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october, 2019

01oct4:30 pm6:00 pmThe Harms of Policing Sex in Athletics - the Cases of Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand


Event Details

The Harms of Policing Sex in Athletics – the Cases of Caster Semenya and Dutee Chand 

The Center for Gender & Sexuality Law and the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies are pleased to host an event focusing on recent rulings by bodies regulating international track and field competition that create arbitrary and discriminatory qualifications for competition in the “female” category define cases and debates regarding gender equity and the policing of gender in sports. Dr. Katrina Karkazis, Senior Fellow at Yale Law School, will contextualize the discussion, providing background regarding the case of Caster Semenya, a world-class sprinter who has been the subject of debates on the policing of gender and sex by the International Association of Athletics Federation. Following Dr. Karkazis’ introduction, Professor Katherine Franke will moderate a discussion with Semenya‘s attorneys.

Similar cases involving athletes and the policing of gender include the case of Dutee Chand, who was subjected to scrutiny regarding her gender and eligibility to participate in sporting events by the International Olympic Committee in 2014.

The policing of gender in sports through the testing of chromosomes, testosterone levels, and other biometrics imposes rigid structures on the diversity that is human biology, gender, and experience. The policing of gender in this manner could also set precedents that may be used to discriminate against people on the basis of gender identity and expression.

This program is free and open to the public.

About the Speakers

Dr. Katrina Karkazis is a cultural anthropologist working at the intersection of science and technology studies, theories of gender and race, social studies of medicine, and bioethics. Her research and teaching examine—and challenge—entrenched scientific and medical beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body across a range of topics. Her latest book, Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography, written with Rebecca Jordan-Young, unsettles a great deal of long-standing knowledge and beliefs about this hormone.

Professor Katherine Franke is the Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University, where she also directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Center for Palestine Studies.  She is among the nation’s leading scholars writing on law, religion and rights, drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory.




(Tuesday) 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


Columbia Law School - Room 103


The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University.

Columbia University
Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality

1200 Amsterdam Ave
763 Schermerhorn Extension, MC 5508
New York, NY 10027