Why Are The Sexes Divided In Sports?

By Laura Moncur @ 3:09 pm — Filed under:

Santhi SoundararajanThere is a story about an Indian athlete, Santhi Soundararajan, who has failed a gender test. It’s confusing because she passed a different gender test earlier this year.

Here is my question, why are the sexes divided in sports? I’ve talked about this before:

Every time I ask this question, I get the same two answers:

  • Stay in your own sports where you belong.

  • The guys would kick your butt!

To the former, the “separate but equal” argument just doesn’t hold water and to the later, fine, bring it on! If we have to have a gynecologist, psychologist AND an endocrinologist just to figure out whether this human deserves the silver medal, then we should just make things simple and integrate the sports.


4 Responses to “Why Are The Sexes Divided In Sports?”

  1. Mike Says:

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. Let’s hear from women athletes. I think you’d be soundly voted down.

    As for endocrinologist issues, yeah, this is a really big problem. It occurs once every — what? — decade. What chaos! Let’s combine men and women to avoid this kind of confusion.

  2. Suz Says:

    As a female athlete (rugby), I don’t want to play with or against men. I’m a pretty big girl in pretty good shape, but most male ruggers are still bigger/heavier/faster than me. I played with one woman who was an incredible athlete and who scrimmaged with the men sometimes and could hold her own – or better.

    But I don’t think that the exceptional women who can overcome physical differences between men and women should be the only ones who get to play. If there’s only one basketball team, soccer team, etc., how many men will be on that team and how many women? And how many women would come out for a team that they knew they wouldn’t or couldn’t make? I think such co-ed teams would tend to force women out of sports.

    As for questions of gender, that issue came up with some of my teammates who were taking or considering taking testosterone as part of their personal journeys. They couldn’t both take the medicine and play (women’s) rugby. It was a hard decision for every woman I knew, but none of them ever said that it wasn’t a fair one.

    I wonder, have you ever participated in a team sport? I love my team like sisters, and I couldn’t imagine having the kind of bond that I had with them on a co-ed team. For those of us who don’t make a living out of our sports, that can be the best part of a team.

  3. Peter Says:

    One huge problem, and Suz hit on it a little bit, is the comraderie of the team. While there are some female atheletes out there that either are of bigger stock and can hold their own with a men’s team, or have just such phenominally natural and developed skills, there is still the question of having all aspects of a team, physilogical, phsycological, neurological (and what ever logicals anyone wants to throw in there) at their best. Now with co-ed teams there is a natural akwardness that will exist with members of the opposite sex being together. The distractions that would occur would be numerous and disasterous to the chemistry of a team. The testosterone packed brotherly bond would be broken adn replaced with the akward “can’t be a goof ball with the ladies around, gotta be cool” and the tight sisterhood would actaully probably still existas a small seperate group within the team, or else also be ruined. Either way teh chemistry would be broken.

  4. Laura Moncur Says:

    In my previous entries about this subject, I wrote that the teams should be like the softball league I played with, where half of the players have to be male and the other half have to be female. You can’t have an all female team OR an all male team. It has to be balanced.

    As far as the comaraderie is concerned, I’ve avoided sports because I hate being in large single-sex groups. I loved the bonding that happened with our softball team. That “male bonding” and “girl bonding” stuff is bunk. Bonding has nothing to do with testosterone and everything to do with working together for a common goal. Just because you haven’t felt it in a mixed-sex situation doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

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