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Website Created by an Anthropologist, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Katrina Karkazis is an Anthropologist and a Bioethicist who works at Stanford University and specifically at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford.  Her website is http://www.katrinakarkazis.com/, and her most recent study of work focused on gender verification of elite female athletes. The paper investigated and studied the perspectives from all stakeholders regarding gender verification – sporting bodies, government officials, medical bodies, and the athletes directly involved and their families. Karkazis’ field of study is directly related to the field of Biological Anthropology.

In their study and subsequent paper, Karkazis and her colleagues were critical of both the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with regards to their policies of gender testing of elite female athletes who exhibited high levels of androgen such as testosterone.The IAAF and the IOC regard the naturally high level of testosterone that could be present in an elite female athlete as providing an unfair advantage, but Karkazis et al (2012) argued that testosterone levels in an individual can vary widely depending on certain times of the day, how old the elite female athlete is, and the athlete’s history of serious physical training. Karkazis states that testosterone levels alone are a pointless measure of whether an elite female athlete is considered to be attempting to gain an unfair and unlawful advantage over her fellowcompetitors.

This field of study is important in assisting both the IAAF and IOC in order to establish a satisfactory standard with regards to their gender testing policy that will enable elite female athletes to knowingly compete, without fear of reprisal, for having naturally high levels of testosterone in their systems. I found Karkazis’ field of study quite interesting as I was unaware that naturally high levels of testosterone could be quite common in elite female athletes.

Reference

Karkazis, K., Jordan-Young, R., Georgiann, D., Camporesi, S. (2012, June 13). Out of Bounds? A Critique of the New Policies on Hyperandrogenism in Elite Female Athletes. The American Journal of Bioethics, 12(7): 3–16, DOI: 10.1080/15265161.2012.680533.

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