Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good for Goose, but not Gander

Women have been breaking all manner of gender barriers. In the sporting arena, Danica Patrick is driving top level open wheel racing cars against an otherwise male field. Annika Sorenstam took a whack at the PGA tour. Katie Hnida became the first woman to score in a Division I college football game.

All hale the goose.

However, what is good for the goose is apparently not so for the Gander.

Kenyon Smith is a male synchronized swimmer.

I'll pause for a few moments while you collect the pieces of your oxymoron detector. I could hear the detonation from here.

All set? Okay, then.
[Kenyon] swims, in unison, with the Santa Clara Aquamaids, a club of synchronized swimmers. All the other Aquamaids are girls. They wear sparkly bathing suits, gobs of makeup and starlet smiles as they splash-dance around the pool. They show a lot of leg.
What's worse, apparently he is very good.
He's a phenomenon. His twists and splits and head-down pirouettes are crisp and fast. His rocket [from context, apparently some special swimming move, and not, well, any rocket in his pocket] thrusts him out of the water, pointy-toes first, all the way up to his armpits. He can swim almost 75 yards underwater without blacking out.
Emphasis added, quite possibly redundantly.

However, despite -- "because" seems a better fit here -- being very, very, good, no amount of good will earn him a college sports scholarship, or a spot in the Olympics.

Two things mystify me here.

First, absent bald-faced, teeth bared, barking hypocrisy, how is it that any attempt to deny, say, Danica, would be met with howls of outrage, yet excluding Kenyon is OK?

Second why is it we all instantly assumed that a guy who surrounds himself daily with attractive, scantily-clad women is gay?

103 Comments:

Blogger Duck said...

First, absent bald-faced, teeth bared, barking hypocrisy, how is it that any attempt to deny, say, Danica, would be met with howls of outrage, yet excluding Kenyon is OK?

Why is it that in a marriage her money is her money, but your money is "our" money? It's a basic asymmetry of nature.

Second why is it we all instantly assumed that a guy who surrounds himself daily with attractive, scantily-clad women is gay?

Its not because he wants to be around women, but he wants act like a woman among women. That's the gay part. Same with ice skating. There are sports, and then there are activities that we ended up calling sports just to let women participate. Anything with style points isn't a sport.

March 21, 2008 2:19 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

That "my money mine your money ours" was the first thing to cross my mind. However, it isn't quite appropriate.

In these cases, it is about athletic competition. The question being, why do women get to compete, wherever their merit comes anywhere close to making the cut, in male sports, yet the inverse is not true?

Think of Title IX. And this guy isn't eligible for an athletic scholarship.

Its not because he wants to be around women, but he wants act like a woman among women. That's the gay part.

Yeah, I knew that. I was going for a cheap joke.

BTW, you are up way too late. Get some sleeep.

March 21, 2008 4:23 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Actually, I'm up way too early. I went to bed at 7:30 pm.

March 21, 2008 4:34 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

I've wondered why synchronised swimming and ice skating get to be called sports but not professional wrestling.

March 21, 2008 7:49 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Issue conflation alert

The fact of the matter is Kenyon is participating in an activity he loves.

That some people point and jeer and others try for cheap laughs at his expense says only things about them and nothing about him or his avocation, whether it's recognized by Title IX or the Olympics as a 'sport' or not.

Is synchronized swimming a scholarship sport at any college in America? I don't know. But if it is, with a willingness to use the court system, boys like Kenyon could, in my off-hand legal estimation, make themselves eligible to receive one.

Title IX was enacted in response to a huge demand by girls for equality of treatment, training, and support for their desire to participate in organized sport. Girls are allowed to play baseball and football with boys all the way up to high school because enough o them want to, and enough of them can hang with the boys, that denying them is simply wrong on its face.

The San Francisco Park and Rec Department operates a Co-Ed Softball League because there is sufficient demand for it among the citizenry.

When there are enough boys in the world like Kenyon who are willing to swim upstream against our culture's endemic misogyny and avocational rigidity, more of the 'girls sports' will feature male participants.

March 21, 2008 11:03 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

I haven't checked this, but I read somewhere that Barack Obama's mom was a professional synchronized swimmer? Is this a great country or what?

Lonbud, until she died and for several week thereafter, I was represented in Congress by Patsy Mink, who introduced Title IX (which is now officially named for her.)

She was a nice lady but as nutty a liberal as ever lived.

Everything you say is sorta right, but the way the law is written, it is a requirement that the sexes have EXACTLY the same interest in sports.

Since in the real world, they don't, boys have to be prevented by the majesty of the national government from competing in sports they like and that, strange to say, other people like to watch them compete in.

Completely insane.

March 21, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Can you provide an example (or more) of boys being prevented from competing in sports they like under the provisions of Title IX, Harry?

March 21, 2008 12:05 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Here ya go.

March 21, 2008 1:13 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

I appreciate the quick response, but the example offered is problematic on a couple of scores.

I tend to view the matter similarly to theobromophile in the comments thread of the post. No piece of legislation can be applied in a national context of our breadth complexity and have it cure systemic, historical prejudice perfectly in every instance.

Using a school like Howard, due to its small size and special circumstances as a HBCU also overstates the effects of Title IX compared, say, to those at large, land-grant universities.

Title IX may have its flaws, but the goal of affording girls a more equitable opportunity to play sports in college than we historically gave them is a good one.

Does anyone think the WNBA would exist without Title IX?

Notwithstanding all of that, I think the implication of Hey Skipper's post is that somehow the rise of feminism and the increase of opportunities for girls to pursue endeavors not traditionally thought of as the province of the fairer sex have created inequitable bars to boys who might want to pursue endeavors not traditionally considered manly arts.

It may well be harder today for guys to get away with girly stuff than it is for chicks to be buffed, but Title IX is not to blame for that.

March 21, 2008 3:18 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Yeah, well, I'm not too interested in Skipper's point and I am totally uninterested in synchronized swimming, except as it illustrates the ability of humans to devote endless effort to doing pointless things (although I also have religion for that, I don't really need synchronized swimming).

However, I am interested in a law that mandates that men and women will be EXACTLY interested in the same things and that brings the power of the state to bear against deviants.

It is now three decades in the past, so finding a recent example of discrimination against boys in college sports is not easy. But there was plenty of it in the early days (pre-Internet, so don't ask me for links).

It also worked against the participation of girls in sports.

Specifically, in Iowa THE most popular sport, of all sports, used to be 6-girl high school basketball.

A suit alleging that the 6-girl game disparaged the likelihood of girls to get college scholarships for 5-girl basketball was successful, and the program was destroyed.

In my county this year, a similar suit to equalize the timing of high school sports in order to enhance the likelihood of girls' getting a college scholarship has resulted in the destruction of 2 o the popular high school boys' sports.

So those boys won't be getting any scholarship offers, but who cares? They're boys.

March 21, 2008 3:34 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Yeah, well, I'm not too interested in Skipper's point and I am totally uninterested in synchronized swimming, except as it illustrates the ability of humans to devote endless effort to doing pointless things (although I also have religion for that, I don't really need synchronized swimming).

However, I am interested in a law that mandates that men and women will be EXACTLY interested in the same things and that brings the power of the state to bear against deviants.

It is now three decades in the past, so finding a recent example of discrimination against boys in college sports is not easy. But there was plenty of it in the early days (pre-Internet, so don't ask me for links).

It also worked against the participation of girls in sports.

Specifically, in Iowa THE most popular sport, of all sports, used to be 6-girl high school basketball.

A suit alleging that the 6-girl game disparaged the likelihood of girls to get college scholarships for 5-girl basketball was successful, and the program was destroyed.

In my county this year, a similar suit to equalize the timing of high school sports in order to enhance the likelihood of girls' getting a college scholarship has resulted in the destruction of 2 o the popular high school boys' sports.

So those boys won't be getting any scholarship offers, but who cares? They're boys.

March 21, 2008 3:34 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

lonbud;

You asked for an example, and then when I provide one you disdain it as not obviously representative. Well, duh, it's an example. Classic moving the goalposts.

But you're getting close to grasping something very important when you write "No piece of legislation can be applied in a national context of our breadth complexity and have it cure systemic, historical prejudice perfectly in every instance". The view point here is like that, except we'd write "most instances" instead. But darn, you're close!

March 21, 2008 3:57 PM  
Blogger Duck said...

That some people point and jeer and others try for cheap laughs at his expense

I just said it was gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Title IX was enacted in response to a huge demand by girls for equality of treatment, training, and support for their desire to participate in organized sport. Girls are allowed to play baseball and football with boys all the way up to high school because enough o them want to, and enough of them can hang with the boys, that denying them is simply wrong on its face.

Why is it wrong on its face? Sorry, but I don't accept that there is anything intrinsically unjust about segregated sports. I think that the majority of both girls and boys are more comfortable with and benefit from sporting competitions with and among their own gender. That there are a handful who feel some burning need to cross gender barriers doesn't put society under any obligation to enable that desire. As the wise man said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

Does anyone think the WNBA would exist without Title IX?

Is the vital necessity of that accomplishment supposed to be obvious? Is there anyone on this blog that can name more than one WNBA team, or more than two WNBA players, or even what city won the championship last year?

Right now it is little more than a failing exercise in gender equity idealism, like one of those sixties communes that tried so hard to deny human nature. I guess I'm supposed to feel shame for not having the slightest interest in watching competitive women's basketball. But I'm not. Apparently I'm in the majority.

March 21, 2008 6:14 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Well, as I noted in my very first comment, the original post and the commentary preceding my joining the conversation conflated a number of issues.

I feared a coherent, reasonable discussion had low probability odds of ensuing and I was right.

As usual, it's all the Left's fault.

Harry: I am interested in a law that mandates that men and women will be EXACTLY interested in the same things and that brings the power of the state to bear against deviants.

I'd be interested in decrying such a law as well. Let me know when you find one. Title IX has no such mandate.

Duck: As the wise man said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

Which wise man was that, pray tell. Was he named Karl by any chance?

March 21, 2008 10:16 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

lonbud;

As even theobromophile admitted, Title IX has equal interest as a de facto mandate, because of the legal immunization issue. You can say that wasn't the intent, or not the purpose, but the fact remains that this is the effect of the law. Here on the right, when one defends legislation, you must also defend what it actually does in the real world. Laudatory intent does not suffice.

March 22, 2008 6:56 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Karl? No, it was Mr Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

I'd be interested in decrying such a law as well. Let me know when you find one. Title IX has no such mandate.

The statute is broad and vague, which makes it perfect for ruinous over-interpretation by feminist appeasing administrations (Carter, Clinton) and courts. Also it makes publicly funded schools and colleges vulnerable to lawsuit intimidation by feminist interest groups.

Many schools have eliminated male programs rather than face litigation. Proponents of Title IX claim that in a perfect world free of the legacy of past discrimination women and men will show an equal interest in sports. You'll have to excuse my unreconstructed sexism, but you have to be deluded to really believe that this is the case. Gender differences in athletic ability and in sports interest are real. Females should have access to athletic opportunities, but not at the expense of males, and not according to some ideologically based formula that mandates strict equality of funding and participation.

March 22, 2008 7:18 AM  
Blogger erp said...

My kids were in high school when Title IX went into effect and they kicked the boys out of the gym. The boys were very angry because very few, if any, girls ever used the gym during their designated time.

