Girls Can't Do What?

By: Madeline Feldman

When Sumru Erkut took a survey to see what activity makes girls feel the best about themselves, out of 362 girls, half said athletics made them feel the best about themselves. Girls deserve the same access as boys to team sports, so their skills can improve team performance and prevent poor behavior choices.

Physiological Differences

You may think boys are stronger than girls, but in reality there are very few physiological differences between boys and girls. From facts we now know, "there are few physiological differences between boys and girls ages 0-12. If anything girls are a little more coordinated at these young ages." (Should My Daughter Play for a Girl's Team or a Boy's Team). Girls can contribute different physiological skills that boys don't have yet. It's a common misconception that boys are more athletic than girls. When in reality, at young ages girls are really more athletic than boys. It's a known fact that, "Girls also hit puberty, on average, two years before boys so they will be slightly taller and stronger than the average boy." (Should My Daughter Play for a Girl's Team or a Boy's Team). As a middle school girl, who is much taller than most of the boys in my grade recognizes the physiological differences between boys and girls at young ages.

Title IX

A law passed known as Title IX stated schools have to provide girls the same access to sports that boys have. Playing with boys raises girls self esteem by playing with a different gender. Title IX states, "The lessons learned through athletics give girls a stronger, more confident, more disciplined outlook on their futures." As a middle school girl I do believe girls and boys should have equal rights in sports. In the editorial it states, "Title IX has not only made playing sports normal for girls of every age and ability, it has changed the culture." Furthermore, girls who play sports are more likely to interact better with boys than girls who don't play sports. Research states, "And with girls gaining ground boys' athletic turf, both have a new common experience and a new way to interact."
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Less Risky Behavior

It's a disappointing thought that girls who aren't a part of sports teams participate in more risky behavior than those who do. Based on research, "… female teenage athletes are more likely than non-athletes to be virgins and more likely to delay sex." (Giving Girls a Sporting Chance)." Also, girls who play sports don't look for social approval off the field because they find success on the field. As stated in this quote, "girls who achieve success and status on the field, the author say, may be less eager to trade sex for social approval." (Giving Girls a Sporting Chance). It's important to recognize that girls who play sports, learn to be responsible from participating in daily sports activities. Building on this idea, "…they are more likely to use birth control and less likely to get pregnant as teenagers." Researchers believe that athletic girls tend to avoid risky sexual behavior more than girls that don't play sports.
Some people say, boys will soon be stronger than girls and girls will eventually decide to make poor choices. Well that isn't true, girls start puberty before boys so they will be stronger when they are at the same age. Girls will be to focused on sports to have any time to make poor choices.
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Middle school aged girls can compete with boys in sports and make better decisions through organized athletic activities. It's important that society shouldn't judge girls based on their gender and assume they lack athletic ability. If we encourage girls to join all boys teams they will feel successful with themselves.

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