Celebrating Caster Semenya

The Journal of Medical Ethics has kindly published a commentary by me responding to a paper that gave qualified support to World Athletics (IAAF) regulations.
Page last reviewed 30 September 2020

Journal of Medical Ethics cover
On 13 August the Journal of Medical Ethics kindly published an invited commentary by me on Caster Semenya and World Athletics regulations that affect cisgender women athletes with certain intersex variations. The commentary responds to an article by Sigmund Loland that gave qualified support to the regulations.

My commentary identifies Loland’s paper, and the World Athletics regulations, as taking a ‘convenience-based approach to classification of sex where choices about the status of people with intersex variations are made by others according to their interests at that time’. I argue that this raises ‘not simply individual concerns about choice and classification, but structural, systemic forms of discrimination and human rights violations’.

The paper was written prior to publication of a report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that is recommended reading.

My commentary: Carpenter, Morgan. 2020. ‘Caster Semenya’s Life and Achievements Are Cause for Celebration, Respect and Inclusion; Her Exclusion Is Consequential’. Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9): 593–94. doi:10.1136/medethics-2020-106506.

A freely-available author manuscript can be read here.

The commentary is a response to: Loland, Sigmund. 2020. ‘Response to Commentaries on “Caster Semenya, Athlete Classification, and Fair Equality of Opportunity in Sport”’. Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9): 599–600. doi:10.1136/medethics-2020-106755.

Additional notable responses include: Wall, Jesse. 2020. ‘Caster Semenya and a Level Playing Field’. Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9): 563–64. doi:10.1136/medethics-2020-106740.

Thank you to my reviewers for this commentary.