Little league was obnoxious when I was a kid: girls weren't allowed. Period. There was nothing even remotely comparable for girls where I was, no activity to get us outside playing with others.
I don't know what happens these days. I spent a bit of the weekend at a little league tournament, and not a single girl was in any sort of uniform or playing on the fields. Girls were playing or hanging out, in fairly large numbers, under the pipe and wood bleachers. And occasionally a parent would even notice they were there, or wonder why they weren't watching their brothers playing on the field. I counted six baseball diamonds; I gather that all were in constant use from 11am to 9pm on Saturday, and scheduled for more games on Sunday.
I see parents put a lot of time into the boys' little league thing. Practices during the week, batting practice places, games a couple times a week.
One of the parents I was with talked about how much boys learn about teamwork and such, but I was thinking that what the boys learn is that boys playing sports are important, and that girls, or boys not playing sports, aren't valued.
A boy playing baseball gets Dad's attention for hours at a time, playing catch, batting, shagging grounders. And Mom takes the boy to practice during the week, while his sister tags along, bored, to hang out under the bleachers. All the while, the boy learns that he's the most important person in the family so long as he's playing sports.
Girls don't get that sort of attention, that I see. Maybe in the world of girls' beauty shows? (I've never met anyone involved in those, so I'm totally clueless.)
In academics, there's been noise in the past several years about how boys in high schools aren't doing as well academically as girls, so that more women than men get into colleges by the numbers. Then there's noise about how men need special consideration so that sex/gender ratios in colleges don't become "imbalanced." So there's a sort of quiet undercurrent of movement to give men special "consideration" in college admissions.
There are a LOT of factors going into who applies and gets into colleges. But I wonder how many of the parents of the boys at the little league tournament this weekend spend as much time encouraging and cheering for their boys' academic efforts as they do for the little league stuff.
(This entry is based on my own observation. Feel free to tell me that as much attention and money is spent on girls' sports for ten year olds. I'd love to hear it. I'm not saying that these parents spend no time working with boys on school work, or that no one pays attention to girls, or that all boys play little league.)