Equity news items

Barbara J Tavares (btavares@hawaii.edu)
Wed, 7 May 1997 11:19:26 -1000

Two items appeared in ACADEME TODAY, the on-line edition of the CHRONICLE
OF HIGHER EDUCATION. See note the end.

Here are news bulletins from The Chronicle of Higher Education
for Wednesday, May 7.

* THE EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE released a study Tuesday that
it said shattered the myth of a wide gap between the
educational-test performance of boys and girls. Critics
immediately questioned the testing service's motivation in
conducting the study, suggesting that E.T.S. was merely
trying to deflect charges of gender bias that have been
lodged against the standardized tests it administers.


A glance at the May 1 edition of "Intellectual Capital.com":
The real gender inequity in college sports

"If your daughter won't go out for basketball, my son cannot
play football." That's the flawed logic accepted by the U.S.
Supreme Court in the well-known gender-equity case against Brown
University, according to Pete du Pont, editor of this on-line
magazine and a former Republican Governor of Delaware. Last
month, the Court declined to hear the university's appeal of a
ruling that had found Brown in violation of a federal
gender-equity law for eliminating two women's sports five years
ago. Brown had argued that abiding by the law should not have
required it to provide women the same number of athletics
opportunities as it did for men, if more men showed interest in
playing college sports. That argument, Mr. du Pont writes,
should have prevailed. Instead, he contends, the courts imposed
a "quota system -- for every male that wants to participate in
athletics there must also be a female. And since there are
currently fewer females participating at Brown, fewer males will
be allowed to participate in sports." Judging from the responses
that have been posted on the magazine's World-Wide Web site
since this column appeared, many people agree. (The article is
at http://www.intellectualcapital.com/issues/97/0501/iced.asp)

Barbara's note: I think it is important to understand why we get
opposition to various equity issues. Even duPont and his peers would
likely agree that there are many physical, social, and educational
benefits to participation in team sports. Isn't that the supposed to be
the reason we put so much educational money into this area? Equity
advocates are only asking that both genders become beneficiaries.
Traditional practice has not lent itself to the cultivation of team sports
and athletic competition for girls in the same way it has for boys. This
will take some catch up time.
Barbara Tavares
University of Hawaii

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