I have it on the best authority-- the father of a 4 year old-- that figure skates make you gay.
This intelligence was offered to me when I suggested that the child, decked out in full hockey regalia for a tot skating class, would be better off in figure skates, as he couldn't stand up in the hockey skates (this is common with very young children, and everyone else). The dad flatly refused, citing the above problem. Of course I laughed, but no. He wasn't joking. Figure skates at the age of four will fatally determine your sexual orientation later in life.
I just started at a new rink that takes gender segregation on the ice to a whole new level. In my five classes, there are more than 60 girls, and 6 boys. Four of the boys are in hockey skates, and they are being steered out of the skating classes and into the hockey classes, sometimes against both their and their parents preference.
This switch is promoted as "he'll be happier in hockey," "he just wants to go fast," and of course the tried and true-- figure skating is for girls, and hockey is for boys.
Of course there are also several girls in the classes who would be happier in hockey and just want to go fast, but I don't see anyone suggesting that they try hockey skating.
Because they're girls.
My radical proposal is that going over to the other side be a test requirement at around the Gamma level, or its hockey correlation, the travel team tryouts. Want to take a Gamma class? You have to spend a month in hockey skates learning what that's like. Want to try out for a travel team? Same deal-- a month in figure skates. And then we need to let them choose, to not make the boys feel like they're less than male for choosing the "wrong" sport.
Furthermore, we seriously need to give our boys the ability to choose. I was talking about this with my musician son the other day. He went to a nurturing progressive school where his musical ability was very much honored and yet he apparently still felt pressure about doing a "girl" thing.
We are losing a lot of talent. The boys who go into hockey who ought to be in figure skates don't become fantastic hockey players. They just quit altogether. The girls have a little easier time of it, as a lot of figure skaters switch to hockey in their teens in order to qualify for college scholarships (and that's another whole essay). The beginner girls who ought to be in hockey wash out at the more precise demands of figure skating-- they don't knuckle down, they just quit.
Let the kids do what they do well. Their private parts have nothing to do with whether they skate with toe picks or shoulder pads.