Sexism in Sports

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Sexism in Sports

In 1972 a policy known as Title IX was written and mandated into Federal policy. Title IX states “no person.....shall, on the basis of sex….be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (Glenn Sacks, “Title IX Lawsuits are Endangering Men’s College Sports,” p. 3). Many high schools and colleges have not been able to comply with the Title IX standards mostly because of money. After more than 30 years since the beginning of Title IX, there is still no gender equality among men and women in sports.

Passed in 1972 by United States President Richard Nixon, Title IX was supposed to open the door for women, but feminists have interpretated Title IX in a way to help strengthen women’s athletics (Sacks 1). During the Carter and Clinton administrations Title IX was converted into a weapon to enforce gender quotas, therefore abolishing as many men’s college athletic teams as possible (Phyllis Schlafly, “Supreme Court wrestles with Title IX,” p. 2). Over the years the words of Title IX author, former U.S. Republican Edith Green, must have been forgotten when he stated that the law is “exceedingly explicit so that the establishment of quotas would be prohibited (Schlafly 2)”. It has become obvious that quotas are the standard in 2005. Scholarships, spending and funding must somehow equal the ratio of 57% women - 43% men enrolled in college. Schools have been offered two options to meet Title IX – create new women’s teams or cut men’s teams (Sacks 2).

Has the question really been answered yet? Has Title IX changed anything? YES. Between 1972 and 1997, 3.6 male athletes were dropped from their programs. During the same period, female athletes increased by 5,800 while 20,000 male athletes were cut (Sacks 2). Women’s basketball programs are now allotted 15 scholarships, men’s 13.5; women tennis is allotted 8 scholarships, men’s 4.5. By April of 2002, over 350 NCAA men’s programs had been terminated since 1991, over 100 wrestling programs had been eliminated overall, and only 26 colleges still had male gymnastic programs (J.P. Hoornstra, “Title IX sends teams to grave,” p. 2). It seems to me that Title IX was created with all the good intentions, but it seems that nobody really ever thought it through.

On the flip side, coaches for an average college women’s team earns, on av...

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...ution is time. Society is still grounded in the old ideals of early Americans. Sexism is a problem that can distort a person’s thought process, young and old. This perception denies the skill, sacrifice, and passion of an athlete based on gender. True today, the female athlete is as celebrated as the male athlete is. And true, female athletes are becoming extremely competitive, but still there is a belief of “separate and unequal” in the realm of women’s sport.

Reference List

Egendorf, Laura K. (1999). Sports and Athletes: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.

Geadelmann, Patricia L. (1977). Equality in Sport for Women. Washington: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Jacob, Michael Paul. (1993). College women athletes' knowledge and perceptions of Title IX. Iowa: Iowa State University Press.

Messner, Michael A., McKay, Jim & Sabo, D. (2000) Masculinities, Gender Relations, and Sport. California: Sage Publications.

Prince-Blythewood, Gina (Director/Writer) & Kitt, S. & Lee, S. (Producers). (2000). Love & Basketball. [Motion Picture]. United States: New Line Cinema.

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