Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

Back to Article
Back to Article

Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

Cecily Farrell, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Educational Amendments, which were passed in 1972 by President Nixon, aimed to give all students better opportunities. The most famous of these amendments was Title IX, which pertains specifically to school activities that receive federal funding.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “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 recent years this has benefitted female athletes who have taken an interest in male dominated sports. Sophomore Emma Andreas was a member of the wrestling team during the 2016-2017 season, and despite wrestling being a traditionally male sport, there were multiple females on the team last year.
“I saw an interest poster above my locker and thought it would be fun and get me in shape,” Andreas said. “I wasn’t aware it was a ‘boys’ sport until I went to the interest meeting and was highly outnumbered.”

Although she was one of the few females on the team, this did not stop Andreas from pursuing wrestling.
“Once the guys on the team [got] used to the idea of having us there too, they [helped] us out and [treated] us just like one of the guys,” Andreas said.

While Andreas had a positive experience with her sport, the same cannot be said for all other student athletes. Despite Title IX’s claim of protection, male athletes are still not allowed to participate in some female dominated sports.

Junior Brian Marshall is the manager of the varsity field hockey team and would be interested in playing field hockey if he were allowed to.

“It’s a very aggressive and competitive sport, and I’m surprisingly good at it,” Marshall said.
Marshall would not be allowed to fully participate as a member of the field hockey team, strictly because of his gender.

Marshall is not the first male athlete to be excluded from a female dominated sport. Former Hayfield athlete Connor McLaren faced a similar situation. McLaren graduated in 2015 and was a manager of the field hockey team for four years.

“I first became interested because of my sister,” McLaren said. “She was a senior while I was a freshman and offered for me to be a manager for the varsity team.”

Intrigued by the sport, McLaren began learning the basics of field hockey when he had downtime at practice. Eventually he became good enough to practice with the female players, and when he was a junior, the head coach encouraged him to become a player on the team.

“When I asked the [Athletic Director], he said that the team would have to forfeit every game that the other team didn’t want to play [against] us because of me,” McLaren said. “Having a boy would be an advantage. So me, not wanting the team to suffer at my hands, did not [pursue] it anymore.”

While this seems to contradict the protection promised by Title IX, it does prove to have a purpose. Allowing two genders and four different ages of athletes would leave a wide variety of skill and strength.

“You have such a range of development that putting a freshman vs. a senior, let alone a boy vs. a girl in the same sport, makes a recipe for potential disasters,” McLaren said.

However, there is still some frustration at the double standard. Female athletes in this position are often praised, while male athletes in the exact same position are overlooked.

“What I don’t think is fair is applauding girls who play male dominant sports and encouraging that cross over and then having the opposite reaction when a boy tries a female dominant sport,” McLaren said.

While Title IX is providing positive opportunities for some athletes, changes will need to be made for it to be effective for all student athletes.

“If there were more programs for boys to get involved in youth field hockey or volleyball, the school system and sports system would have to adjust and make it coed or fund teams for both genders,” McLaren said. “That goes for wrestling and football as well: just make it equal across the board.”[/wr_column]][wr_text]The Educational Amendments, which were passed in 1972 by President Nixon, aimed to give all students better opportunities. The most famous of these amendments was Title IX, which pertains specifically to school activities that receive federal funding.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, “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 recent years this has benefitted female athletes who have taken an interest in male dominated sports. Sophomore Emma Andreas was a member of the wrestling team during the 2016-2017 season, and despite wrestling being a traditionally male sport, there were multiple females on the team last year.
“I saw an interest poster above my locker and thought it would be fun and get me in shape,” Andreas said. “I wasn’t aware it was a ‘boys’ sport until I went to the interest meeting and was highly outnumbered.”

Although she was one of the few females on the team, this did not stop Andreas from pursuing wrestling.
“Once the guys on the team [got] used to the idea of having us there too, they [helped] us out and [treated] us just like one of the guys,” Andreas said.

While Andreas had a positive experience with her sport, the same cannot be said for all other student athletes. Despite Title IX’s claim of protection, male athletes are still not allowed to participate in some female dominated sports.

Junior Brian Marshall is the manager of the varsity field hockey team and would be interested in playing field hockey if he were allowed to.

“It’s a very aggressive and competitive sport, and I’m surprisingly good at it,” Marshall said.
Marshall would not be allowed to fully participate as a member of the field hockey team, strictly because of his gender.

Marshall is not the first male athlete to be excluded from a female dominated sport. Former Hayfield athlete Connor McLaren faced a similar situation. McLaren graduated in 2015 and was a manager of the field hockey team for four years.

“I first became interested because of my sister,” McLaren said. “She was a senior while I was a freshman and offered for me to be a manager for the varsity team.”

Intrigued by the sport, McLaren began learning the basics of field hockey when he had downtime at practice. Eventually he became good enough to practice with the female players, and when he was a junior, the head coach encouraged him to become a player on the team.

“When I asked the [Athletic Director], he said that the team would have to forfeit every game that the other team didn’t want to play [against] us because of me,” McLaren said. “Having a boy would be an advantage. So me, not wanting the team to suffer at my hands, did not [pursue] it anymore.”

While this seems to contradict the protection promised by Title IX, it does prove to have a purpose. Allowing two genders and four different ages of athletes would leave a wide variety of skill and strength.

“You have such a range of development that putting a freshman vs. a senior, let alone a boy vs. a girl in the same sport, makes a recipe for potential disasters,” McLaren said.

However, there is still some frustration at the double standard. Female athletes in this position are often praised, while male athletes in the exact same position are overlooked.

“What I don’t think is fair is applauding girls who play male dominant sports and encouraging that cross over and then having the opposite reaction when a boy tries a female dominant sport,” McLaren said.

While Title IX is providing positive opportunities for some athletes, changes will need to be made for it to be effective for all student athletes.

“If there were more programs for boys to get involved in youth field hockey or volleyball, the school system and sports system would have to adjust and make it coed or fund teams for both genders,” McLaren said. “That goes for wrestling and football as well: just make it equal across the board.”[/wr_text][/wr_column][/wr_row]

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Sports

    Girls’ Soccer Senior Night ends with a win

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Sports

    New female softball coaches will greatly improve the Hayfield softball program

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Sports

    Ultimate Frisbee is back in action

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Sports

    Changing districts will positively affect sports

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Sports

    Elly Gorham: From rugby to varsity football kicker

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    News

    Time is ticking to donate to military-connected children

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Opinion

    The five best views and spots of Hayfield

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    News

    Hayfield awarded Purple Star for service to military-connected families

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    Arts and Entertainment

    Fall musical proves to be exceptional but flawed

  • Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity

    News

    Senior ad deadline is approaching

Navigate Right
Title IX fails to give all athletes an equal opportunity