Gender Inequality in High School Sports 

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When sports were first introduced to high schools, they were only meant for males. Now there is more participation in sports by all genders, but it is not the end of the fight for equality because there is still a big gender gap in high school sports today. This is an important problem that needs to be addressed because a student’s high school experience is what gets them prepared for the real world. If there is a difference between genders in high school sports, the students will unfortunately get accustomed to always having different rights and will not do anything to change this problem in the real world. Gender should not be affecting the way high school sports are arranged; all athletes should be treated equally no matter the gender.

To begin with, male athletes get more publicity than their female counterparts. In an analyse conducted by 121 unique newspapers on the coverage of basketball, it was found that male athletes receive far more coverage than the female athletes (Whiteside, E., & Rightler-McDaniels, J. L. 2013). This is an important problem because male athletes are getting way more publicity than the females; this discourages females from joining sports including the ones they enjoy playing. This causes problems for the females because they don’t get a chance to experience sports in school which can lead them to not play in the future.

There is a higher percentage of male athletes who continue playing in college compared to the percentage of female athletes who continue playing in college. The reason male sports receive more publicity than female sports is because the media purposely makes the female sports sound boring (Scheadler, T, Wagstaff, A. 2016). This leads to there being less coverage of female sports and people begin to lose interest in them. This unfortunately results in less opportunities for females. The evidence used to support the claim does so because since it is in recent years it shows that gender equality is still a problem that continues to affect people today.

Also, the socialism process is one of the strongest influencers in high school sports. This affects both male and females; however, female athletes are affected more than the male athletes. At a young age, girls are pressured into choosing to be feminine or participating in a sport (Zapico, B., Tuero, C., Espartero, J., & González-Boto, R. 2014). Female athletes are forced to choose because of gendered ideas about physical activity. In other words, the female athletes have to choose between having what society considers a feminine body, which is being thin and curvy at the same time, or having muscular body to be considered having the same physical activity level as the male athletes (Kessel, A. 2018).

This causes a maintenance of inequality and gender stereotypes from the beginning of sports participation. This means that females should only participate in sports that don’t require physical contact, like dancing while sports that require physical contact should be for the males. This is blatantly sexist and an outdated practice that should be stopped in order to make sports in high schools equal for all genders. The sources used are credible because they come from a research article. The evidence used to support the claim does so because since it is in recent years it shows that it is still a problem that affects of today .

On the other hand, some people argue that with the placement of Title IX there is equality in high school sports. Title IX is the the federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination. (1995). Thanks to Title IX, 3.27 million girls participate in high school sports and 1 in 3 girls are part of the varsity team according to the Women’s Sports Foundation ( Wong,A 2015). However, despite this, nearly 4,500 public schools, mostly in the South, are still violating Title IX. These schools have a large gender inequality in sports according to the National Women’s Law Center who analyzed information of the 2011-12 Department of Education data (Brown, E 2015).

The National Women’s Law Center looked at the gender gap between the overall proportion of girls in each school and the proportion of the slots on that school’s sports teams were filled by girls in 16,000 high schools across the US. In more than a quarter of schools, the gap was larger than 10 percentage points. After the findings, the senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, the nonprofit organization has served as a watchdog for all school districts’ compliance with Title IX. Neena Chaudhry, from the Women’s Law Center, stated, “Girls across the country are still not getting equal chances to play sports and that’s a big problem”.

After these findings were released, people fought by saying that this does not prove that the high schools are in violation of Title IX. It shows that girls are just not interested in any sport. Chaudhry contradicted the people arguing against the violation by saying that a girls participation in sports has grown as more opportunities have become available to them. The schools with the highest gender gaps should survey the girls to find what sports interest them, then provide opportunities for them (Brown, E 2015).

This proves that even though Title IX was introduced a while back, it did not really do anything to address the inequality of gender gaps in high school sports. The chart below shows the percentage of high schools with a large gender equality gap per state. The image may not be clear but most of the states with the largest gaps are the southern states. This provides evidence for the previously stated because it shows that these states are not doing anything to fix the equality gaps for male and female athletes in high school. The sources used are credible because they come from a research article. The evidence used to support the argument does so because it shows that even if there was an attempt to solve the problem in the 90’s with the introduction of Title IX, it is still unfortunately affecting us today. (Brown, E 2015)

To sum it up, there is still gender inequality gap in high school sports. Even with the passing of Title IX, there are still some high schools who refuse to address the problem of inequality based on gender in high school sports. This problem should be addressed immediately because it is causing so many problems for female athletes. They are being discouraged from pursuing their passion in sports by the unfair treatment they receive in their school. These female athletes don’t receive as many opportunities as their male counterparts and are made to seem boring. They already face inequality in the real world because of their gender. They should not be facing inequality in high school as well.


  1. Brown, E. (2015). Gender gaps in high school sports, state by state. The Washington Post Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/06/23/gender-gaps-in-high-school-sports-state-by-state/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5c25f8036da6
  2. Kessel, A. (2018). Why do some schools still ban girls from playing football?. The Guardian Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/08/schools-ban-girls-playing-football
  3. Scheadler, T., Wagstaff, A. (2016). Exposure to the Women’s Sports: Changing Attitudes Toward Female Athletes. The Sport Journal
  4. Whiteside, E., Rightler-McDaniels, J. L.(2013). Moving Toward Parity? Dominant Gender Ideology versus Community Journalism in High School Basketball Coverage. Mass Communication & Society, 16(6), 808–828 Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271414901_Moving_Toward_Parity_Dominant_Gender_Ideology_versus_Community_Journalism_in_High_School_Basketball_Coverage
  5. Wong, A. (2015). Where Girls Are Missing Out on High-School Sports. The Atlantic Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/06/girls-high-school-sports-inequality/396782/
  6. Zapico, B., Tuero, C., Espartero, J., & González-Boto, R. (2014). The socialisation process and gender inequality in school sports. Science & Sports, 29, S20 Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0765159714001750
  7. (1995). Bias Against Women’s Sports.The New York Times Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/05/opinion/the-bias-against-women-s-sports.html

Cite this paper

Gender Inequality in High School Sports . (2021, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/gender-inequality-in-high-school-sports/



How are females discriminated against in sports?
Females are discriminated against in sports through unequal pay, limited opportunities for advancement, and lack of media coverage. They are often not given the same resources as their male counterparts, and may face gender-based stereotypes and biases.
How is there gender inequality in sports?
There is gender inequality in sports because women do not receive the same opportunities as men to participate in sports. This is due to a number of factors, including social attitudes and beliefs about the role of women in society.
Why is gender a problem in sport?
1. There is a lack of understanding about the different ways that men and women experience sport. 2. There is a lack of awareness about the potential for discrimination and harassment that can occur in sport based on gender.
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