California Women's Law Center, 3460 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1102, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Tel: 213-637-9900; Fax: 213-637-9909; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.cwlc.org.
Reports - Descriptive
This policy brief highlights the interrelationship between sports participation and teen pregnancy prevention, noting barriers that have prevented sports from being utilized in teen pregnancy prevention. Discrimination against girls and women in school sports persists 30 years after Congress enacted Title IX, and this prevents girls and young women from fully participating in school sports and sports programs not affiliated with schools. Research suggests that the discipline, strength, and self-esteem that sports fosters in girls and young women can play a major role in preventing teen pregnancy and that participation in sports is important in the lives of many young women who are at risk for teen pregnancy and who may lack other sources of empowerment (e.g., girls of color and girls from low income families). Although state and federal laws are clear about requiring equal treatment of girls and boys in sports receiving public financial assistance, the written and unwritten policies of many schools and sports programs are not. Recommendations for school administrators and personnel include: parents and other individuals not affiliated with the school must be proactive in ensuring girls' rights to participate in sports; schools and policymakers must ensure that girls do not "stand on the sidelines" during physical education; and sports programs should hire more women coaches and athletic directors. (Contains 18 endnotes.) (SM)