A large body of research shows that sports are associated with all sorts of benefits for girls and women, like lower teenage pregnancy rates, better grades, higher self-esteem and better health. But until now, no one has determined whether those improvements are a direct result of athletic participation or if the type of girl who is attracted to sport already has certain qualities that will help her succeed in life — like ambition, strength, focus, and risk taking.
New data has shown that increasing girl’s participation in sport had a direct effect on achievement later in life in regards to their education and employment. It was found that the changes set in motion by Title IX explained about 20 percent of the increase in women’s education level and about 40 percent of the rise in employment status for 25-to-34-year-old women.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 required schools and colleges receiving federal money to provide the same opportunities for girls as they did for boys. One of the areas that were directly impacted was the opportunity for girls to participate in competitive sports. Just six years after the enactment of Title IX, the percentage of girls playing team sports had jumped from 4 percent to 25 percent at the high school level. The tremendous growth in women’s collegiate athletics is a direct result of the implementation of Title IX.
This new information on women and sport supports the theory that “it’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life.”
So you go girl, get out there and play, and continue to soar!