The Gender Gap Is Closing In Youth Sports, But There’s One Big Problem

How school segregation impacts opportunities for kids in sports

By standard measures, there has never been more opportunity for girls to participate in youth and college sports than there was in 2016. This is positive, but normal. Participation numbers have steadily risen since the passing of landmark education legislation Title IX in 1972. Here’s where we stood this year:


•There were 3.3 million girl participants in high school varsity sports (compared to 4.5 million boys)

•Around 212,000 women played on NCAA sports teams (compared to 275,000 men)

•There were 10,449 women's college sports teams in NCAA divisions (compared to 9,057 men’s teams)

This four-decades-long growth is testament to the power of federal policy specifically designed to combat discrimination in education, but it also offers a limited picture of the problem. General statistics obscure the fact that the trend, at least on a high school level, is driven by schools that don’t represent the public, and often is not reflected in schools serving racially diverse communities.

In May, the Government Accountability Office released data showing that the number of public schools with over 75 percent black and Hispanic students nearly doubled between 2000 and 2014, now accounting for 16 percent of all public K-12 schools. Six decades after the Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of public schools in Brown v. Board of Education, resegregation is surging. And the GOA report shows that modern segregation, as in 1954, produces resource inequalities—these schools offer disproportionately fewer math, science, and college prep courses and have disproportionately higher rates of suspension and expulsion.

This unequal provision of school programs extends into sports—and disproportionately impacts girls of color. As the National Women’s Law Center reported last year, 40 percent of heavily minority schools (10 percent or less white) have large gender inequality in athletics, compared to just 16 percent of heavily white schools (90 percent or more white) schools. An athletic gender gap is considered to be “large” if the percentage of total spots on sports teams allocated to girls is at least 10 points lower than the percentage of girls attending the school.

Image via National Women’s Law Center

Translating into real numbers, at heavily white high schools, there are 58 available spots on girls sports teams for every 100 students, while at heavily minority high schools there are just 25 spots per 100 students. Put simply, girls of color receive the fewest opportunities to play. The authors of the study offer a blunt conclusion, urging comprehensive policy reform:

Girls of color are finishing last when it comes to opportunities to play sports in school and missing out on the lifelong benefits that accompany athletic participation. While the playing field is far from level for girls in general, it is particularly uneven for girls in heavily minority schools. Tackling the problem will require policymakers at all levels—federal, state, and local—and communities to work together to increase opportunities for girls of color to play sports and be physically active. Doing so is not only required by law, but is also a critical investment in their future.

Continuing to increase investment in girls sports at all schools is important. But if we are truly committed to making youth sports accessible to girls—in the face of an incoming secretary of education whose policy preferences exasperated school segregation in Michigan—we can’t separate interscholastic athletic inequities from segregation. We also can’t cheer broad progress while ignoring that women of color are doubly marginalized in sport, shown even more recently in England’s latest national fitness survey.

Sports
via Smithfly.com

"Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water, now you camp on it!" proudly declares Smithfly on the website for its new camping boat — the Shoal Tent.

Why have we waited so long for camping equipment that actually lets us sleep on the water? Because it's an awful idea, that's why.

"The world is your waterbed," Smithfly says on its site. But the big difference is that no one has ever had to worry about falling asleep and then drowning on their waterbed.

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While it is possible that one could wade into the water, unzip the tent, have a pleasant slumber, and wake up in the morning feeling safe and refreshed, there are countless things that could go terribly wrong.

The tent could float down the river and you wake up in the middle of nowhere.

You could have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

This guy.

It could spring a leak and you could drown while wrapped up in eight feet of heavy nylon.

A strong current could tip the tent-boat over.

There isn't any way to steer the darn thing.

This guy.

Mashable shared a charming video of the tent on Twitter and it was greeted with a chorus of people sharing the many ways one could die while staying the night in the Shoal Tent.

Oh yeah, it's expensive, too.

Even though the general public seems to think the Shoal Tent is a terrible idea, according to the Smithfly's website, it's currently sold out due to "popular demand" and it will be "available in 6-8 weeks." Oh, and did we mention it costs $1,999?

Lifestyle
via zoezimmm / Imgur

There are few more perniciously dangerous conspiracy theories being shared online than the idea that vaccines cause autism.

This has led to a decline in Americans vaccinating their children, resulting in a massive increase in measles. This year has already seen over 1,200 cases of measles, a disease that was eradicated in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago.

A 2015 Pew Research study found that 83% of Americans think the measles vaccine is safe, while 9% think it's not. Another 7% are not sure. But when you look at the polls that include parents of minors, the numbers get worse, 13% believe that the measles vaccine is unsafe.

There is zero truth to the idea that vaccines cause autism. In fact, a recent study of over 650,000 children found there was no link whatsoever.

RELATED: A new study of over 650,000 children finds — once again — that vaccines don't cause autism

A great example of the lack of critical thinking shown by anti-vaxxers was a recent exchange on Facebook shared to Imgur by zoezimmm.

A parent named Kenleigh at a school in New Mexico shared a photo of a sign at reads: "Children will not be enrolled unless an immunization record is presented and immunizations are up-to-date."

This angered a Facebook user who went on a senseless tirade against vaccinations.

"That's fine, I'll just homeschool my kids," she wrote. At least they won't have to worry about getting shot up in school or being bullied, or being beat up / raped by the teachers!"

To defend her anti-vaccination argument, she used a factually incorrect claim that Amish people don't vaccinate their children. She also incorrectly claimed that the MMR vaccine is ineffective and used anecdotal evidence from her and her father to claim that vaccinations are unnecessary.

She also argued that "every human in the world is entitled to their own opinion." Which is true, but doesn't mean that wildly incorrect assumptions about health should be tolerated.

She concluded her argument with a point that proves she doesn't care about facts: "It doesn't matter what you say is not going to change my mind."

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While the anti-vaxxer was incorrect in her points, it must also be pointed out that some of the people who argued with her on Facebook were rude. That should never be tolerated in this type of discourse, but unfortunately, that's the world of social media.

Here's the entire exchange:

via zoezimmm / imgur


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The post received a ton of responses on imgur. Here are just a few:

"'In my opinion...' 'I believe...' That's not how facts work."

"You're entitled to your opinion. And everyone else is entitled to call you a dumbass."

"'What I do with my children is no concern to you at all.' Most of the time, true. When your kid might give mine polio, not true."

"If my child can't bring peanut butter, your child shouldn't bring preventable diseases."

It's important to call out people who spread dangerous views, especially how they pertain to health, on social media. But people should do so with respect and civility.

Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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Communities
via Imgur

Every few years there's something that goes mega viral because people can't decide what it is.

There was the famous "is it blue and black, or white and gold" dress?

There was the audio recording that said either "yanny" or "Laurel."

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Viral


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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