Well, that’s the only conclusion I can come to, since he doesn’t believe that girls and boys should be allowed to wrestle one another in the high school tournament, but he doesn’t seem to object when boys wrestle against one another.
A homeschooled boy withdrew from the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament rather than face a girl in a match. To be fair, the statement released by the young man is very congratulatory to the two girls who made the state finals — a first in the 85-year history of the tournament. However, he said that his religion does not allow him to wrestle those girls.
Here’s the relevant quote from the AP article:
Northrup’s father, Jamie Northrup, is a minister in the Believers in Grace Fellowship, an independent Pentecostal church in Marion that believes young men and women shouldn’t touch in a “familiar way,” said Bill Randles, the church’s pastor. “We believe in the elevation and respect of woman and we don’t think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do.”
Of course, this makes me wonder what he thinks about boys touching one another in a “familiar way.” If we’re honest about the fact that sexuality is a spectrum, then we can safely conjecture that there have been scores of boys over the past eight-and-a-half decades who have experienced attraction to the other boys against whom they’ve wrestled. And there have been dozens of boys who have been gay.
I honestly get the discomfort this adolescent boy feels about wrestling a girl. I just think we should acknowledge that there are boys who feel the same discomfort about wrestling other boys.