, 16 tweets, 13 min read
THREAD on our new paper on @IAAF Semenya Regulations

Pielke & @Madeleine_Pape 2019. Science, Sport, Sex, and the Case of Caster Semenya, Issues in Science & Technology, Fall. Free: issues.org/science-sport-…

Recommended for #STS, science for policy, sports gov

Ready? Let's go⬇️
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Meet Norma
She is perfect
Science says so
In 1940s measurements were taken of 15,000 women & Norma is the representation of their averages
All of nature's flaws (errors) drop out
What is left?
The perfect woman
Not what should be, but what is . . .
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Well
Not so fast
Norma's metrics come from only white, college-aged women
Norma was actually created by American eugenicists
She is the embodiment of racism
The decision of who to include in the measurement pool that defined Norma dictated the result, not science, not data ...
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Human biological sex is fascinatingly complex
But IAAF wants it to be binary and simple
That is where IAAF started going down the wrong path ...
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape The IAAF Regulations that ban Semenya & others from competing (unless they undergo medical interventions) changed at various points since they were introduced in April 2018. Even today, IAAF & CAS don't even agree on whether they regulate females or "biological males," a mess...
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape IAAF focuses on a subset of individuals with what they call "46 XY Differences of Sex Development (DSDs)" (the terminology can be problematic, but I'll use the IAAF terms here for precision)
I'll show the Norma dynamics in the case of one class of DSD under the regs: 46 XY 5-ARD2
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape IAAF claims science shows 46 XY DSD 5-ARD2 females are in fact actually "biological males" & thus should not compete with females w/o medical intervention
IAAF claims that science (!) proves this
It is exactly like saying Norma is the perfect woman because methods dictate results
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Here is the science that we saw IAAF present which appears to show that "5ARD2 XY" individuals clearly fall into the Male column and not Female
Obviously, duh, science has spoken
Who are we to question science?
Well, let's ask some questions ...
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape It turns out that the classification of "XY 5ARD2" individuals as males requires first removing them from the study pool, stripping them of their actual (existing) biological sex, using a subset of others to develop testosterone ranges & then reclassifying "XY 5ARD2" a la Norma!
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Pause: it's complicated I know
Read our paper for details
The key point, which is unassailable, is that the methods used by the researchers are what determines whether certain non-typical individuals are classified for sport as male or female
Science is not speaking, people are
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Those being reclassified using methodological alchemy are - like Semenya - biological females classified as such since birth

Important: There are issues involving trans athletes but this debate is not that one

No one is changing genders, rather IAAF is reclassifying sex
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape But wait its worse
It turns out that the study which reclassified females as male was fatally flawed
We partially replicated their review and found - whoops - "XY 5ARD2" individuals actually overlap with Ms & Fs
A "massive correction" followed
See: retractionwatch.com/2019/08/20/pap…
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape It turns out, from reviewed studies, that ~30% of "XY 5ARD2" individuals are females
The choice to ignore this empirical reality & strip them of their biological sex for purposes of reclassification is exactly that - a choice
Below is what an inclusive methodology would look like
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape The bottom line
Testosterone can be used to distinguish males & females exactly as Norma can be used to assess the perfect woman

IAAF argues that its regulations are discriminatory
This is correct

Please have a look at & understand the figure below

Ask Qs if you have them!
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Caster Semenya is a female
She has been since birth

Only through some clever (and yes, complicated) contortions to scientific methods can she be stripped of her sex, reclassified and excluded from sport

Classifying her as a "biological male" is a reflection of human biases
@IAAF @Madeleine_Pape Our recommended approach actually reinforces the legitimacy of male & female categories in elite sport

It also avoids discrimination & removes sport organizations from the incredibly inappropriate role of policing bodies

Please read our paper here: issues.org/science-sport-…
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