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Cam chat with hermaphrodites

The first part is all based on the assumption that the source is accurate, of course. The first point is to clarify some terms, which I think have been used rather loosely.

The article says that Semenya is a hermaphrodite who possesses internal testes but no ovaries or uterus.

These 8 would have presented with the same results as Caster Semenya supposedly has – no uterus, no ovaries, and (possibly) internal testes. So, the issue not quite as clear cut as it may seem.

And that is one of the question marks around the Australian report – the source is adamant that Semenya will be banned from future competition, but this is clearly not a guarantee. In fact, the section below is taken directly from the IAAF policy document on gender verification (2006): So, as you can see, someone with AIS is still able to compete, which explains why those 7 women in Atlanta were cleared.

That said, there are some inconsistencies – the IAAF have stated that the medal will probably NOT be taken back, while the source in the Australian article says it will be.

The irony in this drama is that Semenya’s life may actually be saved as a result of the sex verification process, because had she not been an athlete, it may never have been detected. Once that is done, then I can see no reason why she cannot continue to compete as a female.

In fact, the IAAF allow males to have sex changes and then compete as females, provided they serve a 2-year period out of the sport and undergo hormone therapy. So Semenya’s career need not be over as a result of this.

Some authorities (Ritchie et al., 2008) suggest the following classification: As mentioned, I’d rule out 3, if she has testes only.

Option 1 seems unlikely, since she would have no uterus or ovaries, which leaves option 2.


  1. Sep 16, 2009. But now, perhaps for the first time ever, an intersex person is making the evening news, and intersex activists think this just might be a defining. came to a consensus about three years ago to get rid of all terms based on the root 'hermaphrodite' including 'pseudo-hermaphrodite' because they are.

  2. Sep 11, 2009. Here in South Africa, local media coverage has been dominated by the reports that Semenya is a hermaphrodite who has internal testes, but no uterus or ovaries. Some time has passed and more questions raised, and so following are some more thoughts following my initial post yesterday, and discussion.

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