Doyou need to be masculine to play sports in America? The answer has typically been yes, but that answer is changing. Since the Title IX program was adopted in 1972, women have had more opportunities than ever before to compete with men in sports. According to a thesis written by Joseph G. Boyle entitled, “Organized Sports Participants, Masculinity and Attitudes toward Women”, attitudes toward the acceptance of women in major sports has definitely improved. When athletes violate the stereotypes that are associated with roles that are preconceived, they are considered to be atypical or “other than normal/ however, stereotypes do still exist — especially in areas such as sports. When people violate the stereotypes associated with preconceived roles, they are considered to be atypical or not normal. Researcher found that because of this added conflict, female athletes show a higher amount of role conflict than male athletes. Conflict was also found to be more prevalent for female athletes participating in traditionally masculine sports such as baseball, football, soccer, hockey, and basketball. A recent study examined perceptions of gender roles based upon participation in different sports, as well as looking into the effects that gender and athletic identity seem to have on the perceptions of these athletes. The results found that female athletes competing in sports viewed as masculine were rated as less likeable than those competing in feminine sports. Male participants also rated female athletes competing in masculine sports as less respectable than those competing in feminine sports.Page 2Over the past several decades the role of females in modern society has expanded and changed dramatically. Sports are not merely about the game. It is rather, about the identities of those who play and watch the game. It’s about what gets established and reinforced every time sex-segregated formulas cast males as categorically superior to females. Sports matter – and probably far more than they should. Many more people tune into the Super Bowl than the president’s State of the Union address. Gender equality in sports has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. To make things more competitive and reduce the significance of masculinity in sports in America, the playing field should be leveled. If a male youth plays eighteen holes in a golf tournament, then a girl youth should be required to play the same number of holes. If a men’s tennis match is five sets to win, then a women’s sets to win should be 5 (currently 3). In golf women should not tee off closer to the hole, they should play from the men’s tee and play 18 holes. In boxing, the women’s rounds should be the same as the men’s (now it is shorter) and finally, in basketball, the women should shoot a three point shot from the same line as the men. Men may be stronger physically, but women are stronger mentally so that should even the playing field for their being no reason for masculinity in sports.
Masculinity of sports Haley Timbrook 8th Grade Project The Walker School