Gender in sports has been a rising topic its recent years due to the challenges and hardships faced based on gender. We have seen female athletes try to bring awareness to problems they face in sports. On the other hand, we have seen male athletes have it easier simply because they are males. Gender in sports can be discussed on topics of differences between genders in sport, reasons for gender differences, and transgender involvement in sports. All these topics will be covered in this paper.
The first difference I like to point out is the sports scholarships hand out based on gender. As stated in this study, “Females make up 54 percent of the student body, yet they only received 36 percent sports operating dollars, 42 percent college athletic scholarship dollars, and 32 percent athletic team recruitment spending. Male athletes receive $133 million more athletic scholarship dollars than female athletes each year” (2013). We are still seeing social stratification being occurred in sports scholarships. Males are given higher financial support leaving behind female athletes. Many female athletes have to give up on their sports careers because they do not have the financial stability to attended colleges. This important because society still views the male as the superior gender in sports. Another example of inequality that females face at a younger stage is the funding received to their sports program. There has been a study done that showed more money has been spent on male sports than female. Funding plays a significant role in sports because equipment, coaches, and gear can cost a lot of money. This advantage that male athletes get gives them a higher chance of succeeding.
The second difference I want to point out is the difference in pay between each gender. In almost all sports male athletes make far more than females. In a recent study, “The WNBA players get paid less than $80,000 averagely in 2019-20, while NBA players earned $7.4 million averagely in the same period” (Berri, 2020). We see NBA promote NBA games weekly if not daily on different social media platforms and also on tv. But when it comes to the WNBA, we rarely see any type of advertisement. This lack of advertisement has a snowball effect because it leads to lower viewership and fewer sponsorships. Male athletes have talked about equal play in sports and yet we still have not seen a change. Females put the same amount of effort and dedication into their sport and yet still get paid significantly lower. We see this problem in cricket, soccer, baseball, hockey, and other sports. Many female athletes have to give on sports after putting a lot of time into training because they don’t have another source of income. In my opinion they can solve this solution by combing the same sports leagues together. By doing this it would advocate the league owners to promote female athletes more.
The third difference is that female athlete are objectified on the field. They are recommended to wear shorter clothes so they could attract a higher amount of the male audience. As stated in this article, “men’s uniforms are loose and sleeveless allowing for a full range of motion. The women on the other hand wear a bikini” (Jane, 2014). The sports organizers would rather have female athletes wear short clothes than them wearing clothes that would perform better in their sport. I feel that there is a hidden curriculum when it comes to female sports. The sports organizers/owners seem more focused on attracting viewership rather than displaying female athletes’ talents. Another example of a female athlete being objectified is LFL. LFL is female football where they would only wear shoulder pads, small helmets, and bikinis just so they could attract the male audience. On the other hand, male athletes are covered from head to toe in shoulder pads for their safety. Our society fails to view female athletes in football. Females in sports are being displayed more like models than athletes.