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Sept 9, 1968


Author Affiliations

FIAC Winnipeg, Canada

JAMA. 1968;205(11):787-788. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140370089020

The question of whether certain female athletes are in fact female will certainly arise during medical examinations at the Olympics, even though the obviously doubtful cases will likely remain at home. The rapid advances registered during the last decade in our understanding of sex and its aberrations have resulted in confusion in the minds of some, however, concerning the contribution of various factors (genetic, gonadal, hormonal) towards the sexual identity of an individual.1 As a result, females have been declared ineligible for athletic competition for no other apparent reason than the presence of an extra chromosome, presumably in the sex chromosome complex. This seems grossly unfair if other criteria of sex conform with the person's social sex.

In most individuals the nine components of sexual phenotype (external genital appearance, internal reproductive organs, structure of the gonads, endocrinologic sex, genetic sex, nuclear sex, chromosomal sex, psychological sex, social sex) conform