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Gender in the Gym

Last updated on November 22, 2022

Every student has a different experience throughout their four years of high school. This is especially the case when it comes to gym class, and one’s gender could be the leading cause in why each experience is unique.

According to Wesley Johnson, a freshman who currently takes PE, “When we do stretches and when we just do activities in general, it does seem like the cis guys really take over, and as a trans man, it makes me feel inferior.” 

He mentioned, “I also feel we should not have that whole ‘females get more points’ rule…” Johnson is referring to an enforced rule by the coaches that gives more points to a girl (or anyone assigned female at birth) for scoring a touchdown. In classes that go by this rule, girls are typically given ten or twelve points, as opposed to a boy (or anyone assigned male at birth), who receives a traditional six or seven points.

The Physical Education Department at Baltimore City College explained this system by stating “That way, [the boys] will look for [the girls] – intentionally look for them – to pass them the ball, to get them the ball. So it’s more of an involvement thing, not to say that the girls are not equal to the boys. It’s just more so everyone can get more involved.”

The locker rooms tell a story of their own. The boys locker room is open, spacious, carpeted, and used for gym class. The girls locker room, however, is mainly used for storage, so many girls prepare for gym class elsewhere.

(Above) Girl’s Locker Room
(Above) Girl’s Locker Room
(Above) Boy’s Locker Room

Stanley Richardson, a freshman who takes PE this semester, explained, “I feel as though that there is equality, but [there] could be better changes.” When asked about how his gender identity has impacted his experience in the class, he stated, “It didn’t change anything.”
The students at City College have different concerns on the subject, but the main idea is clear – gender inequality very well could be a local, persisting, and popular idea.

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