“New” Study on HS Athletics Same Old Activist Bunk

A report alleging widespread disparities in athletic opportunities offered to boys and girls in high schools across the country is not a serious policy document worthy of any close consideration but just another iteration of activist groups’ efforts to scare parents, cozy up to Department of Education and drag the three-part test — a law only designed and intended for intercollegiate athletics — into high schools. If the research is believed (it shouldn’t  — the statistics and analytical measurements are questionable) and if the recommendations are followed (better to disregard them), doomed days lie ahead for the millions of high school boys whose teams will be dropped in the quest to maintain equal numbers of male and female athletes.

“The Decade of Decline: Gender Equity in High School Sports” is written by a cadre of special interest groups that make up the gender quota crowd — the SHARP Center (formed by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology and Institute for Research on Women & Gender), Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). The “consultative energy and scholarly insights” of people like Donna Lopiano and Ellen Staurowsky, also shaped the findings. However, they are not impartial outside authorities but part of the lucrative cottage industry of Title IX consultants who stay in business by parroting the talking points of activist groups.

It is risky trusting the study’s authors to guide local school districts, influence the Department of Education and protect the needs of high school students. They don’t have the best interests of students in mind when they favor championing their agendas and building their organizations’ reputations over making sure that their policy prescriptions — namely enforcing equal numbers of male and female athletes and threatening school districts with costly litigation — don’t cause deep-seated, often irreversible harms to the students.

Unfortunately, by purposefully denying that the three-part test is only for intercollegiate athletics, and that the implementation of said test via proportionality has already generated tremendous consequences in colleges and universities nationwide, these groups are only increasing the negative impact on our young student-athletes.


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