Sandy Montanola et Aurélie Olivesi

Gender Testing in Sport. Ethics, Cases and controversies

Routledge, collection Ethics and Sport, 196 p.


After the young South African athlete Caster Semenya won the 800m title at the 2009 World Championships she was obliged to undergo gender testing and was temporarily withdrawn from international competition. The way that this controversy unfolded represents a rich and multi-layered example of the construction of gender in wider society and the interrelationships between sport, culture and the media. This is the first book to explore the case in depth, from socio-cultural, ethical and legal perspectives.

Analysing what came to be called « the Caster Semenya Case » in a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary fashion, and covering issues from media discourses and the rhetoric and regulations of the sport’s governing bodies to the reaction of the athlete herself, the book explores the ethics of how gender norms in sport, and in society more generally, are constructed through appearance, behaviour and sporting performance. This 2009 controversy can be taken as an indicator of the tensions of the time, and served as a link between medical sciences, society and gender.

Including discussions of key concepts such as ‘intersex’, ‘body norms’, and ‘fairness’, Gender Testing in Sport is fascinating and important reading for anybody with an interest in sport studies, gender studies or biomedical ethics.

Table of Contents

  1. From Apartheid to Segregation in Sports: the transgressive body of Caster Mokgadi Semenya (Philippe Liotard)
  2. Gender Verifications vs. Anti-Doping Policies: sexed controls (Anaïs Bohuon & Eva Rodriguez)
  3. Unfair Advantage and the Myth of the Level Playing Field in IAAF and IOC Policies on Hyperandrogenism: when is it fair to be a woman? (Silvia Camporesi & Paolo Maugeri)
  4. Categorizing and Attributing the Sex of Individuals: history of the science, law and ethics (Laurence Brunet & Muriel Salle)
  5. Caster Semenya and the Intersex Hypothesis: on gender as the visual evidence of sex (Fabien Rose)
  6. From the Implicit to Aporia: the specificities of the Caster Semenya case as a « discursive moment » (Aurélie Olivesi)
  7. From Sports to Science, Rhetorical and Power Issues in the Media Coverage of Caster Semenya (Sandy Montañola)
  8. « Caster Semenya – the ancients would have called her god. » The International Re-Imagining and Remaking of Sex and the Art of Silence (Elaine Salo)
  9. Gender, Silence, and a Queer New World: Caster Semenya and unfixed ambiguity (John M. Sloop)
  10. Afterword (Silvia Camporesi)


Jeudi 18 et vendredi 19 janvier 2018

La renommée des villes : enjeux et perspectives historiques

IEP Rennes

Lundi 29 janvier 2018 à 14h

Séminaire de l’équipe « Institutions et échelles d’action publique »

Arènes - salle de réunion à l'IEP

Mardi 23 janvier 2018 de 16h à 18h

Emmanuel Henry: « Ignorance scientifique et inaction publique »

EHESP, 15 av. du professeur Léon Bernard, Rennes - Salle Se9, bâtiment Séquoia

Mercredi 7 février 2018 à 10h

Clémentine Comer & Alban Jacquemart

Campus de Villejean - salle N 104

Lundi 9 avril à 13h30

Mélanie Gourarier, « Communautés de séduction »

Campus Villejean, salle N 104

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Réalisation : Yann Le Sager - Zen At Work/Studio Ricom