Rebecca Jordan-Young, a... co-author of the report, has said, "Individuals have dramatically different responses to the same amounts of testosterone, and it is just one element in a complex neuroendrocrine feedback system." Moreover, it's not known what typical testosterone levels even are for elite female athletes.Yes, but please address the fact that we do segregate athletes by sex. You're not arguing that we ought to stop doing that. Why do we have 2 categories? I think we know! Women have the disadvantage. Don't tell me about those cyclists and basketball players with an anomaly that gives them an advantage who nevertheless compete with normal men. Tell me about a situation where you've created a special competition — e.g., the Special Olympics — so that athletes with a disadvantage can have a competition. Once you do that, you have to have some rules about who belongs in that separate competition.
The Stanford bioethicist also argues that athletic performance cannot be simply boiled down to testosterone levels, citing that performance is much more complicated than that. Moreover, they argue that other athletes have different genetic endowments, including several runners and cyclists who have rare mitochondrial variations that give them extraordinary aerobic capacity, or basketball players who have acromegaly, a hormonal condition that results in exceptionally large hands and feet. These athletes aren't banned from competition, they argue, and neither should women with elevated levels of testosterone.
Of course, we feel sympathetic when we read about a particular individual with a physical anomaly, like Caster Semenya. But the other individuals in the competition are real people too, and unless you're going to abolish the segregation of women in sports, you need to figure out who belongs in the women's competition. No one ought to care whether an athlete in women's sports seems "feminine" in the social, behavioral sense, but we should make judgments that align with our reasons for having a separate competition for women. Let's talk about what those reasons are. Let's be honest. I mean, what would happen if we just integrated males and females in sports?