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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Gender Verification Policies in Elite Sport: Eligibility, Fair Play and the Question of Medical Need

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, CSWGS was pleased to present a Gray/Wawro Lecture in Gender, Health and Well-being from Katrina Karkazis, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University's Center for Biomedical Ethics.

Historically, sports governing bodies have used sex testing procedures to attempt to verify the sex of athletes competing in women’s events.  This talk examined the implications of these new “gender-verification” policies on notions of “fair play,” athlete eligibility, and the question of medical need.

Karkazis headshotKatrina A. Karkazis, PhD, MPH is a cultural and medical anthropologist and the author of Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience (Duke University Press, 2008), a study of contemporary controversies over medical treatment for infants with intersex conditions (also known as Disorders of Sex Development) in the United States. She frequently speaks to academic, clinical, and lay audiences about her research, including the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Social Studies of Science, American Association of Law Schools, the American Psychological Association, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society. She has also been interviewed by the New York Times, the Associated Press, WNYC, and ABCnews.com, among others.