A bunch of the guys decided to show up at cheerleading tryouts to see how the girls liked equality that went both ways, but when they got there, they were just unceremoniously kicked out.

So much for fairness. After a while, the boys started drifting back and pretty soon they had the gym to themselves again. Fair? Probably not in the minds of the moonbats who insist that we humans conform to their contorted idea of "equality."

Things are probably much more organized now and lots of girls are playing basketball as well as other sports. Like everything else, are they playing on teams because of the pressure or do they really like competing on a physical level? ¿Quién sabe?

Girls playing on the same team with boys? If they're good enough, why not? No special favors though, not like the military or the military academies or the fire department or the police department ...

Professional women's sport teams? Sure, if there's a market for it -- no subsidies though.

March 22, 2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

Girls playing on the same team with boys? If they're good enough, why not?

For some sports, maybe. Like tennis or volleyball. But in sports where male aggression is a major component, like football or hockey, I don't think that boys should be put into a position of having to aggressively tackle, hit or check a girl. Even if she is the physical equal of the other boys, it is not psychologically healthy to ask a boy to violently hit a girl. Male sports is mostly about channeling male aggression into a more socially acceptable and even useful form. But male aggression against females should never be channeled or encouraged in any way. It should be outright prohibited.

March 22, 2008 8:24 AM  
Blogger David said...

Here's a decent Reason Magazine article on the effect Title IX had on men's athletics:

http://www.reason.com/news/show/27986.html

In a nutshell: The Clinton Administration pushed an interpretation of Title IX that held that Colleges could be certain of being in compliance only if the number of women actually playing sports, as a percentage of all athletes, approximately the percentage of all students who were women. In other words, colleges could either spend lots of money to fund women's sports -- for which there might not be takers, if, in fact, women are less interested in team sports then men -- or they could save lots of money by cutting men's sports, which would reduce the percentage of male athletes. Guess which they chose?

The Bush Administration backed off this (nonsensical) position and wrestling, in particular, seems to be making a comeback.

March 22, 2008 10:01 AM  
Blogger erp said...

I don't know whether it's good for a boy's psyche to tackle and try to hurt girls on the sports field, but could it be worse than the drunken debauchery being discussed on this string? At least on the field, girls aren't drunk or drugged and have a fighting chance of leaving with their honor intact even if they may lose some teeth or have their ribs broken.

March 22, 2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

erp
I don't think its an either/or. Actually I think that one (boys encouraged to inflict physical harm on girls in sports) would exacerbate the other. I think that's a bridge we shouldn't cross.

March 22, 2008 10:28 AM  
Blogger erp said...

We're not going to cross that bridge, the youngsters involved will make those decisions.

When girls have self-confidence enough [that's where you dad's come in] to be comfortable of their own worth, they'll neither allow themselves to be assaulted by callow yuts in the frat house or on the playing field.

March 22, 2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

That some people point and jeer and others try for cheap laughs at his expense says only things about them and nothing about him or his avocation ...

Well, no, it doesn't say anything about mean ol' "them."

Other than, perhaps, a willingness to make a prediction based upon significant evidence. The vast majority, if by no means all, of male flight attendants, figure skaters, interior decorators, fashion designers, and dancers, to name but a few examples, are, in fact, gay.

That doesn't, of course, mean Kenyon is gay. But it also doesn't get to mean that people are suddenly disallowed from observing, and even joking about, the rule.

After all, white men can't jump.

Girls are allowed to play baseball and football with boys all the way up to high school because enough o them want to, and enough of them can hang with the boys, that denying them is simply wrong on its face.

Absolutely.

My wife is the best natural athlete I have personally known. Hall of Fame tennis player at William and Mary. She desperately wanted to play little league baseball, but was prohibited, despite being better than nearly every boy on the team.

Denying her was, as you say, wrong on its face.

However, the moment that point is won, then there is no longer any honest basis upon which to keep boys off girls teams. Of course, what is really going on is that old saw about walking dogs: the point isn't that the dog walks badly, but rather that it walks at all.

This has nothing to do with guys getting away with doing girly stuff, and everything to do with full-stop hypocrisy.

A college football team would be excoriated if it decided that women were to be excluded regardless of merit, or position.

Okay, fine. Why doesn't that work the other way?

+++

Regarding Title IX insanity. Here is a decent compilation of articles on the subject.

Including the new effort to apply Title IX to science and engineering education.

A law mandating males and females will have identical interest in certain things is leftist blank-slate nonsense: as good an example of faith-based reasoning completely immune to evidence as one is ever likely to find.

In my county this year, a similar suit to equalize the timing of high school sports in order to enhance the likelihood of girls' getting a college scholarship has resulted in the destruction of 2 o the popular high school boys' sports.

Happened last year where I lived in Michigan, too.

+++

Duck:

Why is [gender segregating] sports wrong in its face?

Because, presumably, sports participation past the entry level is solely merit based.

Now, it just so happens that there is scarcely a sport (where the participants are older than about 15) were women have sufficient athletic merit to be even remotely competitive on a men's team. Absent affirmative action so grotesque as to make even its most ardent advocates blush, women in contact sports is a non-starter.

So, generally, the question simply never arises; but, in non-contact sports where it does, women's "advocates" insist upon merit being the sole criteria.

That's fine so long as merit is the sole criteria. Except, as this example shows, it isn't.

March 23, 2008 11:36 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

An activity can be labeled "gay" as well. Smith might be hetero, but SS is still gay from a male point of view. It's just basic Man Law.

March 23, 2008 12:48 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Here on the right, when one defends legislation, you must also defend what it actually does in the real world.

Despite every piece of anecdotal evidence one might wish to assemble, the practical, real-world effect of Title IX has been to increase opportunities for women to participate in organized sports at the collegiate level.

This increased participation has not come at the expense of boys' opportunities.

March 23, 2008 3:51 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Enter this google search string:

"Title IX" men sports

Here is just one extract from the result:

... activist administrators have interpreted Title IX as demanding equal outcomes. Colleges and universities must demonstrate "participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments." Not surprisingly, schools eager to avoid costly lawsuits often make the numbers add up by reducing sports opportunities for men.

Stories of teams sacrificed to Title IX, such as James Madison University's eliminating seven male sports-teams last fall, occasionally make headlines. Yet a new analysis of NCAA data from the College Sports Council reveals the law’s disturbing impact on male athletics. In brief, the average number of male teams offered by an NCAA Division I institution fell from 10.2 in 1981-82 to 8.9 in 2004-2005 (a decrease of 14 percent) while the average number of women’s teams rose from 7.3 to 10.2 (an increase of 40 percent).

Some male sports are going extinct. The number of Division 1 men’s gymnastics teams shrunk from 59 to 17 between 1981 and 2004; wrestling teams declined from 146 to 86; and even the number of Division 1A football teams — the villains in the eyes of Title IX's most active proponents — fell from 137 to 117.


Emphasized text highlights the blank-slate thinking essential to activist administrators.

Who would no doubt deride the faith-based community without a hint of irony.

March 23, 2008 5:28 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Here's an even better (as in: more specifically appalling) search string:

"Title IX" baseball

Perhaps you need to rethink This increased participation has not come at the expense of boys' opportunities.

March 23, 2008 5:41 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Before we bombard lonbud too badly, I would ask on what basis he makes the claim "This increased participation has not come at the expense of boys' opportunities". He belittles our anecdotes, but at least those are facts. Lonbud, do you have any facts of your own, or is this assertion purely faith based?

March 23, 2008 7:14 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

You guys crack me up.

Is it the legislation itself that's the problem, or is it 'activist administrators' with their wide-ranging agendas and endowment-protecting fears of the dreaded litigation bogeyman?

What exactly do we mean, gentlemen, by 'opportunities' when it comes to collegiate sports?

What does a Division 1 sports team exist for?

For that matter, what does an intercollegiate sports team at any level exist for?

To the extent that they exist, as is the case at, say, 50 or 100 of the top Division 1 schools, as vehicles to produce revenue for the University and (to a much lesser extent, and for a tiny fraction of the participants) as something of a farm system/minor league for the major professional sports leagues, Title IX has had no adverse effect on mens' sports.

Since its enactment, all of the major professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and even soccer leagues have added teams. Competitor leagues have arisen, fallen, and been subsumed into the dominant leagues... never in the history of professional sports have boys had more opportunity to become wealthy by playing sports.

And even for the no-glamor, grunt workers, never have boys had more opportunity to play beyond college in leagues in the US, Canada, and Europe.

On flip side, Division 1 collegiate sports programs have become major revenue centers for their universities and the great preponderance of those revenues are derived from boys' sports.

Oh, but it's the sports like gymnastics and wrestling that suffer, you say, and sports programs at smaller schools like Howard University and James Madison.

Tell me this: is every university under some sort of obligation to endow and support intercollegiate competitive sports in every category?

If my son chooses to go to James Madison for its world-class micro-biology program is his college experience somehow diminished if he can't also play lacrosse against teams from Ohio State and the University of Wisconsin?

Do you guys know about intramural club sports on college campuses? Have you ever heard of the Park and Rec league sports that exist in almost every city and town of any consequence in America?

Believe me -- and this is a stone-cold fact -- there is not a boy in America who can't, due to the existence of Title IX, pursue any sport he loves to the best of his ability and to the extent of his desire.

He's enrolled in a college whose administration reorganizes its athletic priorities in view of Title IX? Let him transfer somewhere else if he wants to wrestle at the college level so badly.

Aren't you the crowd that's always braying about people re-training and moving to where the jobs are when some community or industry gets decimated by the invisible hand of the glorious Free Market?

March 24, 2008 11:10 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Not actually true, lonbud. Wrestling has been mentioned. Title IX came in while I was in Iowa, where wrestling is big.

There were any number of high school wrestlers who wanted to continue but lost their chances.

I never heard of any post-high school club wrestling or pro wrestling or amateur wrestling opportunities, but then, I was only sports writer.

That said, I disapprove of organized sports for children and of college sports. But that isn't my point. There are people who don't disapprove, and the law has interfered ridiculously with their freedom.

March 25, 2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

I beg to differ, Harry.

What do you mean by "wanted to continue but lost their chances"?

Here is a helpful link where you can fine the embarrassment of riches available to boys who'd like to pursue sports beyond high school.

Query by sport for Men's Wrestling and division by All.

I stand firmly by my assertion that there is not one boy in America who, by virtue of the existence of Title IX, has been prevented from pursuing a wish to play the sport he loves, to the best of his ability, to the extent of his desire.

As for IA, the Univeristy of Iowa Hawkeyes were NCAA champions again this year, and took two individual titles as well.

Every wrestler in Iowa can apply for admission to his home state school and enjoy the benefits of perhaps the country's best supported collegiate wrestling program.

If there's a "lost chance" in there somewhere, it likely has more to do with grades or talent than it does with Title IX.

March 25, 2008 12:22 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

You guys crack me up.

And every word following it was completely irrelevant. Whether there should be college sports, or the availability of sports outside the college context, has no relationship to the effect of Title IX on college sports.

In your subsequent post, the link you posted is also completely irrelevant to your assertion. Providing a list of existing NCAA men's teams says not a word about how many have been lost to Title IX.

