Interview October 10, 2009
CBC Television Radio One – Quirks & Quarks – Between XX and XY
Host Bob McDonald
South African runner Caster Semenya won the gold medal in the women’s 800-metre race at the World Track and Field Championship in Berlin back in August. But many of the 18-year-old’s competitors complained that Semenya must be a man; she looked like a man, had a flat chest and a deep voice and her time was just too fast. The International Association of Athletics Federations ordered a gender test. It was revealed that Semenya, like approximately sixty-five thousand children born every year, has both male and female sexual characteristics. In her case, no uterus or ovaries and undescended testes. What we used to call hermaphrodites, are now referred to as intersex. Dr. Gerald Callahan is a professor in the Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology Department at Colorado State University. He recently wrote a book about this subject called Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes. He says we all might be intersex to a certain extent.
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