The Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies in cooperation with the Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) at Utrecht University organises the seventeenth round of the DOING GENDER Lecture Series. These lectures stress the importance of doing gender work combined with an active involvement in the practice of gender theory and research. The concept of DOING GENDER supports a hands-on approach to gender issues in the sense of social and political engagement with the new forms of gender inequalities that are taking shape in the world today. The lecture series wants to give space to the new generations of gender theorists and practitioners and to perspectives that innovate the field and do gender in new ways. Key is the notion of doing gender: what is the state of the art definition of gender? How do contemporary scholars and activists utilise this definition?

On Thursday February 23, 2017, Professor Erin Buzuvis will give a Doing Gender Lecture on Hormone Check: A Critique of Olympic Rules on Sex and Gender.

In 2011 the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body of track and field, adopted a policy on hyperandrogenism, a variety of naturally-occurring conditions in which a body produces excess levels of androgenic hormones such as testosterone. Under the policy, women (but not men) with endogenous testosterone above the policy’s stated “normal” range are not eligible for competition unless they prove their bodies are resistant to androgens or that they receive treatment to artificially suppress their androgen levels. In 2015, however, a panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the IAAF’s policy for a two year period due to insufficient scientific rationale. This interim decision allowed the policy’s challenger, Indian sprinter Dutee Chand, to be reinstated to her sport, but it also provides the IAAF with leeway to reintroduce a hyperandrogenism policy in the future.

This talk will place the IAAF’s hyperandrogenism policy in historical context, noting that its past attempts at gender verification have ultimately been rejected as problematic and discriminatory. Next, it will describe and analyze the decision of the CAS in Chand’s case, which, despite temporarily suspending the policy, ultimately endorsed in principle the idea that women’s natural hormones can be regulated and targeted as the basis for exclusion. Finally, it will criticize the CAS decision for the narrowness of its suspension rationale, and urge it and the IAAF to consider any policy excluding female athletes on the basis of endogenous testosterone as a form of gender discrimination in contravention of the IAAF’s own constitution, as well as the Olympic Charter.

Erin Buzuvis is a professor of law at Western New England University in Massachusetts, USA. She is an expert on Title IX, the U.S. law that prohibits seks discrimination in education, including scholastic and collegiate athletic programs, as well as sex discrimination and other intersecting discrimination in the educational context and beyond. She has researched and written about such topics as college athletics reform, inclusion of transgender and intersex athletes, barriers to leadership faced by women who work in college athletics, and Title IX’s application to sexual assault disciplinary hearings. She also teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts and property.


Doing Gender Lecture details:

Thursday February 23, 2017, Professor Erin Buzuvis (Western New England University, Massachusetts, USA)

  • Lecture: Hormone Check: A Critique of Olympic Rules on Sex and Gender
  • Time: 15:30 – 17:00 hrs
  • Location: Drift 25, room 1.02
  • Chair: Dr. Christine Quinan

The Doing Gender Lecture Series takes place in Utrecht and is free of charge.
Registration is compulsory:


Upcoming Doing Gender Lectures:
– Prof. Ashok Mathur  (The University of British Columbia, Canada):  Tuesday April 25, 2017
– Prof. Lynne Huffer (Emory University, USA): Tuesday June 13, 2017