top male riders would sometimes get fit enough to run alongside their mounts and save 'wear and tear' on the horse. It was never a biggie though as can be noticed by heavy smokers such as Toddy.



  • Can't remember which other thread we are talking about this in...

    Transgender athletes get places 1 and 2 in sprint race

    Caught this from a reddit thread and in the comments they were talking about the transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who actually got beaten (via choke hold) by a more talented female fighter. But that was after s/he'd smashed a bunch of less technically talented female fighters. So the extra strength was enough to beat down on 'lesser' fighters, but once someone skilled came along it was nite nite.



  • @Paekakboyz said in The Semenya Rule:

    Can't remember which other thread we are talking about this in...

    Transgender athletes get places 1 and 2 in sprint race

    Caught this from a reddit thread and in the comments they were talking about the transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who actually got beaten (via choke hold) by a more talented female fighter. But that was after s/he'd smashed a bunch of less technically talented female fighters. So the extra strength was enough to beat down on 'lesser' fighters, but once someone skilled came along it was nite nite.

    It's the old rule isn't it -
    skill is better than size, but size and skill is damn near unbeatable 🙂



  • It can all be sorted by getting rid of this mysoginistic stereotype of having male and female comps. Make all comps open to all, and done on merit.



  • @nzzp I have lived or storied if we go by BSG tags 🙂 experience of this. I played reserve grade rugby in wellington and we had a couple of really good seasons. Enough so that our coach decided to put us up a grade the following season, without much consultation... at least that's how I remember it. I was playing front row and while we did front up against bigger front rows the skills were pretty much on par.

    But that next grade up? fuck me. Packing down against guys at least 20-30kg heavier, who had often played at least a bit in prems, and were only playing the current grade due to not wanting to train harder, or from other commitments. Had two rib injuries that year, and one scrum I will never forget where my neck was screaming due to the pressure. Scary shit!



  • @Paekakboyz said in The Semenya Rule:

    @nzzp I have lived or storied if we go by BSG tags 🙂 experience of this. I played reserve grade rugby in wellington and we had a couple of really good seasons. Enough so that our coach decided to put us up a grade the following season, without much consultation... at least that's how I remember it. I was playing front row and while we did front up against bigger front rows the skills were pretty much on par.

    But that next grade up? fuck me. Packing down against guys at least 20-30kg heavier, who had often played at least a bit in prems, and were only playing the current grade due to not wanting to train harder, or from other commitments. Had two rib injuries that year, and one scrum I will never forget where my neck was screaming due to the pressure. Scary shit!

    It's so shit when you pop your head above your ceiling. I've had a few humbling experiences that brought back the stark reality of how untalented and physically limited i really was.



  • I've always thought rugby follows the axiom that a good big man will always beat a good little man.
    As us little blokes found out the hard way in the 80s and 90s when more PI kids took up rugby



  • @Siam said in The Semenya Rule:

    I've always thought rugby follows the axiom that a good big man will always beat a good little man.
    As us little blokes found out the hard way in the 80s and 90s when more PI kids took up rugby

    absolutely. You have to be quick, strong, or smart.

    And smart will only get you so far.

    As a quick aside, now that it's off season, the NFL Instagram has been showing video of the Draft Combine performances of some of the stars. Jesus the level of athletic ability is just amazing.



  • @mooshld said in The Semenya Rule:

    @rembrandt said in The Semenya Rule:

    @toddy said in The Semenya Rule:

    @mooshld said in The Semenya Rule:

    @tordah said in The Semenya Rule:

    as men are of course outperforming women in every sport (weirdly, bar long distance swimming, or so I read somewhere).

    Ultra running as well. Once you go over 150kms gender is very much less relevant.

    Is that true? A quick Google of ultra running distances (100miles) has men well ahead of women. The fastest man running 100miles on a track is over 2 hours quicker than the best female.

    Even looking at 24 - 48 hour races have the best men covering a lot more distance than the females.

    Yeah it was one of those convincing claims in that very popular book "born to run". I think there were a few claims that weren't exactly true.

    Check out what Courtney Dauwalter did in the Maub 240. On a race by race basis you get woman winning a lot more frequently then you would if you looked at shorter distances. I didn't say its a 50 50 but like I said gender is less of an issue and you do sometimes get woman winning outright.

    She’s a freak athlete, I remember heariNg there was an hour or more between her and the next runner.

    I’m not sure I buy everything in Born to run but he’s a great writer imho .


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