The Ripple Effect
Title IX affected the country in many ways that were never anticipated. For instance, post–Title IX studies have shown that pursuing athletic endeavors during the school years raises self-esteem, increases life satisfaction, fights depression and enhances feelings of confidence and competence. What’s more, female athletes are more likely than nonathletes to avoid drugs, abstain from smoking and graduate from college. They also wait longer to have sex.
Benefits continue well after female players receive their diplomas. As adults, they tend to have healthier hearts, stronger immune systems, more resilient bones, less obesity, a lower risk for breast and other cancers and less chance of becoming diabetic than women who sat on the sidelines as teens. Ten years after college, they are also less likely to be depressed. Let’s hear it for the law of unintended ¬consequences! —M.D.
Illustrations: Quickhoney. Statistics sources: U.S. Department of Education 2011 Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act
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