Some time ago I blogged about a new book, Warrior Girls, that covers in an in-depth way the unique challenges faced by female athletes. That book is now out. I would encourage Christian parents and leaders to buy it, read it, and think about the implications of its conclusions for a Christian worldview.
Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview by the Chicago Tribune with the book’s author, Michael Sokolove:
“Tribune: Is it overstatement to suggest that girls might be physiologically ill-equipped to compete in high-level athletics?
Sokolove: I think that is an overstatement. But we do need to recognize differences. As girls and boys go through puberty, they diverge, physically—boys add muscle, and even without much effort, get stronger. Girls do not get appreciably stronger, but they become more flexible. When knees and other joints are not kept stable by sufficient muscle, they are vulnerable to injuries–including tears of the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, which is the scourge of women’s athletics. Girls and young women suffer ACL tears at rates eight times higher than male athletes in sports the sexes play in common and by essentially the same rules, including basketball and soccer.”
The fact that girls suffer eight times the amount of ACL tears in high-contact sports (detailed in the book) tells us something about the unpopular but also undeniable reality that when it comes to physiology, girls and boys are different. Put simply, the bodies of girls and women are not built to take the same amount of stress and abuse as are the bodies of boys and men. This is a hard fact for many to acknowledge, but it is a necessary one, and it should factor into the decisions we make regarding our children and the sports in which they engage. The gender-neutral society is a sham.