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World Athletics have introduced regulations preventing female athletes with certain differences in sex development from competing in the female category. We argue these regulations are not justified and should be removed. Firstly, we examine the reasoning and evidence underlying the position that these athletes have a substantial mean difference in performance from other female athletes such that it constitutes an advantage, and argue it is not sufficient. Secondly, if an advantage does exist, it needs to be demonstrated it is unfair. We argue the advantage would not be unfair because to say otherwise relies on a presupposition about whether these athletes are female, which involves contradictory and inconsistent definitions of sex. Thirdly, we contend that even if it is established that there is an advantage and it is unfair, the response of requiring athletes to take testosterone-suppressing medication is not appropriate and is unfair.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of the Philosophy of Sport

Publication Date