Gender Equity in High School Sports

By Grace Watkins

The overall picture of gender equity in high school sports is bleak. Analysis of Department of Education data from 2012 suggests that 28 percent of all public high schools have large gender gaps in their sports programs. A “large” gender gap is defined as having significantly more boys receive spots on sports teams than girls (relative to the overall distribution of gender in the school).

The 10 worst states for gender equity are all in the South. Only six states have fewer than 10 percent of public high schools with large gender gaps. Indiana has the 35th worst ranking. 28 percent of its public high schools have large gender gaps. The good news is that Indiana improved four percent from the 2010-11 school year to the 2011-12 school year.

For more on gender equity, you can view the interactive version of the map. Here is another interactive graphic demonstrating the wide range of gender gaps by state.

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