When Title IX was passed by Congress in 1972, it was supposed to usher in a new era of equal opportunities for women. New opportunities were opened for women and girls in education and athletics that were previously unavailable to them.
But today, we are seeing these advancements turned on their head.
Female athletes are being forced to compete against males who identify as females. For example, since 2017, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has allowed male athletes who identify as female to compete in women’s athletics. This means that high school runners like Selina Soule and Alanna Smith are forced to compete against biological males. And, to no one’s surprise, the girls are losing.
Some people suggest that giving equal opportunities to both men and women requires both sexes to compete on the same playing field. In other words, if we want a world where no distinctions are made between men and women, then we’ll get a world where men and women compete against each other in athletics.
But this is the opposite of what Title IX was supposed to accomplish. Title IX was supposed to usher in an era of equal opportunities—not equivalency. Those two concepts are two very different things.
As Christians, we understand that men and women are equal in dignity. We know from the Bible that both men and women are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27).
But does that mean men and women are exactly the same? Of course not.
Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses, and different ways of viewing the world.
Allowing women to have the same opportunities as men in athletics does not mean putting both men and women on the same playing field. In fact, ensuring equal opportunities demands the opposite.
In order for women to have an equal opportunity to participate in sports, we must divide competitions by sex. This is because men and women have different athletic abilities. Because of their biological makeup, men can easily dominate women in certain sports.
Combining men and women in the same sports will give us the same result high school runners are getting in Connecticut right now. Race after race, male athletes who identify as females take the lead. In fact, two male athletes have taken 15 women’s state championship titles that were previously held by nine different individual girls.
That’s not providing equal opportunities. That’s attempting to force an equivalency between men and women—something that does not exist in reality.
A world where there are no distinctions between men and women is a world where women are disadvantaged. It’s a world where a skilled runner like Selina loses a race to a boy who has a biological advantage. It’s a world where sexual assault survivors are forced to share overnight facilities with biological men.
For true equality of opportunity between the sexes to flourish, distinctions between men and women must be made. The argument that men and women are interchangeable undermines opportunities for women and stands in the way of what laws like Title IX are trying to achieve.