James Joyce And The Advent Of Viagra

1478 words - 6 pages

The Olympics are an international competition event for summer sports and winter sports that happen every 2 years. It was originally an event created for men to compete in various sports. However, women were allow to participate in the early 1900s due to the increasing number of female athletes. After female athletes started to participate in the Olympic games, the question of gender identification arose. People fear that males may masquerade as females and have an unfair advantage over other participants in women-only events. To prevent this from happening, the International Olympic Commitee (IOC) started sex verification to test the participant’s sex.
The question of sex verification in women’s sports started in 1936, when a Polish journalist accused the American gold medallist in 100m track and field of being a man. Helen Stephen, the gold medallist who broke the 100m record of track legend Stella Walsh was a 6 foot tall female athlete.(Carlson, 2005). Her size brought up the questions about the definition of femininity. Ironically, when Stella Walsh was found dead in an accident it was discovered that she had ambiguous genitalia and abnormal sex chromosomes.
Another stunning case which prompted developing the sex verification protocol involved an athlete named Hermann Ratjen in the mid 1950s (Carlson, 2005). Ratjen admitted that he was persuaded to masquerade as a female in an Olympic event in 1936. He hid his genitals and used a fake name, “Dora,” to compete in the women high jump event. Although he set a world record in 1938 and definitely had some advantages over other female participants, he only came in at fourth place in 1936. This case made a lot of people question the sexuality of some Eastern Bloc competitors.
Later, in the mid 1950s, Tamara Press and Trina Press, two Soviet sisters competing in track and field events, broke 26 world records and won six Olympic medals. (Carlson, 2005). They also won the 1966 Europe Championships. Due to all the suspicious cases and the sisters’ great athletic success, they were questioned by the IOC when sex verification was made mandatory for all women’s international sports. The first sex verification since the Olympic games started took place in 1966 (Carlson, 2005). The two sisters and other competitors who were asked to take a nude parade test, however, did not show up. The conclusion remains unclear. The nude parade test was strongly opposed by female athletes. It was degrading to women, more specifically, to the female athletes. The nude parade test was ended in 1967. The close up visual examination of nude athletes’ external genitalia was banned and replaced by the genetic-based laboratory testing.
The blanket chromosome screen testing was called a “buccal smear” (Myron Genel 2005). This is a painless test that takes a swab off the participant’s cheek and test their chromosomes from the cells removed. The test was to used check the 46 pairs of chromosomes in the cell and see if...

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