Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Title IX FAQ

Andy sends this:
Q. Hasn't Title IX greatly increased participation by women in sports?

A. No. The Title IX quotas were imposed by President Carter in 1979. Most of the increased participation by girls and women in sports occurred in the 1970s before the quotas were imposed.

Q. What do you mean by "quotas"?

A. The requirement that schools reduce the ratio of males to females on their sports teams to the same ratio in enrollment. If the school is 50/50 in enrollment, then its Title IX quotas push the sports teams to the same gender ratio.

Q. What's wrong with that?

A. Boys are at least twice as interested in sports than girls. And just as the victories go to the best team on the sports field, the funding should go to the most motivated athletes, regardless of gender.

Q. Didn't Title IX help us win the most medals in Athens at the Olympics?

A. Our percentage share of medals in Athens was our second lowest ever at Olympics in which we participated. (Our lowest was at the last Olympics in 2000.) Since Title IX quotas were imposed, our medal share has fallen far below pre-Title IX levels.

Q. Are you against Title IX?

A. No, I'm against the Title IX quotas.

Q. Isn't our women's soccer team doing better because of Title IX?

A. Our women's soccer team did better in the 1990s than it has in this decade. Germany defeated us in the last World Cup.

Q. What about our great women's softball team?

A. Softball is a uniquely American sport. There is even talk about discontinuing it as an Olympic sport.

Q. But didn't women break records at the Olympics in Athens?

A. No. Only six American women were able to win individual gold medals in Athens. And all of them were private club-based athletes. Title IX cannot take credit for any of these medals.

Q. But what's the harm in Title IX?

A. Title IX quotas hurt our competitiveness, and cut off opportunity for developing future athletes. Most of our Olympic athletes now have to go to private clubs to develop their skills. Most people cannot afford that approach, and are not exposed to these private clubs as youngsters.

Q. But you must agree that Title IX helps women athletes, even if the men are hurt.

A. The quotas hurt women too. Women's gymnastics teams have been drastically reduced due to the quotas, and replaced by easy-to-learn sports like rowing and horseback riding. That way schools can boost their numbers of women athletes and meet their quotas. As a result only one of our women Olympic gymnasts ever competed on a college team!

Q. What's your solution?

A. End Jimmy Carter's Title IX quotas as soon as possible. Our competitiveness would improve as a result. Funding would then go to the most motivated athletes, regardless of gender.

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