An Analysis of Gender Inequality in Sports

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Gender inequality issues are still prevalent in the 21″ century. Simply, take a look at the way in which advertisements, pop culture, the media, the common workplace, schools, and even sports, subliminally undervalue women and without question, honor men. Conventionally, most sports are perceived as being male dominated; however, as time progresses and the world becomes more and more liberal, changes need to be made in order for the sports world to become more female friendly and less misogynistic.

Simply consider cheerleading. It is safe to say that cheerleading is a female dominated activity; however, some do not even think twice to consider the activity a sport. Why is that? Why is it that the only way women are acknowledged in the sports world is if they are half-naked on a Sports Illustrated magazine cover or if they are half-naked advertising for a Budweiser commercial, or most “importantly”, if they are half-naked on a football field during half-time cheering for a sports team? Needless to say, women should be respected and taken just as serious as their male counterparts in the sports world and the million dollar question that remains is what is preventing this from happening?

According to Darlison (2000), “Gender inequality in all areas of life remains a global problem despite efforts over the past twenty years in particular to address the situation. In physical activity and sports the inequality between women and men is particularly pronounced in almost all countries, although it differs in degree. Two of the main reasons why inequality between women and men [in] physical activity and sports is more extreme than in many other areas of social life are the result of the close association between sex and gender” (p. 1).

It is still difficult to fathom how sex and gender correlate such ambiguous differences amongst athletes. According to Gotbaum (2006), “Numerous studies have confirmed the benefits for young women who participate in sports; the reduction of obesity and type 2 diabetes, higher self-esteem and self-confidence and increased academic success. New York City public high

school girls, however, have fewer opportunities to play sports than boys. This despite the guidelines set forth by Title IX and New York State statues mandating that women and men receive equal opportunities to participate in sports” (p. 3).

What exactly was the purpose of Title IX being implemented? Women, young girls in particular, are still being discouraged from participating in sports due to their gender. According to a study by Gotbaum, “Although most schools had approximately equal numbers of boys and girls, all types of high schools favored boys’ sports team opportunities. The bias appears to be most common in schools with a total enrollment of 600 students or less. The PSAL sports schedule discriminated against girls by scheduling some girls’ sports in the off-season while boys’ teams for these sports played during the regular season” (p. 3-4).

Surprisingly, gender inequality differences in sports do not only exist in North America. According to research conducted by Van, Scheerder, and Bracke (2010), “The Eurobarometer Survey 62.0 (carried out in 2004 at the request of the European Commission and covering the adult population of 25 European member states, N= 23,909) was used to analyze differences in regular sports participation by gender and by age in the different countries. For the majority of countries, the occurrence of regular sporting activity was less than 40%. Additionally, binary logistic regression analyses identified significant gender differences in sports participation in 12 countries. In Belgium, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK, men were more likely to report being regularly active in sports than women, whereas in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, the opposite was true” (p. 1).

Cite this paper

An Analysis of Gender Inequality in Sports. (2023, May 20). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/an-analysis-of-gender-inequality-in-sports/

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