Title IX flawed because females are less interested in sports?

Ashley Milan of College of the Desert's volleyball team sends the ball over the net against Victor Valley on Oct. 19, 2011.  (Wade Byars, The Desert Sun)

Ashley Milan of College of the Desert's volleyball team sends the ball over the net against Victor Valley on Oct. 19, 2011. (Wade Byars, The Desert Sun)

Women are inherently less interested in sports than men are and therefore the basic assumptions of Title IX are false, a new study found.

 The study looked at exercise participants and participation in intramural sports and found that women participated in team sports at a much lower level than men. Men are biologically more inclined to play sports, the study found.

This goes against the common Title IX claim that lower female participation in sports was due to lack of opportunity, not lack of interest.

The authors acknowledged that before Title IX, opportunities were lacking for female athletes and that there are “strong moral arguments” for ensuring equal sporting opportunities for both genders.

But it suggests that basing the number of sports offered on the assumption that men and women have equal interest in sports, is flawed.

The study’s lead author told Inside Higher Ed that he didn’t want to pose suggestions for a public policy response to the study.

“The policy somehow shouldn’t be based on that. But what do we do that’s better? I don’t know, that’s hard,” said Robert Deaner, an associate professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University. “I don’t think there’s any simple solution.”

Others argue that equal sports opportunities for women have not been in place long enough to change the societal norms.

 “Women have inferior opportunities and they have to do so against the cultural grain…. It doesn’t say anything at all about what interest levels would be there absent discrimination and absent these strong cultural forces,” Erin Buzuvis, a law professor at Western New England University who runs the Title IX Blog, told Inside Higher Ed