Women With More Testosterone Can’t Compete In The Olympics?

Credit: WENN.com

The International Olympic Committee has released new guidelines for women athletes and they’re really, really unfair. Women (who appear to have) more testosterone will be tested for higher levels of the hormone. If they are considered to have excessive levels of testosterone they won’t be eligible to compete. Why? There is a myth that having higher levels of the male hormone makes you more athletic.

There is NO scientific evidence to support this. (In fact working out is what raises your testosterone levels. In reality these women probably have higher levels of testosterone because they are strong, they aren’t strong because they have higher levels of testosterone.) Some women just happen to have higher levels of testosterone.(It’s called hyperandrongenism, which MANY women have.) Any girl, you or I, could be born that way because it’s simply genetic variation. Even if I happen to have more testosterone than you, you can very easily be A LOT more athletic than me.

Not only is there not any scientific evidence to support this claim, it really doesn’t make very much sense.

For starts, the physical difference between someone who is an Olympic level athlete and someone who is not athletic at all is going to be huge as you would imagine. They’re truly amazing. They were born with this amazing natural aptitude and worked extensively and endlessly to cultivate that natural ability into a skill at the highest level of their capability.

Basically, Olympians are built different than many of us. It’s OK if they were built in a way that’s sort of special and it’s fine that this gift gives them an advantage over other athletes. Some people are born with amazing singing voices and some are built with good voices but not the same range. Would we ever imagine taking away all of Mariah Carey’s awards because she has a natural advantage over Britney? Of course not! That makes no sense!

So even if there were any truth in testosterone levels giving some women a natural advantage it wouldn’t be reasonable to disqualify them. All of these women have natural and hard-earned advantages over each other. Some have sharper eyesight, some can pack on more muscle, some have quicker reflexes. What makes competition interesting is seeing how each person’s skill helps and hurts them. If everyone started with an equal amount of ability than it would be pointless to compete, it would always be a tie. Though it must feel terrible to lose, the point of competing is to find the best–not disqualify the best for being the best?

Credit: WENN.com

Again if there is any truth (and there isn’t) in this whole testosterone theory than why wouldn’t we do this to men? They’re the ones with all the testosterone and though all men have it, they do not all have the exact same amount of it. Testosterone can be found in both sexes in varying amounts, men just happen to have more of it than women.

What’s worse is that women who appear more masculine (whatever that means) will be singled out. Stereotypically that means women who have short hair, who are less curvy, who carry themselves in a “certain way” will essentially be discriminated against, publicly embarrassed, and possibly have their careers end.

This testosterone myth is just the myth that women have to be like men to be successful. A women can only be a great athlete if she has a male hormone ebbing through her body? And if so, she’s not a REAL girl! It’s a way of ensuring that women stay in their corner and men stay in their corner and anyone who doesn’t perfectly fit into that box can’t even participate.

The reality is we are all so diverse, even in our physical attributes. If you want the Olympics to be fair then let me compete in them, I have no advantage at all! Of course that’s ridiculous. The whole premise of competitive sports is to celebrate the people who were born with these amazing, physical gifts. Gifts that makes them different from us, and yes, different from one another. It is also what makes them great.

What do you think of the new Olympic guidelines? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Missy

    This is seriously ridiculous. Why on EARTH would they come up with these rules out of nowhere! If there’s no evidence, no scientific proof, and they don’t do it to men??!? then that’s seriously sexist and discrimination. you can’t just single someone(esp. a woman) out just because she’s muscular and get them tested?? pft! we need a petition -__-“

  • misslmh11

    That is totally unfair. I’m no scientist, but I thought that testosterone did aid in strength and endurance? Maybe not athleticism, because athleticism is more of a choice than a trait, but it isn’t fair of them to disqualify women who naturally have more testosterone. Of COURSE if these are the Olympics they should understand that Olympian women will probably have levels of chemicals in their bodies that are different from your “average” non-Olympian woman because of what the sport requires their bodies to do and how their body has adapted to that. I’m not sure if ALL Olympians have natural talents, however. I’m sure some are just born with the advantage, but plenty of them have had to work extra hard to get where they are today because of the love of their field. If the Olympics want to make sure that no one is taking illegal enhancement drugs, they definitely need to find another way to prove that a competitor is doing that OTHER than testing for a hormone that your body produces naturally. I thought the Olympics would know better than this…

  • (L)iveyourLife.

    Isn’t it because they can’t prove that the women did or did not inject testosterone?