Society Discourages Girls

Social attitudes about femininity and intentional and unintentional expectations about how girls should behave discourage and prevent girls from participating in sport—more so than any other factor.

The most influential factor affecting girls’ athletic participation is gender norms. These are social attitudes about femininity and intentional and unintentional expectations about how girls should behave that discourage and prevent girls from participating in sports. The consequences of this lack of exercise negatively affect the health of PA young women. 22% of PA girls are overweight or obese. A recent survey shows that 10% of female teens/young adults reported considering suicide in a 12 month period, as compared to 2% of males of the same age.

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Women’s Law Project (WLP)

Women’s Law Project (WLP)

Other Recommendations for Action

For Students:

  • Find out if your school complies with the law.
  • Attend women’s sporting events at your school to support women athletes.
  • Monitor your school’s progress: for colleges obtain annual Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act reports from the Department of Education website; for secondary schools obtain annual Equity Reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education website or your own school’s website.

For Others:

  • Demand that schools in your area provide equitable athletics opportunities for young women.
  • File a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against a school that you believe is depriving young women of athletic opportunities.
  • Support local women athletes by attending women’s sporting.
  • Lobby for federal legislation requiring middle and senior high schools to report athletic participation data in the same way colleges do.

For Schools:

  • Audit your school for Title IX compliance.
  • Make gender equity one of the central goals in the athletics department.
  • Encourage student and community support of women’s sporting events.
  • Create a Title IX Equity Committee and include community members.

 

Author: WVPA

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