Athleticism: A Product of Hard Work or a Result of Athletic Genes?

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Talent is an accident of genes - and a responsibility. –Alan Rickman It has been long debated who or what we should attribute our athleticism to. Is athleticism a product of hard work or a result of athletic parents who passed along athletic genes? Should we attribute athleticism to hard work or science? People generally fall into one of the two categories when explaining athleticism. Athletes are always looking for a competitive advantage in sports. Many athletes have turned to steroids and testosterone boosters to excel performance. Substance users have been labeled cheaters because they have an unfair advantage. Does having a naturally high testosterone level give an athlete a fair advantage? The article I chose, “Time to re-evaluate gender segregation in athletics?” by Bennett Foddy and Julian Savelescu, aims to address that very question. Men and women are segregated in athletics to foster an even playing field. Billy Jean-King aside, nobody expects women to be able to compete with men in sports. Men produce higher testosterone levels than women, giving them an athletic advantage, therefore men and women must be segregated in sports to keep the playing field even. However, testosterone levels in men and women vary. For example, Caster Semenya won gold in the 2009 women’s world championship in the 800m swim. The International Association of Athletic Federation (IAAF) tested her for enhancing drugs and for being a man. The results of the drug test were negative. The results of the gender test are kept confidential for privacy. The results are unimportant. The article focuses on what Semenya’s case means for anti-doping, for women’s sports, and for competitive sports in general. Interestingly, it is easier to ascertain whether one is taking steroids than it is to determine whether one is male or female. Normally men have an X and a Y chromosome, while women normally have two X chromosomes. Males normally have penises and testes while women...
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