"i love your art, what program do you use?"
A female athlete with naturally high testosterone faces humiliating sex testing and worse.
The first evidence of this new policy in action was published last year in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Four female athletes, ages 18 to 21, all from developing countries, were investigated for high testosterone. Three were identified as having atypically high testosterone after undergoing universal doping tests. (They were not suspected of doping: Tests clearly distinguish between doping and naturally occurring testosterone.)
Sports officials (the report does not identify their governing-body affiliation) sent the young women to a medical center in France, where they were put through examinations that included blood tests, genital inspections, magnetic resonance imaging, X-rays and psychosexual history — many of the same invasive procedures Ms. Semenya endured. Since the athletes were all born as girls but also had internal testes that produce unusually high levels of testosterone for a woman, doctors proposed removing the women’s gonads and partially removing their clitorises. All four agreed to undergo both procedures; a year later, they were allowed to return to competition.
The doctors who performed the surgeries and wrote the report acknowledged that there was no medical reason for the procedures. Quite simply, these young female athletes were required to have drastic, unnecessary and irreversible medical interventions if they wished to continue in their sports.
Many conditions can lead to naturally high testosterone, including polycystic ovarian syndrome or an ovarian tumor during pregnancy, but women with intersex traits tend to have the highest T levels. And it is these intersex traits that sports authorities want “corrected.”
Sports authorities argue that screening for high T levels is needed to keep women’s athletics fair, reasoning that testosterone improves performance. Elite male athletes generally outperform women, and this difference has been attributed to men’s higher testosterone levels. Ergo, women with naturally high testosterone are thought to have an unfair advantage over other women.
But these assumptions do not match the science. A new study in Clinical Endocrinology fits with other emerging research on the relationship between natural testosterone and performance, especially in elite athletes, which shows that T levels can’t predict who will run faster, lift more weight or fight harder to win. The study, of a sample of 693 elite athletes, revealed a significant overlap in testosterone levels among men and women: 16.5 percent of the elite male athletes had testosterone in the so-called female range; nearly 14 percent of the women were above the “female” range.
This finding undermines the idea that sex-linked performance differences are mainly because of testosterone. The authors suggest that lean body mass, rather than hormone levels, may better explain the performance gap. They also conclude that their research makes the I.O.C.’s testosterone-guided eligibility policy for women “untenable.”
Some might argue that the procedures used to lower T levels are simply part of the price athletes must pay to compete at the elite level. But these choices aren’t temporary hardships like training far from home or following a rigorous diet. The required drug and surgical treatments are irreversible and medically unjustifiable. Clitoral surgery impairs sexual function and sensation; gonadectomy causes sterility; and hormone-suppressive drugs have side effects with potentially lifelong health risks.
Moreover, the policy places a disproportionate burden on poor women who may have limited career opportunities and are likely to face enormous pressure to submit to these interventions in order to continue their athletic careers. Under the current policies, more and more female athletes with naturally high T levels will be confronted with these harsh choices — and not just at the elite level. The I.O.C. requires that each country’s Olympic committee investigate cases of female athletes with high T levels before naming them to national teams. Some countries, like India, now apply such policies to all female athletes, not just those competing internationally.
Barring female athletes with high testosterone levels from competition is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Worse, it is pushing young women into a choice they shouldn’t have to make: either to accept medically unnecessary interventions with harmful side effects or to give up their future in sports.
Every once in awhile, you’ll read something and it is so horrifying, so undistilled in its blatant misogyny, in the hatred of the female body that it will take your breath away. The price for stepping out of line (here, by competing; by being an athlete) is literally getting your clit snipped. Note: as has already been stated in the article, the ONLY thing that makes people better athletes is lean muscle mass. But testosterone, being the holy grail of mail fantasticness, is all it takes, right? Anything males have more of, that’s all we need to know.
Everyone wants to “normalize” female outliers, one way or the other.
this is so terrible I feel angry and like I am going to cry all at once holy shit
oh my god.
This is so amazingly awful.
To make things worse many women constantly outperform men while still fitting within these skewed values and then they still get shunted to just a women’s category. Women can’t be first in sports, they can only be first in women’s sports and that’s garbage. This separation is literally pointless and extremely harmful.
The site is definitely going through some crankyfits due to the added user load, so there are going to be hiccups throughout the evening. We expected that this would happen and appreciate your patience while we check things out back here and see if we can stabilize that a bit.
All in all, though, she’s holding much steadier than we thought, and we’re really excited for all of our new members!
Washoe was a chimp who was taught sign language.
One of Washoe’s caretakers was pregnant and missed work for many weeks after she miscarried. Roger Fouts recounts the following situation:
"People who should be there for her and aren’t are often given the cold shoulder—her way of informing them that she’s miffed at them. Washoe greeted Kat [the caretaker] in just this way when she finally returned to work with the chimps. Kat made her apologies to Washoe, then decided to tell her the truth, signing "MY BABY DIED." Washoe stared at her, then looked down. She finally peered into Kat’s eyes again and carefully signed "CRY", touching her cheek and drawing her finger down the path a tear would make on a human (Chimpanzees don’t shed tears). Kat later remarked that one sign told her more about Washoe and her mental capabilities than all her longer, grammatically perfect sentences." 
more about Washoe:
after the death of her children, researchers were determined to have Washoe raise a baby and brought in a ten month chimpanzee named Loulis. one of the caretakers went to Washoe’s enclosure and signed “i have a baby for you.” Washoe became incredibly excited, yelling and swaying from side to side, signing “baby” over and over again. then she signed “my baby.”
the caretaker came back with Loulis, and Washoe’s excitement disappeared entirely. she refused to pick Loulis up, instead signing “baby” apathetically; it was clear that the baby she thought she was getting was going to be Sequoyah. eventually Washoe did approach Loulis, and by the next day the two had bonded and from then on she was utterly devoted to him.
*information shamelessly paraphrased from When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Masson.
Even more interestingly, after Washoe and Loulis bonded, she started teaching him American Sign Language the same way that human parents teach their children language. It only took Loulis eight days to learn his first sign from Washoe, and aside from the seven that his human handlers learned around him, he learned to speak in ASL just as fluently as Washoe and was able to communicate with humans in the same way she could.
now if y’all don’t think this is the tightest shit you can get outta my face
I’ve always been amazed by animal intelligence, but I was still not prepared to find out they’ve got that level of introspection and understanding.
A comedy sci-fi film with a woman of color as the lead!
OMG THAT’S THE FIRST MAJOR FILM COMPANY TO PUT A POC IN CGI AS A MAIN CHARACTER
GET IT DREAMWORKS
AHHHH SHES SO CUTE
Id seen blurry low quality pics and I got excited but aHHHHHHHHHH
Im excited OvO
captain america winter soldier!
dog ver. steve=golden retriever bucky=belgian sheepdogs.:D
David Wojnarowicz wore this jacket in 1988, just 4 years before he’d ultimately die from AIDS. Sadly, just a few years ago some of his artistic work was censored at the Smithsonian. People in power are still content to try and erase his history and the continued struggles of people with AIDS
everyone everywhere please please please reblog this important artist.
I C O N I C
A lot of very intense artists that had AIDs, with very influential work, are slowly being erased and it makes me so mad and confused. People in the US* treat people with AIDs like they shouldn’t exist…
* It could be elsewhere as well, but I want to be clear that I’m speaking from my POV. I’m aware the way AIDs is treated can be very different from country to country.
Really large gif piece I did for two very sweet and patient guys.
This miiight take a while for you to load, apologies to those trying to view it on phones.