Is Semenya a Girl?

There has been uproar and controversy this week as speculation continues about the real gender of gold medal winning runner Caster Semenya.

18 year old Semenya won the women’s 800 metres at the World Championships on Wednesday and shot into the spotlight as a result of it. However, her victory has been tarnished by claims that she is in fact a man, therefore she was not running amongst equals.

Although Semenya has been raised as a girl and her close friends and family are fiercely defending her, she must face the humiliation or undergoing medical tests to verify her gender. The team carrying out the verification is made up of a gynaecologist, a psychologist, an endocrinologist and experts on internal medicine and transgender issues. The process of determining her true gender is a lot more complicated than you might expect; it will take the panel until the end of the month to reach their verdict and decide whether or not Semenya can keep her gold medal.

The nature of human nature can be ambiguous and can be a very sensitive subject; according to Semenya and her family in Masehlong, a small village in northern South Africa, she was born and raised as a girl and they have absolutely no doubt of her gender. Dorcus Semenya, Caster’s mother, is unfazed by the speculation surrounding her daughter. She laughed when asked about the issue, and said “She comes from me. I gave birth to that girl, she came from my womb.”

Dorcus is currently training to be a care worker. The other women at the centre were not so off hand about the subject, and have been very upset by the claims being made by the tabloids. They have taken offence to suggestions that Caster is a man and are worried that the controversy will affect her. Caster herself has not commented, and her spokesperson has stressed that she is too young to deal with this level of publicity.

Around 1 in 20,000 women suffer from a condition called “androgen insensitivity syndrome”, where they will look, behave and feel like a woman but are genetically male; large amounts of testosterone are produced but the body fails to recognise it. Sometimes women are not aware of this condition until they try to bear children.

London escorts and other local residents are preparing themselves for the games, which will be held here – hopefully all of the controversy surrounding Semenya will have been cleared up and she will be able to compete.