Sex Segregation in Sports
Why Separate Is Not Equal
by Adrienne N. Milner and Jomills Henry Braddock II
February 2016, 208pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3810-1
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3811-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Why should segregation by sex—currently seen as acceptable and legal in sports contexts—be discontinued?

Why isn't segregation based on sex illegal in sports just as race segregation is? This book examines the controversial issue, arguing that "separate but equal" is neither achievable nor constitutional.

Will the creation of coed teams help mitigate issues of perceived sex discrimination in sports, or will equity among male and female athletes come from better enforcement of the “separate but equal” ideal? This book examines this highly charged issue, specifically challenging the effectiveness of Title IX and arguing that it be ousted in favor of sex integration. This is the first book to present both legal and social arguments for the elimination of sex segregation in sports and provide tangible solutions to address this issue.

Authors Adrienne N. Milner and Jomills Henry Braddock II lay out the potential benefits of comingling male and female athletes, illustrating how this process may translate to greater sex equality in social, economic, and political contexts. In addition, this forward-thinking work offers specific recommendations for facilitating the integration of sexes in sports and discusses the importance of changing attitudes and ideology within the sports community and the general public to achieve this goal.


  • Features both current and historical events to support the argument for sex integration in sports
  • Examines how sex and race are social constructions and considers their connected plights
  • Presents both legal and social arguments for the elimination of sports-related sex segregation
  • Challenges legal, biological, and social arguments against sex integration
  • Analyzes the legal nuances of Title IX legislation and Brown vs. Board of Education and compares the two cases
Adrienne N. Milner, PhD, is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is also serving as a principal investigator (PI) on two grants that assess how sex and racial differences affect physical activity and health outcomes. Milner teaches sport and society, sex and gender, and race and ethnic relations at the college level. Her published works include numerous teaching materials related to sport.

Jomills Henry Braddock II, PhD, is professor of sociology at the University of Miami. Formerly, he served as the director of the center for research on sport in society at the University of Miami and as the outside representative to the NFL Players Association. Braddock II is the recipient of the James E. Blackwell Founders Award for distinguished service and lifetime achievement from the Association of Black Sociologists. He has published more than 20 papers on sports in top sociology journals.


"[A] thought-provoking collaboration. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, August 1, 2016

"Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not Equal recognizes an issue in society that may not be apparent, but surely needs to be addressed. . . . This book is effective in its ability to show how segregation was approached earlier in history and the overall significance of sports in individual and societal development. . . . This book does more than highlight the importance of that area of research. It also offers a detailed plan of implementation and addresses, with confidence, how to apply and evaluate the progress. Overall, it makes a compelling case for the conclusion that the integration of sports would not only benefit men and women but also adolescents as children learn traditional sex constructs that are reinforced through adolescence and adulthood through sports."—Journal of Youth and Adolescence, June 7, 2017

"Like Brown vs. Board of Education before it, Title IX was hailed as an amazing victory for equal rights. However, the truth of its implementation has been less than ideal. We are still struggling to provide equal quality opportunities for girls and young women in the U.S. and Milner and Braddock are not afraid to say so in a cogent analysis of policy and procedure. This is an important read for sports administrators, coaches, scholars, and athletes at all levels."—Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Reading Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate is Not Equal is a good way to broaden your thinking about the value of coeducation, especially in sports where many of us agree there is too much sex discrimination and sex segregation that is detrimental to girls and women, especially if they are African American and Hispanic. You will probably agree with most of the authors’ research-based assumptions about the problems with sex discrimination in sports, but you may want to change or improve on many of their recommendations. For example, does the Title IX regulation allowing sex segregation for contact sports need to be changed to catch up with the increasingly common practice of allowing girls to participate in contact sports with boys? Is it okay to keep boys out of girls’ teams involving contact sports? Is separate ever equal when public funds are being used in a totally exclusionary way just for girls or just for boys in sports, mentorships, classes, schools? Thanks to Drs. Milner and Braddock for helping us understand how ending race and sex segregation in athletics will have valuable by- products, not only for equal opportunities, but for improving health, safety, and many other aspects of our society. I look forward to substantial follow-up research and legal analyses of ways to end sex discriminatory segregation in sports and other areas."—Sue Klein, EdD, Education Equity Director, Feminist Majority Foundation

"In an age when there is a belief that all is well with women in sport, the authors provide us with the real deal. If you want to understand where we are and get a sense of where we should be with regard to women in sports, this book is for you. An excellent piece of scholarship."—Kenneth L. Shropshire, David W. Hauck Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative; Special Counsel at Duane Morris LLP; and Author of Sport Matters: Leadership, Power, and the Quest for Respect in Sports
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