It’s back-to-school season, and that means that many high school juniors and seniors have one thing on their mind: college admissions.
Recently, we’ve seen the great lengths some celebrity parents are willing to go to get their children into top universities. But the average college applicant cares less about getting into an elite school and more about being able to afford their college education.
An academic or athletic scholarship can mean the difference between graduating with thousands of dollars of student loan debt and graduating to a fresh start in a promising career. This is one of the many reasons why high school students spend hours training for their sport or studying for their classes. Their hard work could pay off in the form of a college scholarship.
That’s why it’s a huge blow when their hard work isn’t rewarded. Take Selina Soule for example.
Selina is a rising high school senior and seasoned track and field athlete. She dreams of competing as a sprinter in college women’s track and, potentially, in the Olympics. And she has the raw talent and puts in the hard work to achieve these dreams. Selina spends mornings, evenings, and weekends training so that she can shave fractions of a second off her sprint times.
But last indoor season, Selina was deprived of an opportunity to run in front of college scouts. Why? Because two biological males were allowed to compete in her event. And, as you might expect, they dominated the competition.
If that doesn’t sound fair to you, then you have more sense than the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). Since 2017, CIAC has allowed biological males to compete in high school women’s athletics.
This is unfair for obvious reasons. Science and common sense tell us that men are physically stronger than women. Men run faster than women. This isn’t because males train more. It’s because they have more muscle mass, greater bone size, and even more heart and lung capacity.
That’s why women’s sports exist—when men compete against women, women lose.
Selina knows this first-hand. She likely would have qualified for the New England Regional Championships if two male runners hadn’t been allowed to compete in her event. While the two male athletes took first and second, Selina was just one spot away from competing in the state championship finals and two spots away from qualifying for the New England Regional Championships, where college scouts from all over the country attend. So, instead of racing in front of college scouts, Selina had to sit on the sidelines.
This is one of the many reasons why Selina decided to sign her name publicly to a Title IX complaint about CIAC’s policy, which effectively discriminates against female athletes. And last week, the Office of Civil Rights for the Department of Education agreed to investigate Selina’s complaint.
We owe Selina a debt of gratitude for taking a stand. This isn’t going away any time soon.
If “sex” is redefined in federal law, biological males taking away scholarship opportunities from women is just the start.