Most young ladies, we are pleased to observe, are readily identifiable as ladies. Of course, every physician knows that the visible appurtenances of femininity are less obvious in some women, who are nonetheless completely feminine. It is also true that some young men, particularly when they wear women's clothing, are extremely difficult to distinguish from the ladies without a physical examination.
While these facts may appear trite, they can create problems in unexpected ways. We have recently discovered, from the pages of a national news magazine, that the difficulty of infallible sex differentiation has produced a serious dilemma in international sport. In summary, certain "lady" contestants in track and field have, over the years, turned out to be men. And to compound embarrassment, several of these individuals hold, or held, records in their events—records for women, that is.
The International Amateur Athletic Federation faced up to this situation at a
WILLARD PARKER (1800-1884) NEW YORK PHYSICIAN AND SURGEON. JAMA. 1966;198(10):1117-1118. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230133035