Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boys should not compete against girls in combat sports

The story of Joel Northrup, a high school sophomore from Iowa who withdrew from his state's wrestling championships rather than compete against a girl, Cassy Herkelman, got a lot of media play this week.

Northrup explained that it was his religious beliefs which told him to bow out of this match.

"Wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," Northrup said in a statement released by his high school. "As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."

Critics of Mr. Northrup seemed to think his religious convictions led him to the wrong decision.

Speaking for myself, as a non-religious person, I think Northrup was completely right. It's insane to have boys and girls competing against each other in a violent, combative sport like wrestling.

It has little or nothing to do with the accidental touching of breasts or genitals. It has to do with the fact that in a combat sport you are literally trying to dominate your opponent with violence, something boys ought not be doing to girls, ever.

If girls want to wrestle, they should exclusively wrestle other girls. If there are not enough girls interested, then there is no reason to have female wrestling as a sport.

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