Bio

Katrina Karkazis is a cultural anthropologist with extensive training in gender and sexuality, science and technology studies and empirical bioethics. Her work challenges entrenched scientific and medical beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body across a range of specialized topics, including women in elite sports and the ethics of biometric technologies.

Karkazis is well-known for her work on “sex testing” and sport policies banning women athletes for having naturally high testosterone (also known as “hyperandrogenism”). A watershed project released [on the eve of the 2012 London Olympics] first drew attention to gender-based hormone regulation at the highest levels of international sport; by the 2016 Rio Olympics, Karkazis’ research and advocacy were regularly sought out. Her scholarly work has appeared in ScienceThe American Journal of Bioethics, and BMJ, among others. Opinion pieces in The New York Times and The Guardian have put her work at the center of the debate.

Karkazis is currently writing T: The Unauthorized Biography (forthcoming, Harvard University Press) that unseats what we think we know about testosterone, in collaboration with Rebecca Jordan-Young. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the Brocher Foundation, as well as the American Council of Learned Societies. She was recently named a Guggenheim Fellow.

Her earlier work exposed and examined controversies over treatment for people with intersex traits, and resulted in an award-winning book, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience (Duke 2008).

Her research has been covered in hundreds of outlets around the world such as the New York Times, Time, CNN, and La Liberation. She has appeared on HBO, the BBC, Al Jazeera, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, among many others.

For 15 years, Karkazis was a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and an M.P.H. from Columbia University. 

Sub-specialties: sex, gender, sexuality in science; testosterone; sex testing regulations; intersexuality.

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