Gender still tough subject in sports

Last month, Pennsylvania judges prepared to ban boys from competing in girls’ sports, but not girls from competing in boys’ sports.
The issue of gender in sports has always been a hot topic. The ancient Greeks banned women from competing in the Olympics, there were no female Roman Gladiators, and women were not allowed to compete in medieval jousting tournaments. The idea of women participating in sports was all but unheard of up until the previous century.
Women were never even encouraged to play sports up until the last few decades. Title IX in 1972 made sexual discrimination in publicly funded athletic programs illegal, but there are still plenty of moral objections and loopholes to this law and others like it.
Some of the most prevalent arguments have to do with men not being able to play sports because women don’t want to. Because each publicly funded institution needs an equal number of men’s and women’s sporting organizations, and since there were 1.3 million more boys than girls playing high school sports as of 2011 (according to the American Sports Council), men are sometimes prevented from playing their favorite sports.
As of now, this can be easily circumvented in the state of Pennsylvania by letting men play on “women’s” teams. Article XIX, section 3 of the PIAA by-laws, which stated “girls shall not compete or practice against boys in any athletic contest” had been overturned in 1975 because it was found to contradict the 14th amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights.
This means gender specific leagues cannot explicitly ban members of the other gender from competing in them. If the Grenens have their way, however, this will change.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, lawyer spouses Mary and Jim Grenen have lobbied for two years to ban boys from competing in girls’ sports. They were upset that their daughter had to compete against “bigger, stronger and faster” boys in a girls’ field hockey league. Last month, a Pennsylvania Commons Court allowed the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) to prevent boys from playing on girls’ leagues.
The action is garnering plenty of negative attention. The primary reason is that Mary Grenen explicitly stated that she intended to “ensure that girls do not lose opportunities to play sports.” She did not, however, specify that her intentions extended to boys.
Even if the action does bar girls from boys’ leagues, something still seems wrong to me. This action is only perpetuating debates that should have ceased over forty years ago. Creating opportunities through segregation is reasoning that should stay confined to the days when “Separate but Equal” was a valid concept.  Sexual discrimination of any type has absolutely no place in modern society.
I do realize that women and men are biologically different. While there are plenty of exceptions, the truth is that women tend to be smaller and less muscular than men. This could potentially lead to frustration or even physical injury for participants in a coed sport. The Grenens’ intentions to “level the playing field” are understandable.
These are high school sports. They are played for fun. I’m sure both men and women have a much better time playing sports with the opposite sex than not playing sports at all.
If anything is to be done about this, Title IX could at least be amended so that the number of boys’ sports to girls’ sports would be proportionate to the ratio of boys to girls who participate in high school athletics.
I would assume that boys are playing women’s sports because the sport is not offered for men at their school, or because there is no room for them in the men’s program. That is a perfectly valid reason.
It would even be fine if boys are joining girls’ teams because they lack the skills and abilities to compete against men their age, as long as women with superior abilities can compete against men. That is the most enjoyable way to organize sports.
If such an issue exists, though, where men are competing on women’s teams for the sake of pursuing easy wins, it isn’t a legal issue. It’s just jerks being jerks. Why would anyone even want to do that in the first place?
There is no good reason for sports to be segregated by gender, rather than proficiency. Allowing this action to pass would be a major step in the wrong direction.