To reiterate, because I doubt you actually read the examples others and I have listed, in order to ensure avoiding Title IX litigation -- which will always be driven by the most easily offended -- colleges have fallen upon the portion of Title IX that insists sporting opportunities reflect the student body gender balance.

Which runs head on into the first problem: the absurd notion that men and women are equally inclined to participate in sports.

Therefore, because women do not participate in sports to anywhere near the same degree as men, the only alternative colleges have had is to reduce men's opportunities to the participation level of women.

That is insane.

I stand firmly by my assertion that there is not one boy in America who, by virtue of the existence of Title IX, has been prevented from pursuing a wish to play the sport he loves, to the best of his ability, to the extent of his desire.

You have left out the important qualifier: in college.

To repeat from above, in case you missed it:

the average number of male teams offered by an NCAA Division I institution fell from 10.2 in 1981-82 to 8.9 in 2004-2005 (a decrease of 14 percent) while the average number of women’s teams rose from 7.3 to 10.2 (an increase of 40 percent).

Some male sports are going extinct. The number of Division 1 men’s gymnastics teams shrunk from 59 to 17 between 1981 and 2004; wrestling teams declined from 146 to 86; and even the number of Division 1A football teams — the villains in the eyes of Title IX's most active proponents — fell from 137 to 117.

March 27, 2008 12:29 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

As I said before, all your anecdotes and all your statistics do not countervail the real-world fact that no boy in America has been prevented by the existence of Title IX from pursuing the sport he loves, to the best of his ability, to the extent of his desire at any level, including pre- and post-college.

Yes, some schools may have reduced their commitment to men's sports programs, and some of those reductions may have come as defensive measures against a perceived risk of litigation under Title IX.

But all of that is irrelevant to the question of whether, in the wake of Tile IX, boys have been prevented from playing sports, whether boys anywhere in this great land are sitting at home playing video games or doing sudoku puzzles or poking around in the entrails of computers because they don't have an opportunity to play sports.

And the answer to that question is there is not one boy in America who wants to play sports and cannot do so because Title IX exists.

Not one.

March 28, 2008 1:33 AM  
Blogger Duck said...

And the answer to that question is there is not one boy in America who wants to play sports and cannot do so because Title IX exists.

lonbud, one could have said the same about girls prior to the enactment of Title IX. Any girl that really wanted to could organize her own local sports team to play any sport she wished. If that is your threshhold for discrimination, then there never has been any discrimination against girls, short of laws that said they could not play sports, period.

March 28, 2008 2:47 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Except that's not my threshold, Duck. Prior to Title IX, at many schools there were no girls programs at all and there was actual, active discrimination against girls playing sports and against the idea of supporting "girls sports" like volleyball and softball.

I am saying there is not a single boy in America today who is prevented by Title IX from pursuing the sport he loves, to the best of his ability, to the extent of his desire. It's very simple.

Title IX hasn't required any boys to organize their own local sports teams to play the sports they want to play. Boys have a virtual cornucopia of officially organized, lavishly funded, rabidly supported outlets for playing sports at every level all across this great land.

March 28, 2008 9:57 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

You know, lonbud, when I lived in Raleigh, N.C., and the municipal swimming pool prohibited black children from swimming there, that law was OK, because it did not prevent the black kids from digging their own swimming pool.

March 28, 2008 1:41 PM  
Blogger David said...

Lonbud: You're being more Catholic than the Pope. Even supporters of Title IX agree that schools have responded to it by cutting men's sports in order to fund women's sports. And if you don't wrestle, for example, in college, you won't make the Olympic team.

Now, supporters think that that's ok, or its the result of schools making bad decisions, or schools refusal to find new money to fund every one, or a commitment to playing Division I football when they should save money by moving down a division.

March 28, 2008 2:03 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Harry, feminists insist on parity between boys and girls in school sponsored organized sports even though many, if not, most teenage girls just aren't that interested. Many and varied reasons for this, but whatever, it's still a shame that programs for boys who are interested can't find funding.

This is in no way analogous to black kids being invited to dig their pool during the bad old days when white only was the rule.

March 28, 2008 3:32 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

erp is absolutely correct about the meaninglessness of Harry's pool analogy. Laws that enshrine discrimination are, at this stage of our evolution, quite obviously empty of force or meaning.

What none of you seem to grok is that while individual mens programs have been discontinued or downsized in the wake of Title IX, the practical effect has not been to actually prevent any boys from playing sports.

No Olympic-class wrestler in America has gone unnoticed or untrained because there are fewer or smaller wrestling programs in the post-Title IX world. To believe so assumes that in the pre-Title IX universe the availability of boys' sports programs exactly matched and did not overserve the true demand among boys for sporting opportunities.

Call me Catholic if you will, but I just observe the landscape and I don't find anywhere that boys go wanting for opportunities to play sports.

There are simply no boys anywhere pining to whack a ball or throw something or hit something or someone or race or compete against one another who can't do it because money or facilities have been dedicated to giving girls a chance to do the same things.

March 29, 2008 3:32 PM  
Blogger David said...

I'd be interested in knowing how you came to that conclusion, since the consensus of people who think about this for a living, both those who support Title IX and those who oppose it, is the opposite.

Let's go about this a different way: do you think that, given two populations, one of college age women and one of college age men, and unconstrained choice, the same percentage of women as men would chose to participate in intercollegiate athletics?

March 29, 2008 3:43 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

David:

I'm not sure I agree that a) anyone actually gets paid to think about Title IX for a living, or b) that there is a discernible consensus as to the law's effects on the availability of opportunities for boys and girls to play intercollegiate sports.

I'm not sure, either, that I'd be willing to posit a guess as to what percentage of two populations of college-age women and men would choose to play sports, given unconstrained choice in the matter.

I will say, however, that I do not find it unreasonable in the least for colleges to support opportunities to play sports for men and women in degrees that roughly approximate the relative enrollment populations of the sexes at any one particular school, which is, according to my understanding of consensus on the matter, what Title IX requires.

March 30, 2008 6:32 PM  
Blogger erp said...

"... roughly approximate the relative enrollment populations ..."

Even though no where near as large a percentage of girls want to play organized sports as do boys. Must girls be coerced into sports programs and taxpayers fund them so that feminists foolish fantasies of equality may be pandered to.

March 31, 2008 3:37 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Now that would be a good scoop for the intrepid journalist, a story on all those demure little angel women who'd prefer to be in home ec, or art history classes but are instead being forced by leftist, bull-dyke college administrators to play sports!

March 31, 2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Whoa, ionbud. Quite a leap in logic.

If a girl doesn't want to participate in organized sports it means she's a demure little angel women who'd prefer to be in home ec, or art history classes-- so then does that make girls who do participate in sports big brazen broads?

BTW - "Leftist, bull-dykes" sounds redundant? Does anyone know? Are there conservative bull-dykes?

March 31, 2008 2:20 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

hmmm, Margaret Thatcher? Jeanne Kirkpatrick? Ann Coulter?

I've actually known, personally, a couple of demure, angel women who could turn a double play and stick a jump shot from fifteen feet, but chances are, without Title IX, they'd have never had the opportunity to do it wearing their school colors in college.

March 31, 2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Now that would be a good scoop for the intrepid journalist, a story on all those demure little angel women who'd prefer to be in home ec, or art history classes but are instead being forced by leftist, bull-dyke college administrators to play sports!

I'm not sure I have ever seen an argument turned so perfectly inside out.

To reiterate, the problem is this: In order to avoid the wrath of Title-IXists, schools provide gender specific sports opportunities in proportion to the M-F enrollment ratios.

This makes the insane presumption that, ceteris paribus, women and men have precisely the same desire to participate in sports. However, people apparently have little respect for the blank-slate thinking upon which nearly all the Left's notions rest. Women in droves do not participate in sports. Which renders ... colleges [supporting] opportunities to play sports for men and women in degrees that roughly approximate the relative enrollment populations of the sexes at any one particular school completely unreasonable and anti-human.

Inevitably, this leads to the knock-on effect of divorcing male sports opportunities from the male desire to participate, and instead predicating it upon the female desire to participate. Title IX's evil twin is comparable worth legislation.

Perhaps the hidden agenda of Title IX is to feminize higher education?

What none of you seem to grok is that while individual mens programs have been discontinued or downsized in the wake of Title IX, the practical effect has not been to actually prevent any boys from playing sports.

The heck it hasn't. As your sidestep from any boys to [no] Olympic class wrestler ... should have alerted you.

When a college eliminates a baseball program, where do the players turn?

April 03, 2008 10:10 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

When a college eliminates a baseball program, where do the players turn?

If they really want to play, that is, if they are at college to play baseball and are not merely interested in playing baseball because they can, they find another baseball program.

After all, there are only more than 1000 schools in America that sponsor NCAA-certified baseball programs.

But if they are like the vast majority of boys I have ever known, like the overwhelming preponderance of boys who go to college and play sports not as a career choice but as an extracurricular activity, they pick another sport. There's plenty to choose from at every school in the land.

I repeat: Title IX has not prevented one single boy in America from playing the sport of his choice to the best of his ability to the extent of his desire. Not one.

April 03, 2008 1:54 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

You can't be serious, as proven by contradicting yourself within the space of two paras:

... like the overwhelming preponderance of boys who go to college and play sports not as a career choice but as an extracurricular activity, they pick another sport.

does not play well with

Title IX has not prevented one single boy in America from playing the sport of his choice to the best of his ability to the extent of his desire. Not one.

You may assert that as often as you like, but it will continue to run afoul of the facts.

There are plenty of college age men who love playing baseball, succeed perfectly well at the college level, while fully realizing playing professionally is not in the cards.

Should a college fold its baseball program because not enough women choose to engage in sports -- an insanity that has happened far too often -- then those young men have nowhere to turn.

Well, of course you will say they can pick another college that has a baseball program. However, you must see how self defeating that argument is: Title IX isn't guilty of depriving males of any sports opportunities until the very instant all opportunities are gone, since, according to you, so long as two teams remain, the boys can always find another program.

Predicating the sports options available to men based upon female participation is leftist nonsense distilled to its very essence.

Well, perhaps not quite. If you followed my links above, you will have read that people who think about Title IX continuously are intent on applying it to the hard sciences and engineering.

April 03, 2008 4:12 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

We're going round and round in a dosey-do here that's getting nowhere.

You appear to believe that boys have some sort of inalienable right to play every sport at the intercollegiate-level at every college in the nation, which, to me, seems just as insane a notion as requiring a school to fund its offering of girls' and boys' sports programs in balance with one another, and in relation to the enrollment of the sexes, seems to you.

The fact of the matter is that if a boy wants to play a sport in this country, there's nothing stopping him, even in the case where his school of choice doesn't offer a program in the sport of his choice.

Your fear of the 'feminization' of higher education, of the hard sciences and engineering, is irrational and, frankly, somewhat sad.

Time was, men didn't think women were fit to pilot aircraft, either, or to fight fires. Both assessments have been proved wrong, as will the belief that hard science and engineering will somehow suffer if girls get to play the game.

April 03, 2008 9:58 PM  
Blogger erp said...

ionbud, are you being deliberately obtuse by refusing to understand the arguments being presented against Title IX?

Parity of the Sexes:

Men/boys like organized sports, are big and strong and have an aptitude for the hard sciences.

Women/girls not so much by a large margin..

These are the facts.

