Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: The purpose of our Commentary was
to inform readers that the IOC has abolished laboratory-based gender verification
tests, a change in a policy initiated in 1968. Dr Wilson's concerns are semantic,
specifically how to designate individuals with disorders of sex differentiation.
We are certainly aware of the argument for biological precision using "sex"
and thus would acknowledge Wilson's contention that consistency and scientific
accuracy should dictate its use. However, convention among health care professionals
has long been that gender is preferable in describing
intersex individuals, given the charged nature of the word sex and given that gender connotes self-identification
of a person's rearing. Of course, it is sometimes necessary to describe both
gender and sex when referring to specific individuals. In addition, the IOC
has always used the phrase "gender verification" and to have used a different
term in our Commentary would have been confusing.
Simpson JL, Ljungqvist A, Ferguson-Smith MA, de la Chapelle A, Elsas II LJ, Ehrhardt AA, Genel M, Ferris EA, Carlson A. Gender vs Sex—Reply. JAMA. 2000;284(23):2997-2998. doi:10.1001/jama.284.23.2993