On Female Athletes at the Olympics

It’s not a common occurrence we say this, but Professor Erin Buzevis makes a solid observation about Title IX on the Title IX Blog:

“It’s a laudable milestone that this is the first Olympics to which every country has sent at least one woman, and that countries like Russia, along with the U.S., have more female athletes in their delegations than male. But to credit Title IX for this is of course taking things a bit too far.  Title IX is, after all, U.S. law and has absolutely nothing to do with Saudi Arabia’s or Russia’s notions of gender equality.”

As we painstakingly noticed in press coverage of the 40th anniversary of the law, it’s extremely easy for reporters to get wrapped up in the anticipation and excitement of the event. Instead of taking a step back and getting the facts, they publish erroneous articles that are unbalanced, incorrect and often biased.

While it is both noteworthy and promising that more female athletes are participating in the Olympics than they did four years ago, the media must stop promoting the notion that a correlation between other countries’ athletics programs and Title IX exists. In addition, they must recognize that athletes who choose to bypass college in order to chase their dreams of earning Olympics medals owe their success to plenty of other factors entirely unrelated to Title IX.

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