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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Title IX self-study examines gender equality in sports

Is gender equality as prominent at Guilford as it seems? A study is looking further into the issue to see if change is necessary.

In 1972, Title IX of the Educational Amendments called for complete gender equality in any educational program or activity.

Athletics caused the most controversy with the enforcement of this act.

Last year, Guilford started a self-study, evaluating how well we are abiding by Title IX in our athletics department. The study will look at whether or not men and women have equal opportunities in sports.

When approached with such issues, the Athletic Department started by studying the Equity in Athletics Disclosure database, which consists of annually submitted athletics data.

Robert Malekoff, associate professor of sports studies, then began compiling information for a survey, which will question students and coaches on the athletics program at Guilford.

“I would say that the goal is not only to determine whether or not there is compliance with Title IX and a healthy level of ‘gender equity’ in the intercollegiate athletic program and, of course, ultimately to endeavor to address any inequities that might be discovered but also to see if there are things the college can do to enhance the educational value of the intercollegiate experience for female athletes,” said Malekoff in an email interview.

The survey will also examine student perceptions on different aspects of the athletic program.

It will include questions about their personal experience with Guilford athletics, the support they have received from the college and athletic department, and attitudes on female intercollegiate athletes on campus.

“The purpose will be to compile both quantitative and qualitative data until the college sees it, and then they’ll act in response,” Malekoff said.

It will be distributed for athletes and coaches to fill out early next semester. The athletic department will then discuss the results and decide how to react to any discovered issues.

“I think that the college shouldn’t go in expecting anything,” said Malekoff. “That would kind of skew the data.”

According to Sports Information Director David Walters, Guilford sponsors 20 teams, 10 for men and 10 for women, ranging from football to lacrosse.

Most sports have both men and women’s teams.

“(When) asked if men and women have equal opportunities, I believe for the most part, they do,” said Walters in an email interview.

Only four teams stand out as single gendered. The all-male teams are football and golf, while volleyball and swimming are only for women.

“I’ve heard we’re on an all-girls swim team because we need an equal number of girls and boys sports teams, and I haven’t noticed any specific gender issues,” said Sydney Hawkins, a first-year swimmer.

Though the study is moving slower than anticipated, the athletic department is anticipating that the results will be read by spring semester.

“I want to find out what the perceptions are, what they think,” Malekoff said.  “What happens then will depend on the results of the survey.”

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    Aaron MatthewsNov 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Whoa.. Title IX calls for complete gender equality? Since when? Definitely not since Carter put in place the three pronged approach to testing athletics. The Office for Civil RIghts makes sure either the girls get everything they want regardless of cost or the boys are being punished because the girls don’t or even because the girls don’t want.

    Under the three prong test, all of the girls that could be playing should be playing. The cost of the program doesn’t matter. If they want an equestrian program in the middle of NYC, they get it. The next prong is that the participation rates have to be the same between boys and girls. If 60% of the school is female, then at least 57% of the athletes should be female. So if school can’t afford the girls’ every wish, they have to punish the boys. On the other hand, if the school wants to cut costs, they can’t touch any of the girls sports, they are forced to cut boys.

    Now, the same draconian measures don’t count for education. The school can have atrocious rates of discipline and lack of success with male students, but until a male can PROVE SPECIFIC discrimination, they have no chance. Remember, the girls just need to show a difference in participation outcome. They can be treated like queens and the first measure of “equality” is how many chose to participate.

    If a school is 60% female and the honors programs are 98% white but the athletes are 55% female and 80% of the discipline is levied on the males, the school is not guilty of discrimination against the males or the African Americans, but against the women.