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Sex TestingGender Policing in Women's Sports$
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Lindsay Parks Pieper

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040221

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040221.001.0001

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“Because They Have Muscles, Big Ones”

“Because They Have Muscles, Big Ones”

Cold War Gender Norms and International Sport, 1952–1967

Chapter:
(p.35) 2 “Because They Have Muscles, Big Ones”
Source:
Sex Testing
Author(s):

Lindsay Parks Pieper

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040221.003.0003

This chapter examines how Cold War tensions heightened the fear of fraudulent competitors in international sport. The Cold War exacerbated earlier sex/gender concerns and resulted in a mandatory examination for all female track and field competitors, especially in the wake of Soviet women's remarkable achievements in athletics. Sport authorities grew increasingly worried that powerful female athletes were either unnaturally inauthentic women, men posing as women, or dopers. Using the USSR women as scapegoats, the International Association of Athletics Federation established tests to eliminate all three categories and delineate “true” womanhood. In 1966, the federation introduced a “nude parade,” the first compulsory sex test of modern sport.

Keywords:   Cold War, United States, Soviet Union, track and field, female athletes, International Association of Athletics Federation

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