Pretending otherwise is foolish and wasteful of resources. Determined athletes, both male and female, can probably can find programs to suit their needs somewhere in our great land. That isn't the issue. The issue is why should we waste taxpayer funds on a costly policy built on a false premise?

Parity between men and women's sports programs, while expensive, is just foolish feel goodery, but forcing a parity of women and men in the sciences or in areas requiring size and strength like military combat, police and fire fighters, etc. is insanity and dangerous to the public weal. If women wish to enter these mostly male fields of endeavor, they should qualify at the same level as men, but as you know, that's not the case, and that's what makes the whole equality thing a farce.

While women, no doubt, can pilot a plane brilliantly, I question whether many have the killer instinct to be a fighter pilot. God knew what he was doing when he gave males testosterone and young males that feeling of invincibility that causes them to risk their own safety to protect the rest of us.

BTW - Women with an aptitude toward the sciences aren't being kept out, but welcomed.

April 04, 2008 4:56 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Obtuse?

Title IX doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. The law requires schools that receive federal funding to ensure fair treatment in their funding of sports programs for girls and boys. Period. It's a direct, reasonable approach to remedying systemic, historical discrimination against girls who desire the opportunity to play sports at the intercollegiate level.

The practical effect of the law has been to open up opportunities for physical fitness and lucrative, satisfying career paths denied to girls for years; the same fitness opportunities and career paths boys have been encouraged to pursue, and on which mountains of cash were lavished for generations.

At the same time, boys have suffered no diminution in their fitness opportunities nor in their ability to pursue said career paths as a result of Title IX.

Title IX has had the practical effect of making the physical education and organized sports pie larger than it was prior to the law's enactment.

Believing in orthodox generalities about big, strong, sports minded men/boys endowed by 'the creator' with aptitudes for science and blowing shit up is far more dangerous to the commonweal than giving girls who lean that way the opportunity to rock and roll, too.

Believing in orthodox generalities about people is obtuse.

In addition, it turns out there are more ways of 'protecting the rest of us' than sending testosterone addled young men with invincibility delusions off to wars planned by doughy old men who never fight them but always profit thereby.

April 04, 2008 2:54 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

lonbud, I am still not clear on why the absence (via cancellation) of male sports teams by a university has no impact on men's opportunities, but the absence (via not getting started) of women's sports teams has a strong negative impact on women's opportunities.

April 04, 2008 5:02 PM  
Blogger erp said...

ionbud, Whenever I hear the words, "doesn't cost taxpayers a dime" I grab my wallet and run for my life.

Facts of Title IX life:

- The vast majority of girls just don't want to play in organized sports.

- Men and women are different and that difference is most apparent in teens and young adults.

You may rage against it and want to force everyone to conform to your world view, but it ain't gonna happen.

BTW Why do you think anyone on this string wants to prevent girls from rocking and rolling or doing anything else they want to do? No comments I read suggested anything remotely like that.

April 04, 2008 6:16 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

According to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, in 2006 there were roughly 42 million people between the ages of 15 and 24 living in the U.S.

21.8 million males and 20.6 million females.

In 2005 (the latest year available), there were 3.8 million males between the ages of 14 and 24 enrolled full-time in US colleges; the female number was 4.5 million.

In the 2005-2006 school year, 225,000 males and 169,000 women played on collegiate sports teams.

That is, about 6% of boys in college played sports, but only 1% of the general population of boys played college sports.

True enough, only 3.8% of girls in college played sports and only .8% of the general population of girls played college sports, but what's the glaring takeaway about erp's so-called Facts of Title IX life?

The vast majority of young adults of both sexes have no interest in playing collegiate sports.

The presence of the draconian, nanny-state heavy hand of Title IX affects the lives and college experience of fewer than 1 in 10 students, fewer than 1 in 100 young adults.

Some people tilt at windmills; you guys are just grasping at (hot) air.

April 04, 2008 11:31 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

So, Title IX was an irrelevant bit of fluffy legislation that had no real impact?

April 05, 2008 5:56 AM  
Blogger erp said...

SH The real impact is to taxpayer's wallets.

April 05, 2008 7:18 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Obtusity reigns...

Title IX is not without impact, it has resulted in the opportunity for some 169,000+ women to play collegiate sports where once the opportunity did not exist.

It has resulted in significant expansion of career opportunities for women in organized sports at many levels where once those opportunities were rare or non-existent.

And it has had these effects while at the same time impacting a miniscule number of both men and women in the general population.

It's a perfect example of legislation that grows markets at little to no cost to anyone, least of all actual taxpayers.

erp, please explain why you believe Title IX impacts taxpayers' wallets. The law contains no mechanism for dispersing tax revenue. It merely makes the receipt of federal funds by an institution contingent on the institution's fairness in providing men and women the opportunity to play sports.

April 05, 2008 1:40 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

So, 169,000 is a minuscule amount? You switch around between college students, young adults, and the general population so fast that you leave me dizzy. As far as I can tell, you select whichever one of those categories gives you the result you want ("a lot" for positive effects and "minuscule" for negative ones). If the case for Title IX is so solid, why do you need to do that?

April 05, 2008 3:19 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Sorry if the conversation moves to quickly for ya, AOG, but I'm not switching between anything.

It's all part of a very coherent narrative in which Title IX helps girls play and train for careers in sports without hurting boys, at no cost to the taxpayer and in such a way that, on balance, actually affects only a very small percentage of people in the general population.

Anyone who "thinks about Title IX for a living" and comes to the conclusion that it represents some sort of "insane" preference for women over men, or somehow portends the imminent demise of our ability to protect ourselves, or heralds the erosion of American supremacy in the hard sciences is simply off in the weeds howling at imaginary ghosts.

April 06, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Susan's Husband said...

Nope, still incoherent. As noted above, you can't simultaneously claim that adding programs for girls helps but removing programs for boys doesn't hurt. Either the programs have an effect, or they don't.

April 06, 2008 10:01 PM  
Blogger erp said...

ionbud, your arguments are tiresome.

Yesterday's (4/6/08) USA Weekly Sunday supplement had an article about Billie Jean King who I think we can all agree knows a lot more about women's sports than any us.

Among a lot of positive things she said about Title IX for those women interested in organized team sports said the following in answer to a question about why women don't attend sporting events like women's basketball games?

Because they don't get it. Here's how a guy looks at a ticket: "I'll buy a season ticket, and I'll worry about who we're going to give the tickets to later." Here's how a woman looks at them: She goes, "What days should we go, and how many free things can we get?" Women don't appreciate it -- they do not connect. They didn't grow up in the culture.

King confirms my contention that only a very small percentage of women are interested in participating in team sports or watching them whether the players are men or women.

Federal funds in the form of various grants and incentives aka as bribes are given to schools who comply with, among other nonsensical things, Title IX. If a school chooses to not comply, we save money, ergo the tax payer funds it.

Your other distortions of my remarks make no sense. I am merely describing human nature as it is. There are male characteristics and female ones. Neither is better or worse -- only different.

Ms King seems to get the obvious -- that there are differences between the sexes and their attitudes towards organized team sports, why can't you?

April 07, 2008 7:15 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

SH: Yours is a perfect example of the 'zero sum thinking' Hey Skipper is always going on about as a hallmark of those on the Left.

Pre-Title IX, boys were wildly over served in the provision of opportunity to play sports, thus adding girls' programs and diminishing some boys' programs can in fact help girls without hurting boys.

In addition, many reductions in boys' programs have come not as a result of girls' programs created under Title IX, but rather from funds being shifted out of boys' baseball, wrestling and gymnastics (for example) and into boys' football and basketball.

It is simply a fact that boys have not been hurt in any way by Title IX.

erp: I see. So, a sixty-something former professional tennis player who is best remembered, if at all, for her participation in a made-for-TV event cooked up to sell advertising in the 70s, ipso facto "knows a lot more" about women's sports than any of us.

I'm sorry, but I do not subscribe to celebrity-based claims of knowledge or authority on any subject.

She, like you, is under a delusion rooted in the belief of orthodox generalities about humans and human behavior.

I don't know how many sporting events you attend in a given year, but over the past forty years I have been to college and professional sporting events -- football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, gymnastics and wrestling -- in half a dozen major American cities, have been a season ticket holder for many of them, and there has NEVER been a lack of women who were both interested in and knowledgeable about the game in the stands.

BJK and you are both stuck in a limiting conceptual framework based on stereotypes of male and female characteristics. Any individual human can possess and exhibit an infinite variety of desires and behaviors that could be ascribed to either side of the genetic ledger. To permanently tag them as one or the other based on "plumbing" is myopic, at best.

Finally, your ascription of Title IX's abuse of the taxpayer to fuzzy-minded notions of bribery and subsidy smacks of facile, zero-sum thinking. You'll have to do better than that to show how taxpayers "fund" Title IX programs.

April 08, 2008 8:48 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

You need to knock off the glaringly evident factual errors, self-contradiction, and stand down the strawmen platoons. Those are the reasons we are going in an endless dosey-do.

So, to set things straight, let's review.

If Title IX had been written to insist that, wherever there are enough women to form a team (using the same criteria -- whatever they might be -- that colleges use to support teams for boys), colleges support women's teams to the same extent they support men's teams, there would be no argument here.

That might even have been Title IX's goal. No matter. The test for adequate support of women's teams is one of the hallmarks of leftist thinking that renders self-diagnosis as the "reality based community" a mockery: team opportunities will reflect the student body's gender distribution.

Of the fallacies to which the Left is perpetually prone, blank-slate thinking is the most pernicious. That compliance test completely rests upon the notion that women and men have identical interest in sports participation, and where that interest is different, it is due solely to society imposing false consciousness upon the officially aggrieved group; in this case, women.

There are several reasons blank-slate thinking is so pernicious. First, it is dead wrong (If you haven't yet, read Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate". In case that wasn't sufficient reason right there, following in train is the deductive consequence that humans are a malleable mass in the hands of the political intelligentsia. When these toxic elements are mixed, coercion is the inevitable consequence.

Title IX encapsulates it all. Absent blank-slate thinking, there is precisely no reason to believe girls have anything like the interest in sports that boys do. Simple observation of girls and boys at play, no matter the culture, would seem to be sufficient antidote. Sadly, it isn't.

Having disregarded the reality in front of its eyes, when results do not match theory, then so much the worse for results: here comes coercion. That is not fair treatment; that is acting in thrall of the Left's sine qua non.

In this case, coercion comes in the threat of expensive lawsuits where participation differs from the pre-ordained parity. Two options are on offer: force more women to participate, or force fewer men to participate.

Because it is easier to stop a men's team than frog-march women onto the field, the consequence has been to eliminate men's teams in order to attain the results blank-slate thinking (which should be termed "mythical", except it would give mythology a bad name) ordain.

Consequently, the amply documented fact of the matter is that sports opportunities for college men have significantly diminished solely due to the Left's original fallacy. Insisting otherwise is either delusional, or disingenuous. Which is it?

Time was, men didn't think women were fit to pilot aircraft, either, or to fight fires. Both assessments have been proved wrong,

Nonsense.

I have personal experience here, which, in the interests of time, I will have to condense. In a previous life running an Air Force pilot training squadron, DACOWITS descended upon us to demand we stop discriminating against our female student pilots. After the initial, headline grabbing, cadre of women fighter pilots, scarcely any women students were choosing to fly fighters.

