Do Intersexual Conditions Change The Game?

OK – today it’s just a nice quick post. Pull the pin out of the grenade, drop it and take a few steps back.

South African runner Caster Semenya has put intersexual conditions fairly firmly in the spotlight; and basically it’s not something I’d ever really considered before. But Wikipedia says that:

According to the ISNA definition above, 1 percent of live births exhibit some degree of sexual ambiguity.[67] Between 0.1% and 0.2% of live births are ambiguous enough to become the subject of specialist medical attention, including surgery to disguise their sexual ambiguity. (Source)

For my mind, the “black and white” perspective that says that homosexual relations is always sinful, is based on an assumption that gender is equally “black and white”.

So is the existence, and prevalence of such a significant degree of ambiguity around gender a game changer with respect to theological reflection on the acceptance or otherwise of homosexual relationships? Why/why not? Or put another way: who should a person like Caster be allowed to marry?

I have no answers, only questions.

3 Replies to “Do Intersexual Conditions Change The Game?”

  1. Disjointed thoughts:

    1) “allowed to marry” … don’t even like how that sounds … even an extremist like me cringes at that kind of language. 🙂
    2) what gender is Caster for the purpose of athletics and other discussion? … that’s a tough one, wish I knew.
    3) is homosexuality a sin? yes and I’m not clear how that is linked to this. I say that because if question 2 can be resolved honestly without other agendas in mind, then homosexuality wouldn’t be a concern in that case. Homosexuality’s sinfulness is a stand alone issue in this context.

    1. 1) It’s poorly phrased, but I think the question is a fairly valid one.
      2) Yep. It is tough, and the big point is that I’m not sure that we can decisively say either way.
      3) How is that linked? Because the build in assumption in any conversation about homosexuality is that gender is clear cut or self evident. Isn’t it? So when that’s no longer true – I think that brings about some bigger questions. That’s not to say we don’t come out with the same answers at the end, but I do think we need to engage the questions if we’re to have any kind of intellectual integrity.

      1. Ok – I’m with you … but on the third point I think there’s a sequence … and this is not unlike so many other hard issues, abortion, healthcare, etc… and for me the sequence starts with the supposition that homosexuality is sin. Then as real life tough ones, e.g., intersexuality, comes along, I have to wrestle with how to apply that. That leads me to then trying to understand what sex the individual is rather than trying to rethink if homosexuality is sin. Does that make sense?

        In the end, your point remains, to ignore does not lend itself to integrity. I’ve never had the need to engage in that conversation because the few times it’s come up to me it was always a “what about?” rather than real life situation I needed to really deal with.

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