Well, perhaps it will be a teaching moment for people, though I hope the subject herself gets through it with a minimum of trauma. There's more in the news today about the runner Caster Semenya, from South Africa. I winced at the headlines about her being a "hermaphrodite," as that's pretty politically incorrect. "Intersexed" is more polite -- and the experts have yet to rule on it for her, anyway. I've read all of Alice Domurat Dreger's books and several others about intersexed people and intersex conditions. One very interesting aspect of it are the links between the intersex community and the trans community. There's some overlap there for people who were reassigned a gender as infants. Since most were reassigned as female -- because the surgeries were "easier" (easier on the surgeons, I suppose) and the big priority was to preserve the ability to have children for those with female internal organs, apparently the majority to transition go FTM. And some others don't feel like they fit into one gender or the other, anyway.
But Semenya is an eighteen-year-old, an excellent athlete. I doubt she'd have had any idea beforehand if she had something like Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, for instance. And what a way to find out if she has an intersex condition, if she does. I'm hoping the reporters get more of a handle on the conditions and issues. Even the doctor quoted in this article sounds pretty ignorant: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/20/gender.athlete.intersex/index.html.
Edited to add: I'm still following this. Here's a better article: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Gender+is+the+name+of+the+game&artid=I/IMb57/TCs=&SectionID=Aw|qo8JJkxA=&MainSectionID=Aw|qo8JJkxA=&SEO=&SectionName=||WM0BI9WGM=
And here's an article that is fairly worrying: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/sep/13/caster-semenya-gender-test-results. At least she's getting counseling. I'd think anyone would feel traumatized after all that publicity.
September 12: Finally got to Giovanni's Room today to pick up the books I'd ordered. I also got a new book on intersex issues, Fixing Sex: Intersex Medical Authority and Lived Experience by Katrina Karkazis. Will comment more when I've read the book.