The blank slate was once again raising its ugly, unshaven, head.

As it happens, flying fighters is physically strenuous and involves doing things with airplanes that are far riskier than run of the mill point A to B stuff. In the pilot training environment, that means close formation during dynamic maneuvering.

In other areas, women's performance was similar to men's. A little weaker in maintaining a detailed mental model of the airplane's relationship to the outside world, but sufficient to getting the job done. However, when it came to formation flying, very few women got any closer to maintaining position than "same way, same day".

As a result, very few women had good enough grades to choose fighters. And of those few that did, almost none chose fighters over transport category aircraft.

Now, if the AF was to follow Title IX thinking, the AF would reduce the number of fighters in the inventory until the gender distribution worked out.

That would be insane, of course. But that is precisely the same thing going on with Title IX.

Fortunately for us, AF training standards and documentation are so thorough that DACOWITS backed down.

As for firefighting, there are virtually no women who are physically capable of passing the strength standards. So much the worse for the standards.

... as will the belief that hard science and engineering will somehow suffer if girls get to play the game.

If I ever have need to demonstrate to anyone what a strawman argument is, this will be Exhibit A.

By all means, if you can find anywhere on this thread, or even anywhere in society, where people think hard science and engineering will suffer due to female participation, then by all means bring it up.

Until then, though, you are saddling your opposition with an assertion they have never made.

If you followed the links above, though, you will find that Title IXists are, in fact, attempting to use their fantastical blank-slate thinking to force engineering and science departments to attain the same gender distribution as the student body. Which, absent frog-marching women into engineering, must, as it has with sports, come at the expense of opportunities for male students.

Interestingly, though, this nonsense never goes the other way. As noted above, women may (in the vanishingly few instances where they are able) compete alongside men, but it never goes the other way around.

So, why is it that Title IXists are not targeting the Departments of Nursing or Education?

NB: Equality of opportunity does not entail equality of results.

Oh, BTW, mixing the general population, or young adults, with the college population, when only the latter is subject to Title IX, is either sloppy, or disingenuous. Which is it?

Of course, in all of this you miss the fundamental problem with Title IX: because it so thoroughly disregards human nature, it attains the same end of all Leftist notions: coercion.

Whether that effects 6%, or 60% of college boys is irrelevant. Coercion is what coercion does.


BJK and you are both stuck in a limiting conceptual framework based on stereotypes of male and female characteristics. Any individual human can possess and exhibit an infinite variety of desires and behaviors that could be ascribed to either side of the genetic ledger. To permanently tag them as one or the other based on "plumbing" is myopic, at best.

Wow, you have contradicted yourself within the space of a couple posts.

Up above, you graciously informed us that women choose to participate in sports at much lower rates than men. Yet here you diagnose any statistical conclusion that might be derived thereby as stereotyping, using as justification the obvious fact that any individual human can possess an infinite variety of desires and behaviors.

Please note for future reference: Statistics are meaningless at the level of the individual; Title IX, by its very nature, deals with groups, not individuals.

Take a 1,000 female college students, and 1,000 of their male counterparts. Tell them there are as many bats, balls, and gloves (or tennis racquets, volleyballs, etc) as required for as many of each as want to participate.

Any guesses as to which group will have the highest participation?

Guess what, there are such thing as (statistically speaking) gender specific behaviors. Observing that they exist, far from being myopic, is a triumph of observation over the Left's blank-slate magical thinking.

April 08, 2008 11:25 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

That fusillade of verbiage does not a whit to establish that Title IX has had the effect of reducing opportunities for boys to play sports.

The simple fact of the matter is that opportunities to play sports have never been greater, for boys or for girls. That girls' opportunities exist at all, however, is due in many respects to the presence of Title IX.

If Title IX has any coercive effect, it is not unlike the coercive effect of the Geneva Conventions in providing opportunities for prisoners of war to receive humane treatment at the hands of their captors.

Oops.

I forgot; we've abandoned laws against torture and the principle of habeas corpus as too coercive. Maybe I am wrong about Title IX.

Take a 1,000 female college students, and 1,000 of their male counterparts. Tell them there are as many bats, balls, and gloves (or tennis racquets, volleyballs, etc) as required for as many of each as want to participate.

Yes, and about 60 boys will strap on the gear; and about 38 girls will do the same. Title IX would permit a 55 - 45 split in the funding of the relative programs.

As we say on the court, "no harm, no foul."

April 08, 2008 11:51 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Skipper said all that needs to be said on the subject of Title IX. He also made the same point about fighter pilots and fire fighters that I did, but much more eloquently and with much more authority than I -- thank you sir.

At one point in this string, you referred to organized team sports as the rationale for Title IX. You seem to have dropped that tact. Individual sports are much more likely to appeal to girls/women, so these two populations aren't interchangeable. There's no way that 38% of women would choose the gear for organized team sports.

In fact Billie Jean King said in the article that her first love was team sports, basketball in particular, but she switched to tennis because that was where the opportunities were. The arrant arrogance of your dismissing Ms King as irrelevant when she was in the forefront of women's sports for a lifetime is truly breathtaking.

The complexities of federal funding and our educational systems would be lost on someone whose reading comprehensive doesn't include the simple statements Skipper has painstakingly, patiently and courteously reiterated for the umpteenth time.

I'll merely add that I've never been to any sporting event on my own volition, only to accompany the men of my family or to see my own sons play. I'll bet that's true of the vast majority* of women at sporting events whether they are knowledgeable about the game or just enjoying the spectacle.

Of late, I've gone to see my granddaughter play soccer in a town sponsored league (she's 10). My older granddaughter was an enthusiastic basketball player, but dropped it when puberty kicked in. I expect the same will be true of the younger one. If not, we'll support her (uncoerced by leftwing dogma) decision to participate as long as she likes.

*Vast majority means less than 100% -- leaving room for that small number who don't fit the pattern.

April 08, 2008 12:55 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Since I went to no small amount of effort to put that "fusillade of verbiage" together, the least you could do is actually engage the argument.

Your repeated assertion that "... that opportunities to play sports have never been greater, for boys or for girls" is true only in the most trivial sense imaginable: your use of the word "or" instead of "and".

In other words, your statement would be true even if the opportunities for college men went to zero, and the opportunities for women increased by one.

That has been your pattern here. You introduce irrelevancies, and rely upon dodgy wording to avoid the point that is staring you right in the face.

Which, to repeat, is this: As a consequence of Title IX enforcement mechanisms, combined with college women failing to fulfill their destiny as defined by the blank-slate thinking absolutely essential to the left, teams for college men have been significantly cut across the country. Gymnastics and wrestling have been particularly hard hit, but even baseball has suffered. Not from lack of male participants, but, rather, from lack of female interest in female sports.

And, to further repeat, the threat of litigation is very coercive. You are a college administrator faced with spending several hundred thousand dollars, or more, defending the college against Title IX litigation based upon a precept that cannot be ignored, no matter its bright, glittering, preposterousness. Or, you can come into compliance by cutting a few men's teams. In what way is that not coercive?

So, please, re-read my previous post and engage the argument I made, instead of repeating assertions that are either demonstrably false, or only trivially true.

And, BTW, no need for OT comments that demonstrate perhaps rather less knowledge of the Geneva conventions than you might wish.

Yes, and about 60 boys will strap on the gear; and about 38 girls will do the same. Title IX would permit a 55 - 45 split in the funding of the relative programs.

Actually, the numbers would be about 700 to 38. And in order to avoid Title IX litigation in the face of female disinterest, a great many of those 700 would be turned away.

You do not, I trust, dispute all those mens teams that have been shut down, do you?

April 08, 2008 1:35 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

When it's not a purely financial, business decision, men's sports programs at colleges and universities across the land are more likely to face cuts and shut-downs as a result of administrators moving funds to other mens' sports such as football and basketball, which produce revenue for the schools and attract rabid boosters, whose generosity is lavished far more disproportionately on mens' sports than on womens'.

Your assertion that boys' opportunities to play sports have been reduced by Title IX is simply not supported by the data.

Anecdotal evidence of a boys' wrestling program at State U getting the budget axe doesn't mean that boys who want to wrestle have been harmed as a group. It just means they can't wrestle at State U anymore, which is no biggie because there are plenty of other places to wrestle in this country with its embarrassment of riches when it comes to sports!

Never have opportunities for boys AND girls been so great as they are today. Title IX has had the effect of increasing the size of the entire intercollegiate sports pie at no net loss to boys, with the happy side benefit of creating opportunities for girls where once there were few to none.

Upon what do you base your wildly over-optimistic estimate that 700 out of 1000 boys would choose to play sports given the unfettered opportunity?

My number of 60 is rooted in hard data from the presumably trustworthy Statistical Abstract of the US.

BTW: erp, 38 out of 1000 is 3.8%, not 38%.

You folks are demonstrably wrong on this issue and it's kind of embarrassing to see you clinging to stereotypical myths about boys and girls and men and women to argue against a law that has actually benefited both genders.

April 08, 2008 5:20 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Your assertion that boys' opportunities to play sports have been reduced by Title IX is simply not supported by the data.

Oh yeah?

"Boys playing baseball since the age of five cannot get athletic scholarships," Jessica Gavora, the author of Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX (Encounter Books), recently pointed out. Gavora spoke to a mid-August luncheon sponsored by Accuracy In Media

The lack of scholarships for baseball players, wrestlers and gymnasts results from federal government enforcement of a provision of the Civil Rights Act designed to remove barriers female athletes faced three decades ago, Gavora says. The federal government enforces this law by demanding that colleges offer sports scholarships to female athletes in proportion to the distaff side of the student body, Gavora explains.

"Title IX of the Civil Rights Act mandates equal participation in sports for women even though women participate in sports at a lower rate than men," Gavora says. Gavora herself played basketball in high school.

To comply with the law, colleges routinely cut men's sports teams and offer scholarships in every conceivable women's sport, according to Gavora. Gavora currently works as a speechwriter and advisor to U. S. attorney general John Ashcroft.

"Female athletes today receive more scholarship aid per capita than men, " Gavora points out. Three decades of compliance with Title IX have left male athletes across the country with 60,000 fewer opportunities, Gavora points out. The NCAA records 500 more ladies teams than men's, Gavora says.

"There are only 20 gymnastics programs left in U. S. colleges," Gavora says. "College wrestling's been cut in half and baseball has nearly disappeared." Enforced by the U. S. Department of Education, the 1972 law leaves colleges and universities denying scholarship aid to wrestlers, baseball players and gymnasts while scrounging for female athletes.

"Athletic directors are trolling campuses looking for tall, broad shouldered women," Gavora reports. Most female teams, in turn, are offering open tryouts with a no cut guarantee.

Although colleges and universities plead financial constraints when they drop mens' teams, Gavora says this is not the case. When both Providence College and Marquette University offered this explanation for dropping the men's wrestling program, alumni from both institutions came forward and offered to raise money to cover not just the operating expenses for the team but the scholarships that came with being on it. Gavora graduated from Marquette.

College administrators from both schools said no. Running afoul of Title IX puts colleges and universities at the risk of losing federal aid. Thus, says Gavora, "Although they use cost as an excuse, they want to even the body count."


Or, check this.

The N.C.A.A. insisted on 1 percent gender equity proportionality, meaning that the percentage of female students and the money spent on their sports must be within 1 percent of each other. Participation of women in sports continues to trail enrollment rates of women at many colleges, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

That is from the first two hits on "Title IX baseball"

I'm calling shenanigans.

