Co-ed highschool sports; putting politics over logic

Photo by slagheap via flickr commons

Joel Northrup is an honorable young man. A sophomore wrestler at Linn-Mar High School, he dropped out of the Iowa state championship rather than do something no adult should have asked him to do in the first place — he dropped out because he didn’t want to wrestle a girl. Two girls, Cassy Herkelman and Megan Black qualified for the championship which is apparently unsegregated by sex. While Northrup was favored to win the title, he didn’t see how wrestling a girl was right or respectable.

Joel Northrup has come under criticism for his decision, being accused of being ignorant and sheltered because he’s homeschooled, but are his actions worthy of scoff or admiration? Even though two girls made the tournament in wrestling and were wrestling within their weight levels, it is extremely rare for high schools to combine girls and boys in contact sports. The reason, albeit politically incorrect, is fashioned in common sense.

Boys and girls have different body makeups. It’s not to say that one is “better” or that men are always stronger, but men typically have more muscle mass. Adding to the strength of boys, post-pubescent, is their center of gravity. Generally, woman’s center of gravity is lower – which gives men more strength in their upper body.

In my opinion, it’s wrong to have put this young man in such a position. Political correctness shouldn’t circumvent safety. Even the United States military doesn’t put women in situations of hand-to-hand combat. It’s not because people are “mean” or “ignorant” or that society wants to keep women down, it’s because, physically, we’re different. Our anatomy is different and if that offends anyone, it’s anyone’s guess as to who that complaint should be filed with.


The right thing for that girl to do would have been to drop out. In this case, there is no honor in winning by default. The girls should have fought each other.