Title

Title IX Isn't the Issue Debate over Gender Equality in Sports Avoids Bigger Problem: Most Kids Don't Play

Document Type

Editorial

Publication Date

9-18-2009

Abstract

According to the data, kids are dropping out of sports as a result of "burnout": pressure to specialize early, train often and adopt a win-at-all-costs attitude.

When it comes to debating Title IX, Maryland is no different than any other state: Parents argue, school sports budgets go up and down, and gender equality is a legitimate goal with no real resolution in sight. But a few things do make our state unique: The University of Maryland, College Park, was the first school to declare cheerleading a varsity sport (an effort to close the equality gap between men's and women's athletics programs). We're also among the wealthiest states in the country, which translates into expensive endeavors for kids' sports.

But while we're busy debating the merits of Title IX, many of Maryland's children are sitting at home, not playing, not physically active. In the post-Title IX world we imagined - where sport participation is open, accessible to boys and girls alike - there is a growing paradox of nonparticipation.