Title IX and gender segregation

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Regarding the July 16 Perspectives commentary "Don't Let Stereotypes Win: Girls Should Be Able to Play on Boys' Teams, and Vice Versa": How can Terry Fromson and Nancy Hogshead-Makar state "Boys and girls are not uniquely different in the physical factors that affect athletic skill"? Did Ms. Hogshead-Makar swim in the men's division in the Olympics?

If what Ms. Fromson and Ms. Hogshead-Makar say is true, why do the NCAA and the Olympics and every other serious athletic organization have separate gender classifications? Because reality, not stereotypes, demonstrates that male and female athletes are different. History and Title IX prove it.

In 1972, pre-Title IX, just one in 27 girls participated in high school sports; today, about two in five do.

The number of girls competing in high school sports escalated from under 295,000 to nearly 3.2 million after Title IX. The dramatic increase in girls' and women's participation in sports demonstrates that it was lack of opportunity, not lack of interest, that kept females out of athletics.

Title IX does not take the "gender blind" approach of Ms. Fromson and Ms. Hogshead-Makar. It does not agree that "boys and girls are not uniquely different in the physical factors." Rather, Title IX supports and demands gender-segregated athletics to provide females with real athletic equal opportunity. Ms. Fromson and Ms. Hogshead-Makar could not be any more wrong in their misguided description of Title IX.

Ms. Fromson and Ms. Hogshead-Makar ignore gender under the guise of "equity." They imply that open tryouts for each sport, regardless of gender, would be best. Such an approach defies common sense, would offer females no equal opportunity and would effectively guarantee the demise of female sports. Are they serious?

MARY D. GRENEN
Fox Chapel

The writer is a lawyer who, along with the PIAA, is seeking to modify a court order that has been interpreted to allow boys to play on girls' sports teams.


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