Saturday, December 13, 2008

"You've Come a Long Way, Baby!" Or Have You?

Because of the women's civil rights movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Americans became engaged in the debate on sex bias in education. On July 1, 1972, Title IX took effect which ensures that “(N)o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Not without its detractors, women have made great strides in intercollegiate sport including athletic participation, coaching, and administration. Even with the passage of Title IX, however, much work still remains to be done toward achieving the goal of gender equality.

Title IX regulations require that academic institutions must comply with at least one of the following three part test criteria:

Part One: Substantial Proportionality. This part of the test is satisfied when participation opportunities for men and women are "substantially proportionate" to their respective undergraduate enrollments.

Part Two: History and Continuing Practice. This part of the test is satisfied when an institution has a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is responsive to the developing interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex (typically female).

Part Three: Effectively Accommodating Interests and Abilities. This part of the test is satisfied when an institution is meeting the interests and abilities of its female students even where there are disproportionately fewer females than males participating in sports.

One of the arguments against “substantial proportionality” is that in order to afford women more opportunities, men must forfeit some of theirs. In 2008, female enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities is nearing 65% as compared to just over 35% for men. However, it is still a common perception that men are not only more likely to participate in sports than women, it is more appropriate and attractive to sports fans that they should. This attitude is even more prevalent on the coaching and administrative levels of intercollegiate sport.

Prior to the enactment of Title IX , there were only 2.5 women’s teams per school (as of 1970) and 16,000 female college athletes (as of 1968). In 2008, those numbers have grown to 8.65 teams per school (9101 total teams) and over 180,000 female college athletes. The Acosta/Carpenter Study 2008 ( offers five factors contributing to the huge increase in participation: 1) second generation of Title IX beneficiaries’ participation, 2) lawsuits supportive of Title IX, 3) societal acceptance of females as athletes, 4) improved and increased media coverage, and 5)advocacy efforts of individuals and organizations.

Coaching has taken a different direction in its representations of women. In 1972, more than 90% of women’s teams were coached by females. In 2008, that percentage has bottomed out at 42.8%--the lowest in history with the exception of 2006 at 42.4%. Of all collegiate coaching jobs, women represent only one out of five coaches at 20.6%. While there are no definitive reasons for this disparity, the following considerations could be made: 1) coaching is still viewed as a male domain, 2) lower pay for women coupled with higher levels of harassment, and/or 3) male athletic directors recruit male coaches more aggressively.

In the areas of administration, women represent 21.3% of all athletic directors (the highest in 27 years) while 11.6% of athletic programs have no females in their administrative structures. While the great majority of institutions have athletic training, women only represent 1 out of 4 head athletic trainers. Female sports information directors only comprise 11.3% of all available positions.

While women are enjoying the highest levels of participation and employment in intercollegiate sport history since the passage of Title IX, major gaps still exist with more work to be done. It would seem that as the numbers of female athletes increase, women will expect to be represented in coaching and administrative positions in the very near future. The pursuit of advanced degrees, practical work experience, and high achievement is the key to continued progress for women in intercollegiate sport.

More next time...

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Cheers!" To Your Liver

During this holiday season, many will indulge in more alcohol than usual. In addition to all of the Christmas and New Years' celebrations, economic hardships are giving Americans the blues and yet another excuse to take a drink. But, before you do, ask yourself the following questions: Am I struggling with my weight? Do I suffer from irregular "eliminations"? How much alcohol do I ingest weekly? Do I consistently indulge in a high fat and sugar-laden diet? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you are endangering your liver.

What Does My Liver Do?

The liver is the body's largest gland weighing in at 3 pounds. Its contribution to the digestive process is bile production. Bile is the yellow-green fluid comprised of minerals, cholesterol, neutral fats, phospholipids, bile pigments, and bile acids--most of which is bodily wastes filtered from the blood. The liver is key to metabolism. Heavy drinking stresses the liver. Alcoholism often produces an enlarged and fatty liver due to the excess calories that alcohol provides (which makes fat-burning for fuel unnecessary) as well as the extra fatty acids converted from acetaldehyde. (According to Kenneth S. Saladin in Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function 2007)

How Do Alcohol and My Poor Diet Affect My Health?

If your diet is loaded with trans fats and processed sugar, your liver becomes inflamed and your blood sugar levels spike damaging vital tissues. ( You on a Diet, Roizen and Oz, 2006 ) Your overstressed liver cannot metabolize fats and remove toxins from your body properly. Thus, if you are sick, then you get sicker, and if you are fat, then you get fatter.

What Can I Do To Fix the Problem?

1) Don't Drink Alcohol.
2) Clean up Your Diet.
3) See Your Doctor for Evaluation: Get a plan based on your health condition.
4) Drink More Water.
5) Exercise.
6) Drink a Tea That Contains Burdock, Dandelion, and Milk Thistle. I recommend Waiora Herbal Detox Tea. This tea contains all three herbs which serve to detoxify, protect, and improve the health of your liver.

Start today and your New Year's resolution will be to CONTINUE to get fit, get healthy, and lose weight!

More next time...