Saturday, April 2, 2011

Title IX and Athletics


This week for our blog's we had to do a little searching about the issues that involves gender and education.  These issues could be in the classroom, in the school's atheltics, in the school's dress code, etc.  Since I was very involved in my high school's athletic program I have decided to focus the issue of women being able to play sports.

One article that interested me was this one.  This article discusses the issues that women had before and after Title IX was put into place.  As a reminder Title IX states that "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...".  In this article it says that before Title IX women were only allowed to participate in square dancing and cheerleading, only 1 in 27 girls played high schools sports, there were no scholarships for female athletes, and female college athletes only received two percent of the athletic budget.  On the other hand, since Title IX a lot more women are involved in sports, more women receive scholarships, and now more women perform at the elite level whether it's in the Olympics, World Championships, or in the professional leagues.  Another benefit that Title IX brought to women sports is that it helped women stay away from doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and basically prevent them from doing any other stupid things that they would regret if they got in trouble.  I feel as though if Title IX was never passed then I wouldn't be the person who I am today.  Ever since I was little I have always loved to watch and play sports.  No matter what type of sport it is I will play it whether it's just throwing a baseball around, playing basketball, or even playing croquet.  If Title IX was never put into effect then I would be a very miserable person.  In high school I played volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter.  Even though  I would complain about going to practice or complain how I would have no time to socialize with my friends I miss playing every single day.  I never realized it back then but playing sports kept me from going insane and it really helped me keep my mind off of things.

When I was in high school the football team always got the most attention during the fall season.  Literally every single student would attend the football game even if they wouldn't watch the game at all and just use it as a socializing event.  This irritated me so much because the football team had the worst record out of all the fall sports but they still managed to attract all the students to their games.  On the other hand nobody would attend my volleyball games even though we had a much better record than the football team.  This was also an issue during the winter with my basketball team.  Everybody would always go to the boys basketball games and would never go to the girls games even though we had one of the players in the state on our team and we also had a much better record than them.  Fans would always create a "black out event" or a "white out event" for the boys games while nobody would even step foot into the gym to watch our games even though we would actually win our games.

I know that today another issue that I see in high school sports is whether or not cheerleaders should cheer for girls sporting events as well.  I know that the other high school's we played for basketball never had cheerleaders for our games.  However, my school was different and we did have cheerleaders for our basketball games.  By having this was the most awkward thing for us.  Since nobody even went to our games I felt as though the cheerleaders felt awkward and useless too.  Who would they cheer to?  The answer to that question is nobody haha.  We actually hated having the cheerleaders there because they were really annoying and most of the time most of the cheerleaders would just leave and go home because it was so useless for them.

In this video some NCAA student athletes talk about what Title IX brought to women athletes but there are still some things that need to change.  Some issues that they discuss is that women in sports still receive very limited media coverage, lack of overall respect in comparison to men's sports, and they still receive inadequate equipment.  As I am writing this blog I am watching the men's final four games on cbs but as I flip through the channels I see a commercial for the women's march madness games that can only be seen on espn.  Right here is a perfect example of womens sports having limited media coverage.  While the NCAA men's basketball games are being aired on a channel that all viewers can watch even if they don't have cable the women's NCAA basketball games are on espn so if you don't have cable then tough luck.  This just shows me that women's NCAA basketball is not valued as much as men's NCAA basketball even though the women's tournament has a team that once had a 90 game winning streak.  Yes I do understand that women's basketball can get a little boring at times because you never see crazy dunks but I just feel as though they should show the women's games on a popular channel like cbs.

I also found this other video where it uses the technique of having male practice players come in and play against the women to make them quicker, faster, stronger, and to just help them make the sport a little more interesting.  However, some people did not like this idea because it violated the spirit of gender equity in Title IX and results in diminished participation opportunities for female student athletes.  Some people worried about what the bench players were doing during practice and they were also concerned if they were getting any playing time during practice and if these male practice players were taking up their time.  I think this idea is very helpful for the female athletes because it benefits their performance and makes them a better player.  These questions are still trying to be answered but for now male practice players are still being used by division one schools.

Questions that I would like to share in class:  What do other people think of this issue of women not getting enough media attention?  Does anybody have any stories they would like to share that talks about this issue?  Will women's sports ever be dominant over male sports?  What are your thoughts?


  1. Unfortunately, I feel as though male sports will always be watched more than female sports. The football team at my school also had so many people attend their games. People would go just to hang out. My high school football team my senior year won one game, but yet they still got people to go to their games. It was crazy. I just don't understand why other sports, especially women's sports, are not watched as often.

  2. I agree with emily. So many more people would always show up for the boys sports. There would be a girls basketball game going on right before the boys and even though students were there, they would wait outside in the hallway rather than just go in and support the girls. It's sad, but it seems to be true.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog this week (: