I just finished reading Michael Sokolove's lengthy cover story in The New York Times Magazine, "Hurt Girls." The storyline is not new -- the topic of adolescent girls and ACL injuries has been covered in other publications.
I think the topic is an important one -- just as the story about injury rates in boys' high school football is also an important story. My problem is the way this story is framed. The subhead for the story (in the print edition) sets the tone: "Everyone wants girls to have as many opportunities in sports as boys. But can we live with the greater rate of injuries they suffer?"
I won't bother providing a number of obvious responses to the question.
A major problem with the story is its reliance on anecdotal evidence to present girls as generally not suited for the rigors of sports. Sokolove does, well into the story, tell readers that "boys suffer more sports injuries," but writes that fact off to football and a higher participation rate, then keeps moving through his thesis.
I'm not the only one perplexed by why Sokolove's story got as much ink as it did. For interesting reading that quickly reveals a number of flaws in the piece, see the hundreds of reader comments left on the NYT Web site.