April 08, 2008 6:19 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Sorry, I didn't mean to type a % sign. It doesn't change anything I said.

April 08, 2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Gavora says...Gavora explains...Gavora points out... Is Jessica Gavora the undisputed heavyweight champion of Title IX punditry, or what? The fact that she's a speech writer for John Ashcroft says quite a bit about the bias upon which she cuts her opinions.

Here's NCAA President Myles Brand – a former president at Oregon and Indiana – on why schools [cut] men’s teams: “They’re really being cut because of the budgetary squeeze and strategic decisions made by institutions. I think that’s the underlying reason. Title IX then becomes an excuse to cut men’s sports.”

Brand calls Title IX a “scapegoat” for schools that want to focus on revenue sports.

Here's more, related to James Madison's decision to cut 10 teams (7 mens' and 3 womens') from its athletic programs, much ballyhooed at the time as a prime example of Title IX's "insanity."

“This was, for the most part, a business decision,” said Lamar Daniel, a Title IX compliance consultant and former U.S. Education Department official whom James Madison first hired in 1999. Daniel attributed the university’s decision to cut the teams to a desire to scale back its sports program — at 28 sports, one of the biggest in Division I — to a more manageable size and scope in the hope of making the teams it is keeping more competitive without spending more.

“This is about funding; this is about money,” he said. “It’s not about Title IX; Title IX is only a consideration in this matter in that you have to consider the impact of Title IX in any athletic decision.”


In order to comply with Title IX, proportional representation is not the only avenue for withstanding the terrible specter of debilitating lawsuits. A school may also show that it

a) Demonstrates a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented gender; or,

b) Provides full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of the underrepresented gender.

As with many subjects that tend to get people hot and bothered and cause fulminations of protest about the "injustice of regulation," one only need follow the money to get a real understanding of what's going on.

April 08, 2008 9:33 PM  
Blogger Bret said...

It seems eminently reasonable to me that when one organization pays (or gives) a 2nd organization money, that the first organization be allowed to attach conditions to that money. If the 2nd organization doesn't like those terms they can always reject the money.

The government has every right to insist on Title IX for those colleges that receive funds from the government. If the colleges don't like it, they can refuse the funds.

The part I don't like is that fact that there are very few, if any, colleges that aren't sucking heavily at the government teat. The part that I don't like is that the government is slowly wrapping its tentacles around every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave.

To me it's actually incredible that the federal government controls (or even influences) the ratio of men and women playing sports in college. That seems to me to be way, way beyond the bounds of what the government ought to be involved in.

April 08, 2008 10:09 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

The fact that she's a speech writer for John Ashcroft says quite a bit about the bias upon which she cuts her opinions.

I don't care if she is an inveterate nose picker. If her argument is factually wrong, then point that out. Otherwise, you are resorting to ad hominem attack.

From Reason Magazine

Cal State University Bakersfield cut its only Division I team, which "...had distinguished itself over the years, winning two PAC 10 championships and finishing in the top 10 in the NCAA finals three out of the previous four years."

The problem was "gender equity", the code phrase for basing allowed male opportunities based upon how many females are willing to engage in sports.

The California chapter of NOW "claimed that the Cal State System discriminated against women in its athletics programs. A state superior court judge crafted a consent decree that gave individual CSU campuses five years to bring the gender breakdown of their student athletes and scholarships to within five percentage points of the breakdown in the student body. If a school's student body consisted of 55 percent women, then at least 50 percent of intercollegiate athletes needed to be women. On the financial front, total expenditures for men's and women's programs were to be within 10 percentage points of each other."

Unfortunately, the campus was 63% female, but apparently they didn't get the sports memo, since 61% of CSUB's varsity athletes were male.

The first thing to come was capping the number of men allowed on the wrestling team's roster -- in your view, that apparently counts as increasing opportunities for men. Then, "[in] 1996, on the eve of the PAC 10 finals and the Division I championships, the Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee, which advises CSUB's president on athletic policy, announced plans to cut the wrestling program to meet the consent decree."

Rhode Island's Providence college face the same problem: 59% of the student body was female, yet that yielded only 43% of the student athletes. Bye-bye baseball, followed by men's golf and tennis.

"Baseball, tennis, and golf were the three sports that, when you combine their resources together, delete them from the male side of the picture, [and] add those resources to the women's side of the picture, put...us in compliance with Title IX's proportionality mandate," explained Providence Athletic Director John Marinatto to the PBS special National Desk. School administrators had watched neighboring Brown University get sued and lose for not having its numbers right; they feared a similar lawsuit. "We just couldn't risk that kind of litigation," the Rev. Terence J. Keegan, Providence's executive vice president, told The New York Times. "We felt we were backed into a corner."

Blank-slate idiocy and coercion all wrapped up on one tight little package. Which, of course, increased men's opportunities, according to you.

Despite [equal opportunity] intentions, Title IX has become, in the approving words of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), "the biggest quota you've ever seen." Speaking at a 1997 House Constitution Subcommittee hearing, Waters emphasized that point, calling Title IX, "a quota -- [a] big, round quota."

Unfortunately, the quota game is running head on into reality:

Yet there is ample reason to believe that there is more to gender disparity in college sports than lack of opportunity -- however that term is defined. If Lopiano is right, compliance with Title IX shouldn't be too difficult for schools: All they would have to do is offer the same number of teams for women, and the problem would go away. But this doesn't always work. Schools have indeed built sports opportunities for girls, but boys continue to turn out in greater numbers. Hence, as of 1998-99, there are more male college athletes (211,273 men vs. 148,803 women, according to the NCAA), even though there are more female teams (8,374 women's vs. 8,004 men's). In other words, women have more chances to play sports, but they don't take advantage of them as often. College-level intramural sports, which are purely voluntary, are dominated by men, with nearly eight in 10 athletes being male, according to a 1994 study by consulting firm Pacey Economics.

So, as I was saying, Title IX is quota driven, based upon blank slate idiocy, and while certainly something was required to provide women something like equal access, using quotas as the basis has produced thoroughly pernicious results.

By all means, read the entire article.

Then come back and demonstrate how NCAA President Brand and Lamar Daniel, a Title IX compliance consultant, for pete's sake, should be taken at their word.

Additionally, you said: In order to comply with Title IX, proportional representation is not the only avenue for withstanding the terrible specter of debilitating lawsuits.

Wrong.

In 1996 Norma Cantu, assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education, made it clear that while a school could theoretically meet Title IX requirements in any one of the three ways outlined by HEW, the only true "safe harbor" for a school was to offer "proportional opportunity." At the same time, Cantu redefined opportunity to mean the number of women playing sports, not the number of spots available on a school's teams. On this reading, explains Mark Martel, attorney for former CSUB wrestler Stephen Neal, "an opportunity equals an actual participant. So if a woman's team could have had 25 athletes but only 20 go out for the team, there are only 20 opportunities. If a men's team has 25 opportunities and 25 men go out, then there is unequal opportunity."

Wow. That is an interesting definition of "opportunity".

April 09, 2008 5:29 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Skipper, I'm surprised at you, though not surprised at the fact that you had to turn to decade-old (and more) commentary to bolster your fantasy that Title IX is quota-based, or that its effects have on balance reduced opportunities for men in college sports, both of which ideas have by now been thoroughly discredited on all fronts by the data, by school administrators, the NCAA and by the Dept. of Education.

You should join us here in the present, where there have never been more opportunities for boys AND girls to play the sports they want and to pursue sports-related post-graduate employment.

Look to the future, where, based on the participation rates today of boys and girls in extracurricular sports at the elementary and middle-school levels portend a time not long in the future when collegiate participation in sports will be roughly the same between the genders!

All of it thanks to Title IX, and at no cost to the US taxpayer. This truly IS the greatest country on earth.

April 09, 2008 7:23 PM  
Blogger David said...

I thought Lonbud's failure to link to Myles Brand saying what Lonbud says he says was a little odd, so I did some Googling.

This doesn't seem to be exactly what Lonbud was looking at, but it's close. Careful readers will note that Mr. Brand confirms that Title IX has caused colleges to shut down men's sports teams. Of course, says Mr. Brand, they could have spent all the money necessary to fund every possible sport's team, so it's not that Title IX forced them to do so.

April 09, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

I have never maintained that men's sports programs at individual schools have not been axed in view of a school's effort to comply with Title IX.

However, evidence of a pedestrian getting hit by a bus in an individual locale neither proves the danger of walking in that locale nor the propensity of pedestrians to get hit by buses generally.

On balance, taken as a whole, opportunities for boys to play sports in college in the US have not been diminished by the existence of Title IX.

In addition, on balance, taken as a whole, where men's programs have been cut, the main factors in the decision have been financial, largely tied to schools preferring to fund other mens' programs such as football and basketball, which produce more revenue than sports such as swimming, wrestling, gymnastics, and baseball.

April 09, 2008 10:43 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

not surprised at the fact that you had to turn to decade-old (and more) commentary to bolster your fantasy that Title IX is quota-based ...

It is not my fantasy that Title IX is quota based, it is staring you in the face. Or was the article's author lying?

I wasn't overly worried about the date, because the citation clearly demonstrated the inherently quota based nature of Title IX, its consequences, and the highly divergent interest in sports between males and females.

Also, I doubted anything had changed.

In fact, nothing has. From April 2007:

James Madison University ended 10 male teams. JMU ... has an undergraduate enrollment of 15,800 — 61% women, 39% men. After the cuts, 61% of its athletes will be women, 39% men.

And that is from a starting point of 13 male and 15 female teams.

Accusations such as yours that these changes are financially motivated are bunk. "If this was solely for financial purposes, we would not have done it," Bourne says. "It saves $550,000 in a budget of $21 million."

That money, he says, will be reinvested into scholarships in the remaining women's sports. He says none will go toward football's $4.2 million budget.


As for your repeated, untainted by evidence assertion that [on] balance, taken as a whole, opportunities for boys to play sports in college in the US have not been diminished by the existence of Title IX.

Nonsense. If you focus on quantity, then the statement is true. However, absent shortfalls in numeracy, or intent to deceive with numbers, you would note (as the Reason article did) ratio in supporting that claim

Which you can't.

April 10, 2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Skipper:

JMU axed 10 teams, but in fact 7 were mens' teams while 3 were women's teams. Curious that a decision to cut teams in order to comply with Title IX would include cutting women's teams, but, whatever.

You can also pretend that Title IX does not have a provision whereby a school can comply by showing its opportunities comport with the interest in sports shown by its student body, but your willful ignorance of it cannot write it out of the legislation. Hence, despite the rationales proffered by any individual administrator or pundit, Title IX is not a quota-based regulation.

April 10, 2008 5:48 PM  
Blogger David said...

Lonbud: But if someone is arguing that our new requirement that the same proportion of bus drivers be blind as there are blind people in the population has been win/win because we've reversed our historic prejudice against blind bus drivers while not one pedestrian has suffered any ill effects, then pointing out someone who was hit by a blind bus driver disproves his point.

I note that you've moved from "not a single" to "on balance."

April 10, 2008 6:52 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

JMU axed 10 teams, but in fact 7 were mens' teams while 3 were women's teams. Curious that a decision to cut teams in order to comply with Title IX would include cutting women's teams, but, whatever.

