Sep 22, 2022·edited Sep 22, 2022

"One recent small study in Norway found no innate sex difference when it came to youth-soccer players’ technical skills. The researchers hypothesized that the gap they did find between girls and boys was likely due to socialization, not biology." Were the "technical skills" measured in this study skills where size and strength would confer an advantage on players? Would similar results be achieved in a study that involved a sport other than youth soccer?

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Harrison Bergeron comes to mind.

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I suck at sports period ( unless you call bowling a sport...lol), I didn't do well against women and I would just be crushed against men...I get kinda annoyed at the entertainment block, that seems to insist that all female heroes have to be built like men, and the assumption that we can all beat these men no matter how much bigger and stronger they are, or that we even want to ...the man that raped me was 6"4" and at least a good , solid 225 lbs...there was no way I was going to win a physical fight with him and his strength gave him the power to overcome me in the first place.

There are women who can compete with men in some sports and areas...but, they are not a majority, maybe some structure where they are allowed to try out , but forcing all women to do something they may not want to do, nor are able to is not good.

As hrlngrv below me says...I have been seriously annoyed for years at the attitude some women ( and men) have that in order to be "equal" to men, we have to be just like them in every way, including taking on their least desirable traits....that is not :equality" to me, that is almost like buying into the idea that used to prevalent, that men are superior just because they are men. Sigh

I don't want to compete with them, and I shouldn't have to, nor should I have to buy into equality means "same". I like the differences and the only equality I care about is being treated the same in society, civics, intellectually etc as men, not that I have to become them to get than equality.

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Other than sports like badmitton and others with no contact and less premium on raw strength, co-ed sports are impractical.

While I appreciate the cross country example, a glance at current men's and women's track world records is even starker. For example, the men's indoor and outdoor mile world records are 3:47.01 and 3:43.13, respectively; women's records are 4:13:31 and 4:12.33, respectively. As yet no woman has run the mile under 4 minutes, The first man did so nearly 7 DECADES ago.

Field events have even more extreme differences. Don't get me started on shot put.

Should exceptions be made for girls who want to play baseball and boys who want to play field hockey? Probably. If they're good enough AND in both cases no changes in rules regarding contact. OTOH, if a school offered both boys and girls soccer or lacrosse, boys play on boys teams, girls play on girls teams.

Which leads to the question whether public schools should have more intramural sports, and whether those could be co-ed? In my own town, there wouldn't be the facilities on weekdays during the school year.

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Sep 21, 2022·edited Sep 21, 2022

It’s interesting you picked cross-country and, more broadly, running as a sport to highlight. In marathons, at least, there has been a rather shocking convergence in times between the men and the women. (Well, OK, there’s still a 10-12 min difference in the very top times, but women appear to be improving faster than the men.) And it’s been posited for years that women may actually have an outright advantage in distances longer than that for various physiological reasons. That’s still TBD, but it seems plausible.

There’s no reason whatsoever to gender-segregate cross-country at the high school and college level other than crowd control if there are lots of entrants. So it’s a perfect sport to satisfy the progs by throwing them a bone.:) Let the chips fall where they may.

Football, however, is definitely a different story. I doubt we’d have let our Gen Z daughter play with the boys had she been inclined to do so. And probably not field hockey either.

In any event, why oh why are these relatively tangential issues allowed to determine election outcomes? (It’s a rhetorical question; I’m an old-ish man yelling at the clouds.)

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I have 2 issues here. First you may not know that the economist has their own proposal -- two sports teams -- one for boys and one for whoever. But my bigger issue is that sports should be for everyone and not just the top athletes. People should be trained to be participants and not settle to be overfed spectators

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I'm not interested in gender-exclusive teams or in co-ed teams, I am interested in teams that will provide safe play for kids. That means size and skill levels comparable, not sex comparable. A small boy shouldn't be lined up in football across from a +50 pound boy any more than a girl should be lined up in football across from a +50 pound girl. It's not their sex that makes it unsafe!

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I absolutely agree with you, JVL. Co-ed teams would be in co-ed in name only - at least with respect to which athletes actually got play time: at an advanced or elite level, no girl/woman can compete against the boy/male comparative levels of competence - the biology just doesn't make it possible. It has nothing to do with what society does or doesn't do. This would be a horrible step backwards for girls/women's sport and eviscerate the gains that enforcement of Title IX have accomplished. It's simply unconscionable! What freaky "progressives" are actually supporting such a demoralizing desecration of female sport on the basis of a very few trans athletes that want to compete in their adopted sex? This is why Democrats are losing at the polls....if they are perceived to support this crap which nobody but far left idiots would even suggest, they are gonna lose, again and again. You can't even say it's because this position is TOO moderate....it's TOO crazy for normal, rational and reasonable people!

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Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022

Simple enough for any team coach to figure out how such a co-ed team would shake out. In any sport where there are separate boys and girls teams, look back to the qualifying numbers that each candidate put up while trying to make the team, including all who failed to make the cut. Re-rank them without regard to sex. Set the cut at the same number of players as one, single team would allow; no double-sized teams. Count the girls.

