This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to book explores the history of sex testing from the 1930s to the early 2000s. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) used different tests to both guarantee the authenticity of female athletes and identify male masqueraders in Olympic sport. Although the IOC Medical Commission never discovered a single male imposter—and the various iterations of the exam actually illustrated the impossibility of neatly delineating sex—the IOC nevertheless continued to implement the control. Olympic officials thus authorized a policy of sex/gender conformity, as sex testing/gender verification required that female athletes demonstrate conventional notions of white Western heterofemininity. Through these regulations, the IOC continuously reaffirmed a binary notion of sex, privileged white gender norms, and hampered female athleticism. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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