You are correct; I misread. That said, all scholarship money was reprogrammed to the women's teams, and the cuts on both sides were specifically designed to meet the pre-ordained quota.

I do not pretend that Title IX lacks a provision allowing schools to prove compliance by having participation proportionate to interest.

However, you may not pretend that provision has any practical meaning. All litigation and enforcement has been quota based.

If you had read the cites sufficiently closely, you would have noted that the DoE had proposed surveying incoming freshman in order to assess compliance with respect to actual interest instead of blank-slate quotas.

Title-IXist furiosity shot the idea down in its tracks.

Hence, despite your apologetics, Title IX is, in its implementation, purely quota based.

David:

It is further worth noting that "on balance" is mathematically indefensible.

April 10, 2008 8:34 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Oh, I stand by my contention that there isn't a single boy in America who can't play college sports because of Title IX; that much is undeniable unless you believe every sports-loving boy is also entitled to a scholarship.

In addition, "on balance" is very mathematically defensible, insofar as there are more total mens' sports teams, and more money is being spent on mens sports at the collegiate level today than pre-Title IX.

But beyond all that, there's the matter of how we do things here in America.

Before Title IX, there were enough women who believed, and enough people generally who supported those women in their belief, that they were being discriminated against in their desire to play intercollegiate sports. And they raised enough ruckus to get a law enacted to address their grievances.

Now, if the law was poorly written (and heaven knows our lawmakers have shown themselves capable of enacting poorly written laws over the centuries), and if the effect of the law was to create discrimination or harm to, say, men-boys who want to play intercollegiate sports, then the so-aggrieved citizenry is free to petition congress for redress.

And where the hue and cry becomes great enough, and the harm and injustice of the law is shown to be so unbearable as to demand amendment, so it shall be done.

That's how we do it here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let all those men-boys who can't play college sports today go to Katie Couric, or to Lou Dobbs, or to Bill O'Reilly, or to Oprah, or to their own representatives in Congress and tell the world how Title IX is attenuating their natural-born inclination to run and jump and kick and swing and by golly, that draconian Title IX law will get changed, yes, it will.

Don't hold your breath, though, for those men-boys to materialize.

April 11, 2008 12:40 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Oh, I stand by my contention that there isn't a single boy in America who can't play college sports because of Title IX; that much is undeniable unless you believe every sports-loving boy is also entitled to a scholarship.

You can stand by that contention all you want, but there are two problems with it.

First, it is untainted by evidence.

Second, you have made a serious category mistake. Title IX does not apply to college sports, it applies to intercollegiate sports. So, to tell a guy he can play on the dorm softball team instead of running on the school's track team is to replace soup with nuts.

Your contention is mathematically indefensible because there are a whole slew of cases where men's intercollegiate teams have been disbanded due to Title IX's anti-human insistence on proportionality (NB: in intramural athletics, where scholarships, or material compensation of any kind are not on the table, 80% of participants are male). I encourage you to find a single case where Title IX has caused an increase in a schools male intercollegiate teams.

You will find none.

Faced with that rather glaring contradiction, make the mistake of relying upon quantity when rate is appropriate. Of course there are more total men's sports teams; of course more money is being spent on them since before Title IX.

What you neglect to mention, is that of course the number of college students is much greater than it was 30 years ago; having failed to note that, you similarly failed to note the number of intercollegiate athletic opportunities per capita now, compared to the 1970s.

Faced with even the most simple acceptable analysis, your contention fails. We don't even need to delve into what men's intercollegiate athletics would look like had proportionality's terminally addled head never reared itself in the first place.

This is not about whether some women were, due to cultural inertia, deprived of athletic opportunities. They were. As I mentioned above, my wife is the best natural athlete I know (she is in Florida right now at a reunion for her William & Mary Hall of Fame tennis team), and would have gob-smacked the boys in Little League. Had she been allowed to play.

Nor is this about overturning a poorly written law.

Rather, it is about the Left's congenital insistence upon anti-human blank slate nonsense, and its evil spawn, coercion. It is about creating a compliance regime divorced from human nature, then strenuously resisting any attempt to nudge that regime even glancingly in the direction of reality, even such a seemingly obvious move as excluding football programs.

Do you really wish to defend the notion that it makes sense to deprive men of athletic opportunities because not enough women wish to participate?

Are you comfortable with Title IXists extending their reach to hard sciences and engineering?

If you are in favor of proportionality, then you also must welcome virtually shutting down every nursing and education program in the country.

Or, you recognize that freedom and proportionality collide head on, and discard the Leftist thinking you have displayed here.

Which is it?

April 12, 2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Skipper, Of course, your wife should have been allowed to play in Little League as well as high school and college if she was able to make the team, but I wonder if she ever wanted to play a team sport after she passed the Little League age group?

We've been having perfect tennis weather, gorgeous, but not too hot. I hope she's having a wonderful time.

April 12, 2008 3:06 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

erp:

She would have loved to play baseball, or softball, but was faced with two problems.

First, no matter her transcendent talent, by High School it simply couldn't overcome significant differences in speed and strength with boys.

Second, she did play in a city women's softball league. Unfortunately, unlike the men's league, it struggled to find enough players to form enough teams.

I wonder why that is.

April 13, 2008 11:09 AM  
Blogger erp said...

I don't know why so few women like to play team sports, but empirical evidence shows it to be true. As for competing on men's teams, even if only rarely will a woman be able to compete with men in strength and athletic ability, I think that woman should be given the opportunity to play.

Our kids grew up in Stratford CT, home of the champion semi-pro women's softball team fielded by Raybestos. They were very popular, and their games well attended, but even with those role models, I don't remember any interest among girls my kids' ages to play on a softball team.

Title IX is just another attempt to equalize us into interchangeable cogs in the great wheel of socialist fantasy.

April 13, 2008 12:18 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

It must be incredibly reassuring to have an other such as the Left, that represents everything one isn't, upon which blame can be heaped for all things odd, curious, inconvenient and vaguely suspicious, and then written off as "anti-human blank slate nonsense."

Believe what you like, but it is utter folly to complain that Title IX deprives boys of opportunity to play intercollegiate sports, also to fear that extending its principles would necessitate "shutting down every nursing and education program in the country."

Not only have the American people, through their representatives in congress, consistently reaffirmed the principles and goals of Title IX -- equality of treatment -- but the courts have uniformly held that Title IX is neither quota-based nor coercive, and have rejected challenges to it based on the stereotype that men are more
interested in playing sports than are women.

If I were you, I'd act now, while it's still a nominally free country, and change the law if you don't like it.

Good luck with that.

April 13, 2008 11:12 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

The notion that men and women are equally interested in sports -- or just about anything else, for that matter -- is, in fact, ahistorical, anti-human, blank slate nonsense.

It is ahistorical, because there is precisely no evidence in any culture at any time to support the conclusion. And no end of reality standing in contradiction.

It is anti-human because it completely disregards what the people who are subject to Title IX actually want, as opposed to what they are supposed to want.

And it is blank slate thinking, because the only way out is to presume that where ever people fail to act the way the Left insists they should, it is due to false consciousness. Proportionality is dead wrong if there is such a thing as innate human nature.

So, please put away your strawman. There has been no mention in this thread about all things odd, curious, etc.

Just the insistence upon proportionality, and the coercion that has followed in its wake.

Upon that we can surely blame the Left, since no one else comes anywhere close to advocating such a thing.

... but it is utter folly to complain that Title IX deprives boys of opportunity to play intercollegiate sports, also to fear that extending its principles would necessitate "shutting down every nursing and education program in the country."

It is clear, and since you haven't presented any evidence to the contrary, I expect you agree, that Title IX has significantly reduced the opportunities for college men in intercollegiate sports.

As for nursing and education programs, perhaps I didn't telegraph it clearly enough: I don't fear that they will actually be shut down. Rather, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that intercollegiate athletics should be subject to proportionality, whilst nursing and education programs are not.

So, over to you. If proportionality makes sense for athletics (above you asserted that very thing), then why aren't nursing and education ...

Oh, I know why.

Good for goose, not for gander.

Nice figure of speech for hypocrisy.

April 13, 2008 11:54 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Notions of equality and all that ...

When we lived in Vermont, the quaint practice of Town Meetings were in vogue. At one such, we were to decide on the "fairness" of tracking students for academic ability. Most of the people at the packed meeting were outraged by the idea of making their non-academically gifted students feel bad about themselves if they didn't make the cut.

One parent of a brilliant, but slight and athletically impaired son demanded he have a starting position on the football team, so he wouldn't feel about himself.

The good people of the town hooted and hollered him down. They obviously didn't get the hypocrisy. Spending lots taxpayer funds on athletic programs for gifted athletics is good and proper. Spending a little taxpayer funds on gifted students is unfair and elitist.

ionbud, As for having a handy whipping post in the left. I'd much prefer you all to go away, so we can conduct our affairs using sense instead of dealing with a constant barrage of the kind of nonsense represented by Title IX and its spawn.

April 14, 2008 6:11 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Skipper: Bang the proportionality drum and crash the coercion cymbals all you like. It reminds me of my eight year-old, who covers his ears and starts singing loudly, "OHHOHH SAY CAN YOU SEE..." whenever I'm delivering some especially unwelcome news concerning his expectations for a new toy or some kind of disposable treat.

Proportionality is but one of three clearly delineated avenues for determining whether an institution is in compliance with Title IX's mandate of equal treatment in the provision of opportunity.

As for coercion, there's nothing in the statute besides its applicability to institutions receiving federal funding, so any school that feels it simply too "ahistorical" or "anti-human" to mandate equality of treatment between the genders can avoid Title IX's heavy hand by eschewing the Federal teat altogether.

Such a declaration of freedom and independence ought to be a welcome and celebrated act in the eyes of small-government advocates everywhere.

Have boys' opportunities to play intercollegiate sports been so "significantly reduced" by Title IX's nonsensical false consciousness as you imagine?

Not according to a GAO report issued in 2007, which shows boys' per capita participation in intercollegiate sports today is unchanged since 1972.

See U.S. Gov. Accountability Office, Intercollegiate Athletics: Recent Trends in Teams and Participants in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports 2
(2007).

Having thus dispensed with the straw-man of proportionality, established the principle that equality of opportunity is the guiding mandate of the law, and shattered the myth that opening doors to the historically under-served gender does not diminish opportunity for the historically dominant one, I would say apply Title IX to nursing and education at will.

The country certainly needs more qualified, adequately compensated professionals in both those fields if we're going to emerge from the dark days ahead with a robust ability to think of effective survival paradigms and minister to the sick and damaged among us.

erp: I have no doubt you'd "much prefer [people like me] all to go away."

I'd be uncomfortable, too, if I consistently had my anecdotal experiences held up as unrepresentative of the reality perceived by the majority of the population.

April 14, 2008 9:42 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Aieeeeeeeee. Cut to the quick by iodbud's rapier wit. Which majority population to you imagine you represent? Academe?

April 14, 2008 1:08 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

erp: do you mean Academe?

Why, now that you mention it, that community is probably -- even money odds or better -- aligned with my views on Title IX, yes.

Those who value attention to detail, equality of opportunity and lean toward skepticism of stereotype and shibboleth, them too.

