Response to commentaries on ‘Caster Semenya, athlete classification, and fair equality of opportunity in sport’

Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9):599-600 (2020)
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I appreciate all of the commentaries as they raise a series of critical and constructive points. Due to limited space, I can only address some of the issues in brief ways. Knox and Anderson indicate that classification according to testosterone levels should be applied only at the elite level and with a more inclusive approach in amateur and recreational sport. Indeed, I agree, and this is also the case in the International Association of Athletics Federation's Differences of Sexual Development regulations that hold only for international events. A second comment questions whether my use of the adjective ‘systemic’ adds meaning beyond what is already included in ‘stable inequality’. I find ‘systemic’ useful as it emphasises inequalities with effects more or less on the whole organism, but I am definitely open for improving the terminology. A third comment relates to whether inequalities must be inborn to justify classification. This is a valid point, and I need to be more precise. Inequalities need not be inborn. For instance, as Knox and Anderson note, stable testosterone levels can be outcomes of hormone therapy as in the case of elite transwomen athletes. Chambers challenges my view that sport is structured on a luck egalitarian principle. She points to significant impact of inequalities in …



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