The grapple for gender equality in sports

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How many female sportsmen are recognised till date? And how many male sportsmen are recognised till date? …Found a huge difference? Have we ever thought as to why is it so?There are various gender based factors that influence a woman’s participation in sports.

First! Social Stigma (perceived sexual orientation and gender identity of female sportsmen).Second! Lack of sponsors and financial aid due to deficit publicity and viewership).Third! Lack of access (according to women sports foundation Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have).Gender stereotypes discourage women from entering the field of sports. Lack of support and encouragement destroy their morale. Sport is a male-dominant area that not only promotes traditional gender roles but also advances male hegemony, implying that gender stereotypes may enhance or hinder sport participation among women. Additionally, sport psychology literature points to fear of negative evaluation as a critical reason for dropping out from sport participation.

While past research has investigated factors influencing sport participation separately, further research into the links between these factors is warranted. There is a dearth of research focusing on sport participation from the perspectives of subjective norm and gender stereotype. Furthermore, only limited research investigated the relationship between sport participation and participants’ personality traits, such as fear of negative evaluation. As a result, the current study attempts to examine the effects of peer attitude, fear of negative evaluation, and gender stereotype on sport participation. Gender stereotype in sport participation has been a societal phenomenon for decades (Alley & Hicks, 2005). Explanations for gender stereotype refer to the strong link between sport behaviour and masculinity (Colley, Berman, & Van Millingen, 2005). For instance, sport participation has been regarded as a masculine activity; literature even argues that participation in competitive sports violates females’ traditional sex roles (Eitzen & Sage, 1993). This is  due to sport’s apparent association with the corporeal differences between men and women: the image of “large armoured men” versus “thin women in short skirts” (Tagg, 2008).Furthermore, previous research argued that participation in competitive sports tends to masculinise females (Harres, 1968). These gender stereotypes indeed influence sport participation.

Men and Women should have equal opportunities even when it comes to sports, Women sports should also start receiving attention. All in all, women who desire to participate in sports should be granted boundless encouragement from their family members, teachers and their coaches. Hopefully, with the upcoming sports championships and Olympics we will see even more female participants, break even more records for women’s participation in sports and perpetuate the enthusiasm and zeal which will in turn be an encouragement for the generations to come

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