40 years after Title IX was passed, schools still provide 1.3 million fewer chances for girls to play sports in high school. That means that girls do not receive equal opportunities to play, compete and reap the benefits that sports provide, both on and off the court.

Beijing 2008Those benefits include important things like a decreased chance of developing heart disease, obesity, and other health-related problems. And female athletes are more likely to stay in school, be more self-confident and have better academic and employment outcomes. Girls who play sports also have lower rates of sexual activity and pregnancy and are less likely to smoke or use drugs.

And let’s not forget that girls who miss opportunities to play in high school will likely never play in college (and miss out on scholarships), professionally or even at the Olympics. While these athletic milestones are hard to reach, they are impossible without a chance to play.

Below is a top ten list that no state should want to be on. It represents the states reporting the largest share of high schools with female participation gaps of 10 percentage points or more. To check out the full analysis and find out where your state stands, read NWLC’s new fact sheet.

  1. Arkansas 49.6%
  2. Mississippi 53.9%
  3. North Carolina 54.9%
  4. District of Columbia 57.1%
  5. Texas 59.4%
  6. South Carolina 61.4%
  7. Alabama 62.2%
  8. Louisiana 62.2%
  9. Tennessee 65.4%
  10. Georgia 71.6%


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