Another Example of How Title IX Hurts Men and Women: Gymnastics

We’ve written a number of times about how the manner in which Title IX is enforced can harm women as well as men. A good example of this is college gymnastics. I’ll let Sherman Cain, a reporter for The Journal Inquirer in Connecticut, explain why:

But let’s face it, in gymnastics, some of us need to be educated. If it weren’t for WGYM [women’s gymnastics], I wouldn’t have known that in 1969, there were over 250 collegiate gymnastics programs in the U.S. Now, there are only 20. Don’t know if that’s only 20 in Division I or 20 overall, but it remains a startling drop-off. Blame Title IX. The first sport dropped by colleges looking to comply with Title IX has historically been men’s gymnastics. Women’s gymnastics has been cut as well, because colleges stand a better chance of being in compliance with Title IX if there is a women’s soccer program with 30 players as opposed to a gymnastics program with 10 participants.

Actually, you need to break things down by men and women. According to the 2008-09 NCAA Participation Report, there were 85 women’s gymnastics teams in the USA, down from 179 in 1981-82. That’s the overall total between Divisions I, II and III. And yes, because of the large roster in Soccer, schools are far more likely to carry a Women’s Soccer team than a Women’s Gymnastics team, as it makes it much easier to get enough women to count for quota purposes.

It’s the situation in men’s gymnastics that’s far more dire. There are just 18 teams left overall, down from 79 in 1981-82. Again, that’s the overall total between Divisions I, II and III. That’s not entirely accurate, as there are no Division II programs left in the country, and only two left in Division III.

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