Essay on Testosterone in Sports

1720 Words7 Pages
Talent is an accident of genes - and a responsibility. –Alan Rickman
It has been long debated who or what we should attribute our athleticism to. Is athleticism a product of hard work or a result of athletic parents who passed along athletic genes? Should we attribute athleticism to hard work or science? People generally fall into one of the two categories when explaining athleticism. Athletes are always looking for a competitive advantage in sports. Many athletes have turned to steroids and testosterone boosters to excel performance. Substance users have been labeled cheaters because they have an unfair advantage. Does having a naturally high testosterone level give an athlete a fair advantage? The article I chose, “Time to
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The XX individual with CAH that has a male appearance would have a severe disadvantage among average male athletes. Whereas testing for steroids results in a simple positive or negative outcome. Testing for gender can prove to be very difficult, because in rare circumstances men and women have both shown to have either XX or XY chromosomes. CAH and AIS can produce what is called “intersex” conditions. Therefore, segregating men and women in sports may be an obsolete method of segregation (Foddy & Savulescu, 2010, p.1185).
“Intersex” conditions can create extreme disparities in sports. We segregate men and women in sports to eliminate unfair genetic advantages. Is it then unfair when a genetically female athlete with an intersex condition wins an event? Foddy and Savulesco (2010), offer an option for dealing with natural variation in testosterone. Instead of separating men and women, define a limit based on the level of testosterone in an individual’s blood. Above the limit athletes would compete as men and below the limit athletes would compete as women. This would create a “hormonal level-playing field”. Foddy and Savulesco don’t argue for or against testosterone segregation, they simply discuss the option.
People can view sports as a measure of an athlete’s natural ability or the measure of an athlete’s effort and hard work. If we measure athletes on their natural ability, then the winners are the
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