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Equal Opportunities for Boys and Girls

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  • Pages: 5
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  • Category: Tennis

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Girls’ should not play on boys’ sports teams and vice versa because of biology, statistics, and the law. Physically the male and female bodies are different. One is not superior to the other, but they each have certain traits that differentiate them. The entire human body consists of cells that are based on the sex of the individual. Athletic performance is influenced by these cellular differences. It would be unfair to have all sporting events open competition due to biological differences between the sexes. Statistics based on top athletic performances support this disparity. Additionally, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 outlines the law to provide equal opportunities to both sexes.

Open in sports terminology refers to a sporting event or game tournament that is open to contestants regardless of their professional or amateur status, age, ability, gender, sex, or other categorization. In open competition only the best make the team, as it should be, in order to be competitive. In athletic events that require speed and strength women are at a disadvantage biologically. The male hormone androgen enables men to develop more muscle mass per unit volume of body weight on average compared to women (The Hormones: Androgen). They found that taking androgens alone increased muscle mass and maximum strength in both groups. ‘The men did improve their strength, but it was proportional to the muscle mass they added” (The Hormones: Androgens). Men have more androgen hormones than women and therefore proportionately have larger muscles. Height, weight, body fat, muscle mass, aerobic capacity, or anaerobic threshold are genetic factors that differentiate men from women and women from men (Sanders). These biological factors create an unfair advantage for the male.

Furthermore, at the highest level of competition for most athletic events there are opportunities for each sex to compete exclusively. The top female tennis players can’t beat 200th ranked men’s tennis players. Serena Williams has stated this, and in 1998 she played an exhibition match and lost to the 203rd-ranked male player, Karsten Braasch. Williams’s accomplishments include 23 grand slam championship wins, Olympic gold medals, $84 million in prize money and she doesn’t need wins over male tennis players to justify her greatness. ‘If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose, 6-0, 6-0, in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes,’ Williams acknowledged. ‘The men are a lot faster, they serve harder, they hit harder. … It’s a completely different game” according to Serena Williams (Fixler). The biological differences have consistently shown a 10 percent advantage for the male in athletic events at the highest level of competition.

Some may believe that sports should not consist of single-sex teams. Competition is the name of the game and in sports the best person or team wins. So, if the biological differences in the sexes doesn’t matter, then why do we have single-sex teams? If a male athlete can perform better than a female athlete then they should be allowed to compete and beat, the female athlete and vice versa. What do you suspect would happen to all sporting events if only the fastest and strongest people made the team? What would teams look like? Based on data, women would not make the team. That is why it is not equitable to have both sexes competing for a position on a team.

According to the Women’s Sports Foundation Created by Billie Jean King, “When the best of the women’s performance are compared to those of males across all sports, the difference in performance is approximately 10% in favor of males. This is regardless of training and experience. The average difference in size is also about 10%. Sports for males have traditionally accommodated size difference effectively in such activities as wrestling, boxing, crew, etc. The male who wins in the lightest weight class is no less a boxer than the heavyweight. He is admired for his skill and ability in the competitive arena against similar competition; no one would consider pitting him against the heavyweight. We should view the female athlete in the same way and recognize her ability, skill, and accomplishments, rather than comparing her performance to that of the male. In fact, if sports were entirely open, without any stratification or categories by age, sex, size, weight, etc., only the biggest, strongest males would ever get to compete — in anything” (WSF). This is precisely the reason open competition with boys and girls vying for the same positions is not equitable. Single-sex teams promote equity in athletic competitions.

“Did you know that a boy does not have the right to try out for a girls’ team if there are more boys playing sports at your school than girls? Since boys have more opportunities than girls (they are members of the overrepresented sex), a boy playing on a girls’ team would take away a participation opportunity for an underrepresented sex. Thus, in the interest of the “class” (all girls), boys are not allowed to take spots on a girls’ team even though the reverse is permitted” (WSF). This is outlined in the Title IX law to provide equal opportunities to both sexes. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states, “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 educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” (Title IX and Sex Discrimination).

Based on biology, data, and laws in regards to athletic teams, girls’ and boys should play on single-sex teams to ensure equity. Girls’ should not play on boys’ sports teams and vice versa because there are biological differences that impact athletic performance. The data shows the disparity at the highest

Works Cited

  1. Fixler, Kevin. “The Battle of the Sexes Is Back: Serena Vs. the Men.” 8 August 2013. thedailybeast.com. 19 January 2019.
  2. Sanders, Alice. “Is Gender Segregation in Sports Necessary?” 14 July 2016
  3. “Title IX and Sex Discrimination.” US Department of Education (ED), 25 Sept. 2018, www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html.
  4. “Mythbusting: What Every Female Athlete Should Know!” Women’s Sports Foundation, www.womenssportsfoundation.org/athletes/for-athletes/know-your-rights/athletes/mythbusting-every-female-athlete-know/.
  5. “The Hormones: Androgens.” E.hormone | The Hormones: Corticoids, Tulane University, e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/androgens.html.       
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