The last part of the article concludes on the bases of its review that a more general approach is suitable which incorporates various degrees of standardization or adaptation strategies....
Engaging in sports is an important benefit that no human being should be deprived of in a modern society, whether based on racial, age, or gender characteristics of the person. Sports allow youth to believe in themselves, widen their circle of friends and acquaintances, as well as introduce them to an activity they might be willing to later make their profession or lifetime hobby. Discriminating against boys or girls accessing the wide variety of sporting activities would be completely unjust. The only objective reasons to choose one sport over another are personal preferences, individual physical abilities, and infrastructural facilities of the community in which one resides.
In regards to gender equity, social changes are taking place more often. The trend has been for the U.S. to move towards equality for all of its citizens. Reaching this goal means providing opportunities in schools, athletics, and in the job market. This progression has not produced all positive results. With social change comes social conflict. MacArthur and MacArthur (1999) defined social conflict as “the various types of negative social interaction that may occur within social relationships (e.g., arguments, criticism, hostility, unwanted demands), and may include physical violence” (Definition Section, para. 1). Gender equity and Title IX has caused much social conflict. This conflict was highlighted in Gavora’s book. Title IX defenders believed that the advancement of women in sports was due to Title IX. This was evident in their use of the 1999 Women’s U.S. World Cup soccer team as an example of female success. Gavora (2002) believed:
The way people view others is a major source of social conflict, especially when these views lead to discrimination against another individual or group. Wade (2001) researched professional men’s attitudes toward race and gender equity. His work particularly looked at discrimination in the workplace against minorities and women. Wade’s participants in the study were 170 adult men across the U.S., who were contacted by their e-mail, and asked to complete a survey questionnaire. The research examined male reference group identity and how dependence on the reference group caused for the ideology of traditional masculinity to stand out in the professional work environment. Traditional masculinity encompasses what men do and what they don’t do. With regards to a men’s reference group that focuses on traditional masculinity, anything feminine can be frowned upon. Wade (2001) stated:
Role models are an important part to students development. Many female role models have come into the spotlight as a result of Title IX. Athletics and business enterprises have allowed for women to reach lofty goals and influence future generations. Women have fared well in athletics on the field, but this has not carried over to positions of athletic administration. Whisenet (2003) conducted a study to see how women have fared as athletic administrators since the passage of Title IX. An e-mail was sent to all 50 states athletic associations in order to gain demographic information on athletic directors. Twenty-two states responded giving a total of 7,041 athletic directors or administrators. Whisenet found that “of those members, 6,142 were men (87%) and 899 were women (13%)” (Results Section, para. 1). There is an abundance of successful male administrators, which provides direction to young males by showing them required characteristics of athletic administration. Whisenet claims that “many girls may abandon career pursuits associated with athletics because of the absence of a network of women to serve as role models and mentors” (Discussion Section, para. 4). Increased participation opportunities for women may have decreased the number of women interested in pursuing administrative positions.
With the views of the traditional male ever present in our society, progress toward gender equity will be slowed. Title IX has helped the U.S. progress toward equality, but the social conflicts that it has caused remain apparent in society.
The gender system operates to place members of US society into categories, and then allocate labor and resources to those members on the basis of their category membership. In order to better understand the gender system, this study examines the methods by which members of US society use the gender system to place other members into a gender category, and how other social systems such as age and race affect gender categorization. Full and partial facial images were shown to participants, who were asked to identify the sex and/or gender of the individual in the image, indicate how confident they were in this identification, and then write a brief explanation for why they identified the individual in the image as they did. The results of this study point towards an “assumed male” bias in gender categorization. Results suggest that while age has little effect on gender categorization, race and gender do, with respondents being the most confident and “accurate” when viewing self-categorized white males.
In the discussion of gender equity, many social issues arise. The topic is not limited to the three issues of social roles, social change, and social conflict. All three of these issues are interconnected within the struggle of gender equity. It has been shown that women have a history of being discriminated against and they will continue to struggle until society accepts the rules it has set upon itself. The problem with Title IX is that it assumes equal interests and abilities of all people. Gavora (2002) showed that “any honest examination of a law must evaluate its central premise in this case, that the sexes are identical in their interests and abilities” (p.133). It is unclear whether total equality will ever be reached.
Where will the expansion of the power given to Title IX stop? Gavora looked at this issue last as an attempt to show a need for new legislation to create boundaries. Gavora (2002) stated that “even though the public does not yet have an accurate understanding of how Title IX is being implemented today, there are storm clouds on the horizon for use of this law in schemes involving gender equity” (p. 156). Men are feeling most of the negative effects of Title IX and until a better interpretation of the law is presented, they will continue to be punished for things beyond their control.
What does this mean for us today? Does it mean that every woman has the right to play any type of sport? Well, not quite. But it certainly means that every person, notwithstanding their gender, has an equal opportunity to try out for any team, or play a sport that an institution offers. Should there be a distinction between sports for women and sports for men? There are significant objections to this idea, as personal preferences, individual physical abilities, and infrastructural facilities of the community in which one resides that should be at the center of reasoning in regard to which sport is chosen over another.
Title IX had an enormous impact on the sporting world, but its application didn’t stop on the playing field. Gavora (2002) showed how bureaucrats, activists, and radical feminists used Title IX to make claims in the areas of sexual harassment and areas of education where they felt the law applied. In one case, a North Carolina first-grader was suspended from school because he kissed a member of his class on the cheek. Under the law the six-year-old had committed sexual harassment and he was punished. An example of how the law applied in education was the changing of the questions on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT). Questions on the exam were found to be gender biased. Gender discrimination was found in the awarding of the National Merit Scholars based on the PSAT because too few recipients were women.