April 14, 2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger erp said...

ionbud, you must be a satirist extraordinaire and are just funning with us. Nobody can be as clueless as you pretend to be.

April 15, 2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Proportionality is but one of three clearly delineated avenues ...

Yes, but, as various cites have clearly attested, proportionality is the only one that counts.

A recent attempt to introduce student surveys -- thereby energizing the last of the three options -- was promptly shot down by Title IXists.

As for coercion, there's nothing in the statute besides its applicability to institutions receiving federal funding, so any school that feels it simply too "ahistorical" or "anti-human" to mandate equality of treatment ...

Nonsense on stilts. The federal government has made it virtually impossible to avoid some form of funding taint. Ever hear of federally guaranteed student loans? Worse, what you advocate provokes a free rider problem acting in the exact opposite direction. Let's say 150 universities, possessed of moral backbone notoriously absent from the academy, eschew all federal funding, then give Title IX the single digit salute it deserves.

Whereupon all that funding is redistributed among the ethically challenged. Never mind that all the affected students, and their parents, will be taxed the same as before.

All of which makes your assertion completely empty. There would be considerable pain involved in eliminating federal funding (which uses money that originally belonged to the students' parents), threatening to inflict that pain is coercion pure and simple.

Have boys' opportunities to play intercollegiate sports been so "significantly reduced" by Title IX's nonsensical false consciousness as you imagine?

Not according to a GAO report issued in 2007 ...


According to the report:

From the inception of Title IX through 1998, participation increased for women and decreased for men (from GAO reports of 1999 and 2000).

Yet, for unexplained reasons, the 2001 report concludes exactly the opposite.

One page twelve of the report, eight of 14 male sports were flat or decreased, despite an increase in male enrollment between 1991 and 2004.

Most damned, though, is your per-capita assertion: from 1991 through 2004, male enrollment increased 49%, while participation increased 10%. Oddly, the title for that graph says "male participation followed a trend similar to male enrollment." (page 20)

Similar, in that the trend in both cases was upward. Wildly dissimilar in the important figure of merit, though: rate.

EVERY figure cited in that report shows that male participation has deeply lagged enrollment.

So, I have no earthly idea where you used that report to come to the conclusion that per capita participation is unchanged since 1972.

Which, among other things, means you have not dispensed with the strawman of proportionality.

Ignoring, for the moment that, since it wasn't a position I attributed to you despite your never having taken it, proportionality is not a strawman.

Nor have you shattered the myth that basing male participation on female participation reduces male opportunity. In fact, I am deeply grateful to you for bringing that report to my attention, as it completely buttresses the point I have been trying to make.

April 15, 2008 10:38 AM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Been away for a while, but didn't want to let pass this opportunity to point out the following (compiled from data available in the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. and reports on participation rates compiled by the NCAA):

1972 - number of males enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions in the U.S. - 5.2 million; number participating in NCAA sports - 170,000, or about 3% of male student-athletes.

2005 - number of males enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions in the U.S. - 7.5 million; number participating in NCAA sports - 225,000, or about 3% of male student-athletes.

Effect of Title IX on opportunities for boys to play post-secondary sports - zero.

April 24, 2008 2:38 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

Welcome back -- I hope you were the good kind of busy.

The GAO report you so confidently cited completely disagreed with your repeated assertion that Title IX has had no effect on male students participation in intercollegiate athletics.

Before introducing another report (link, please), one would think that disconnect reply-worthy.

April 25, 2008 5:27 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Yes. Good busy. Thanks.

The GAO report was filled with incomplete, inconsistent, anecdotal information subject to interpretation and cherry-picking.

I relied on the Executive Summary for the general proposition that boys have suffered no harm due to Title IX and should have vetted its specifics prior to using it as a reference.

The Statistical Abstract (Excel file; see Historical tab for 1972 data) and the NCAA participation report (pdf file; see pp.219-200 for 1971-1972 data) are far more complete and clear: in 1972, about 3% of males enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions were student athletes.

The percentage was unchanged as of 2005.

The net effect of Title IX on boys playing sports in college is thus nil.

April 25, 2008 9:07 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

The GAO report was filled with incomplete, inconsistent, anecdotal information subject to interpretation and cherry-picking.

Heck, you were the one who cited it as authoritatively substantiating your position.

Also ... subject to interpretation and cherry picking? Did I cherry pick, or did you?

I'm curious, is any report that invalidates your preconceptions incomplete and inconsistent?

Because, if that is the case, then I am standing by for you to repudiate the NCAA report. Following are direct quotes from it:

Executive Summary:

The number [of championship sports teams] sponsored for men increased slightly [between 1981 and 2005].

Page 10:

The number of women's championship sport teams has increased every year for the last 23 years. ... The number of men's championship sports teams has decreased two out of the last five years, and five out of the last ten.

Compared to the 1981-1982 academic year the average NCAA school now sponsors ... one less men's team.

Since 1981-1982, the average number of male student-athletes on campus has decreased. More specifically ... the average NCAA school now has approximately 13 fewer male student-athletes.

Page 11:
In 2004-2005 there were 115 men's teams and 28 women's teams dropped at NCAA member institutions. Since 1988-89, there have been 2276 men's teams dropped, and 1490 women's teams dropped, with each specific year having more men's teams dropped than women's teams. In each division separately, the general trend of dropping more men's teams than women's teams each year continued.

Page 12:
Since 1988-89, there has been a net loss of 239 men's teams in Division I.

Since 1988-89, the men's sport with the greatest net loss of teams is wrestling (-105). Other men's sports with notable net losses of teams ... are tennis (-79), rifle (-75), gymnastics (-35), swimming and diving (-27), fencing (-23), skiing (-20) and water polo (-17).

From the GAO report, regardless of what you think of the rest of it, there is one indisputable fact: Male college enrollment increased by 49% (over the same period).

Now, unless mathematics doesn't work the same way in leftland as it does everywhere else, the only possible conclusion to derive is that there has been a significant, serious effect on male student-athlete participation since the inception of Title IX, and it is due to the relentless application of gender proportionality.

April 27, 2008 12:37 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Male college enrollment increased by 49% (over the same period).

Yes. And exactly the same percentage of males are today engaged in NCAA sports as were engaged in NCAA sports before Title IX.

Why is it so difficult for you to accept that changes in the ways people participate do not necessarily reflect change in overall participation?

Title IX has simply had no deleterious effect on boys' opportunities to play college sports. None. Zero.

Boys who want to wrestle, or do gymnastics, or play baseball may have fewer schools and fewer programs to choose from than they once did, but Title IX has not kept them from being able to pursue the sport they desire, it's just made them consider a wider range of inputs to the decision-making matrix.

April 27, 2008 2:46 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

[Exactly] the same percentage of males are today engaged in NCAA sports as were engaged in NCAA sports before Title IX.

That cannot, absent leftland math, possibly be true.

I suspect either your are playing games with the term "NCAA sports." The report you cited specifically addressed NCAA championship teams, so please ensure you confine yourself to that usage.

Completely fatal to your argument is the quote I provided from page 10: Since 1981-1982, the average number of male student-athletes on campus has decreased. More specifically ... the average NCAA school now has approximately 13 fewer male student-athletes.

That, in the face of a 49% increase in the number of male students over the same period.

You are staring a hard contradiction right in the face. Please address it directly (never mind every other finding), rather than engaging in weasel language such as:

Title IX has simply had no deleterious effect on boys' opportunities to play college sports. None. Zero.

Boys who want to wrestle, or do gymnastics, or play baseball [or tennis, marksmanship, swimming, diving, fencing, skiing and water polo]may have fewer schools and fewer programs to choose from than they once did, but Title IX has not kept them from being able to pursue the sport they desire, it's just made them consider a wider range of inputs to the decision-making matrix.


The bolded text shows where I fixed your comment for you.

You do really need to go into far greater detail how it is that decreases in teams and athletes does not constitute a deleterious effect on opportunities.

Or, for that matter, just what constitutes "a wider range of inputs."



It is worth nothing the NCAA report resorts to weasel wording itself. Faced with what positively begs explanation, the NCAA resolutely declined to ponder even for a moment the causes behind the slashing of male championship teams.

Gee. I wonder why.

April 27, 2008 3:38 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

There are no contradictions, no failures of math.

1972 - 170K student-athletes out of 5.2M male students.

2005 - 225K student-athletes out of 7.5M male students.

Fewer fencers due to more football players.

This is not difficult...

April 28, 2008 7:10 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Fewer fencers due to more football players.

This is not difficult...


No, but you are making it that way.

Please do two things for me:

First, explain how the conclusions in the NCAA report support what you say, despite contradicting what you say. Since I quoted the relevant passages for you, I have saved you the bother of finding them, so as to allow you more time to directly address them.

Second, please explain why more football players means fewer fencers [and tennis players, swimmers, et al].

April 28, 2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger Bret said...

Speaking of fencing, I'm enjoying lonbud versus hey skipper immensely...

On the other hand, my eleven year old daughter is a super jock (and even the eight year old is pretty good), so I hope that title ix stays around until they go to college. In fact, we've enrolled the older one in a crew camp this summer because there seems to be a high title ix based demand for female crew athletes. Hopefully, we'll be able to get a scholarship out of that or at least get her into a really good school.

I don't much care what the rules are. Just keep 'em steady so I can game 'em.

April 28, 2008 5:49 PM  
Blogger lonbud said...

Bret: Glad you're enjoying the duel, though I for one have grown weary of it.

Skipper: I think we may have a report label misunderstanding.

You keep referring to the 'NCAA report' as contradicting my assertions, but I have to believe you actually mean the 2007 GAO report, a document I have already discounted as based on incomplete, inconsistent, and highly anecdotal data, despite the conclusion in its Executive Summary that boys' intercollegiate sports participation has suffered no negative effect from Title IX.

The NCAA Report on historical participation rates could not be more clear about the percentage of male student-athletes in 1972 vs. 2005.

I've also discussed at length the economic factors that have led many schools to jettison non-revenue-positive sports such as fencing in favor of maintaining absurdly high scholarship positions for cash-cow sports such as football, so your question about why fewer fencers due to more footballers is a little mystifying.

May 01, 2008 12:22 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

lonbud:

You keep referring to the 'NCAA report' as contradicting my assertions, but I have to believe you actually mean the 2007 GAO report ...

Nope.

My post of April 27 at 12:37 pm contained quotes directly from the NCAA participation report. Follow the link -- it is a copy of the one you posted -- and refer to the page numbers I cited.

Consequently, the task left to you is one of: explain how the NCAA arrived at conclusions so completely at odds with their own data; or, presuming you misunderstood their data -- you failed to include any sort of page reference -- how the NCAA conclusions don't leave your position gut shot.

BTW -- I call shenanigans when you confidently cite a source as supporting your point of view, then throw that same source under a bus the moment it turns out your assessment was, ummm, incomplete.

Regarding budgetary considerations: the canard that schools ditched men's teams for solely budgetary reasons is forwarded only by the same people who are foisting gender equity nonsense upon the schools.

It is nonsense on stilts. So much so that the NCAA (a known purveyor of politically correct buffoonery), faced with a glaring need to do so, didn't even bother to wonder about the attrition of men's teams.

Even so, it completely fails to account for schools that shut down men's programs because of insufficient women's participation.

For you to deny that happened is to deny reality.

May 01, 2008 3:06 PM  

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