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Once again I find the engagement, as measured by the number of comments to this Triad, really interesting. At 410, (as of this comment) it has the highest number of comments since JVL’s “Student Loan War Mania” newsletter of August 25th.

I suspect the reason for the high engagement in both instances is due to the concrete and personal nature of both topics. Nearly everyone in the Bulwark community went to college, many with loans, or have children who have gone to college and now have loans. And many Bulwarkers also played sports in high school, or have children who play sports.

Both topics are so concrete for folks and nearly everyone has a personal experience that informs their opinion.

I suspect this is the case for the general U.S. population as well, which is why these issues get amplified from a culture-war perspective.

I just wish people had as much engagement / passion for the topics of democracy and governance as they do for college loans and high school / college sports.

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The triple-axle backflips left-leaning intellectuals are forever showcasing on issues like "inclusivity" in sports go a long way toward explaining why the MAGA movement attracts more than a third of our voting population rather than a tenth. Please, smart folks, slow down a bit when you see smoke coming out of your big engines. You might just save democracy while you're saving your equally well-meaning but less ingenious brothers and sisters some migraines.

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May I gently reply that it is not unrealistic - just different. I watch my kids play club sports at college- and they had lots more fun than coach regulated sports in high school. Player managed, coed tennis teams filled with all level of players having a great time. It's only unrealistic if you assume the current over valued, over prioritized, stress filled, body damaging youth sports experience the US has evolved to is unchangeable. I know that it isn't going to change fast, but it will never change if we can't at least start throwing out other options. I liked the Atlantic article - it at least got us thinking about doing something different.

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I was crap at cross country - I don't think I ever finished better than 20th place, but during practices I ran with the best of the girls' team.

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I believe that's true that it would be a mistake for sports to be co ed. Girls will probably not be as successful competing with boys. The thing to do, however, is to let them try. That would be proof that girls would not be as successful competing against boys.

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It seems as though the progressive approach to female equality in large part idolizes physical strength, the crudest measurement of power. Is it merely, as Orwell might say, the manifestation of the tendency of humans to worship power for power's sake? I look at the cartoons and female characters sometimes now look like they're all on steroids, with huge muscular arms, and in books all too often they're fighters, brawling, drinking, sleeping around. In other words, there seems likes some kind of magnetic pull to the the crudest, most base forms of masculinity, physical strength, violence, misbehavior. Honestly, it really does make me question whether some people, subconsciously, think physical strength is best, and men, being stronger and therefore better, must be imitated by women, down to their worst traits, if women are to be "empowered." Along with this bizarre effort in the Atlantic to try and prove women are somehow just as strong as men.

I'm a man, but I've never been especially strong. I've never defined myself as a human being or my self-worth based on physical strengths. I'm not even sure being male is a huge part of my self-identity. It's a part certainly, but I consider myself a child of the Enlightenment, and I would rather define myself on my beliefs, my values, my ethics, and my deeds, far more than my physical or external characteristics like gender, race, or athletic prowess. The worst part about the modern progressive movement is that it wants to be good, but it implicitly embraces the worst traits of humanity. Glorification of physical strength, collective guilt and punishment or reward, focus on race and gender as people's defining characteristics, organization of society into competing tribes engaged in a zero-sum struggle for resources.

I think most progressives are well-intentioned and don't realize what they're doing. These bad human tendencies are eternal and we have to be on guard against them. It's insidious, because they suck people in without their even realizing it. And so you get this anti-Enlightenment distortion that characterizes the progressive movement. Honestly, even theoretical Marxism was less crude, in that it saw race and gender as ideally totally irrelevant. You actually see this in Bernie Sanders, who has never been known as a big identity politics guy. At this point, unfortunately, modern identity politics is big business. People's careers, reputations, prestige, and financial income are heavily tied into promoting and sustaining the current horrid progressive identitarian model.

And unfortunately this identitarian model has a lot to do with our current political and social problems. It doesn't just turn people off, but it makes dislike of other groups and immigrants somewhat logical. If all racial groups are expected to be competing in a zero-sum struggle for political power and economic resources, then why would I welcome immigrants of another race? Why would I want their numbers and political power to increase if they'll just transfer economic resources to themselves? Why shouldn't white people organize themselves into a racial grouping and vote for their own interests, especially if, as we're gleefully and constantly told, they'll soon be a minority? And hence Trump and nativism and racism and blood-and-soil politics. That's the logical response to the progressive view of politics and society, even if the progressives don't understand themselves. Ironically, it's the conservatives who seem to have most fully imbibed a progressive worldview.

There were several essays (for example, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/a-conversation-with-mark-lilla-on-his-critique-of-identity-politics) immediately after Trump's victory saying that that had to be the death knell for identity politics. Would that that advice had been heeded. Instead much of the left ran in the opposite direction.

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The whole idea that women are somehow supposed to be just as strong as men is *insanely* tone deaf to the experiences of women who have survived sexual assault.

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