Ought women be genetically engineered to compete on equal terms with men in sport?
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Tamburrini and Tannsjo (2005) suggest that genetic engineering provides a solution to sexual inequality in sport. Physiological differences which currently disadvantage women could, they claim, be eliminated through genetic technology. I argue that this is not an appropriate, or indeed desired solution for the following reasons; 1. The implicit assumption is that equality means the same however gynocentric feminists reject this idea of equality. In fact, this radical view of feminism argues for recognition of the differences between sexes. They favour a difference, but equal ideal, in that women do not want to be men but rather achieve equal status. 2. Sport should not aspire to eliminate sex categories in all sports but rather keep segregation in those where sex has a significant role to play. In certain sports the physiological differences between sexes cannot be ignored but to suggest genetic technology as providing a solution is neither sustainable nor practical. A more effective solution to the problem therefore is one which acknowledges the different but equal status of women in sport. One which maintains sex segregation in those sports where sex plays a significant role, but allows for integration in those sports where it is irrelevant.
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