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Position paper:
Testosterone blockers and their effects in female athletics


Designing for People, Sports and Vitality


November 2021


Ilse Koelewijn

Matthijs van den Broek

Extra Material

In 2018, World Athletics has issued new regulations that ban intersex female athletes with higher testosterone levels than usual (hyperandrogenism) from competing on international level. These athletes should either compete in the male category, or take testosterone blockers to lower their testosterone levels. The regulations were put in place because World Athletics says research has shown that high testosterone levels give these athletes a significant advantage. However, this research is debated by other scientists. Also, these athletes identify themselves as female and are also recognized by society as female, so opponents say that hyperandrogenism should just be seen as a natural advantage, just like tall people have an advantage in basketball. In this position paper it will be explained why the regulations are unfair, and should be removed.

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