BETHESDA, MD – After blistering debate at this year’s annual meeting, the International Institute of Endocrinology has at last agreed to the addition of Tanner Stage 6 to standard classifications in sexual maturation. Originally created by James Tanner, a British Pediatric Endocrinologist, as a means to judge progress in pubertal development, the Tanner Staging System has become a universal tool for assessing reproductive maturity. The classification table scores hair growth and anatomic changes on a scale, previously including levels one through five.
Critics have long argued that the rating system doesn’t allow room for acknowledgement of those who have reached “extraordinary heights in gender achievement.” They have argued that masculinity and femininity cannot be quantified by hair and reproductive organs alone, but must include intangible characteristics as well.
“For instance, should a man, like say, Chuck Norris, who we can all agree is a glorious specimen of hard-boiled manliness, receive the same “5” as someone like, say, Ryan Seacrest? I mean, Ryan Seacrest is a very nice person, but he just doesn’t have the same spicy masculinity,” said Ivan Stonavesky, Chairman of Endocrinology at the UENDMC.
During the meeting, members took the time to select representative examples of high gender advancement to help explain the new system. Among those recognized as having reached Tanner Stage 6 were Teddy Roosevelt, “Mr. T,” Sean Connery, Colin Powell, and many others. Fierce debate erupted across international lines when the name of David Hasselhoff was proposed, with European factions lobbying vociferously in support against many North American endocrinologists. During the subcommittee session, early episodes of Baywatch were submitted as evidence against his inclusion.
A debate about females reaching stage 6 was quickly scuttled by disagreement about what constituted femininity with traditionalists and modernists at sharp odds. As news of the topic spread, protesters gathered outside the IIE conference to oppose the “narrow-minded definition of gender roles and expectations for men and women” by a small 1% of the population.
Despite the media brouhaha, Audrey Hepburn and Queen Elizabeth were granted probationary classification as Tanner VI females pending further research. Although controversy has been rife, the new staging classification has generated tremendous publicity for Endocrinology and many hope that renewing the debate at the international meeting next year will bring younger trainees into the exciting field, which includes management of diabetes and occasionally several other conditions.
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