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Gender and Sports (DOC)

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					Gender and Sports:
Does Equity Require Ideological Changes?
What is sex?
The biological characteristics of maleness of femaleness.
Three biological characteristics can be used to identify a person’s sex.
 Physical Appearance
•Genitalia are commonly used at birth, but not without some occasional
errors.
•Hermaphrodite
•Physical abnormality
The Second Biological Characteristic
 Hormones
•Hormones can also be used, but hormone levels vary greatly between
members of the same sex.
•Hormone levels are also influenced by physical activity.
•Males and females have the same hormones.
•Estrogen
•Testosterone
The Third Biological Characteristic
 Chromosomes
•Chromosome testing is used to measure the presence of either XX or XY
pairs.
•Chromosome testing is not frequently done, but when the test is done some
errors do occur.
•Olympic FEM-testing has been criticized for many years.
•Errors are associated with all methods of determining individual sex.
Sex Category – is the assigning of a person (or self) to either male or female
sex.
What attributes do people use to identify someone's sex?
•Hair length?

•Physique?

•Skin complexion?

•Voice?

•How often are you wrong???
Will women ever be able to:
Run as fast?


Jump as high?


Lift as much?

Sexism
The belief that a persons behavior is the product of their biological sex.
Participation and Equity Issues
Participation by girls & women has increased dramatically since the early
1980s due to:
New opportunities
Government equal rights legislation
Global women’s rights movement
Expanding health & fitness movement
Increased media coverage of women’s sports

Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future Participation (1-4)
Budget cutbacks and the privatization of sport programs
Resistance to government regulations
Backlash among those who resent strong women
Under representation of women in decision-making positions in sport
programs
Reasons For Caution When Predicting Future Participation (5-7)
Continued emphasis on “cosmetic fitness”
Trivialization of women’s sports
Homophobia and the threat of being labeled “lesbian”
Gender and Fairness Issues
in Sports
Inequities in participation opportunities
–Often grounded in dominant definitions of femininity in a culture
–May be related to religious beliefs
Establishing legal definitions of equity
Support for athletes
Jobs for women in coaching and administration

Legal Definitions:
Title IX in the US
  Title IX requires compliance              with one of these three tests:
The proportionality test
A 5 percentage point deviation is okay
The history of progress test
Judged by actions & progress over past 3 years
The accommodation of interest test
Programs & teams meet the interests and abilities of the under represented
sex
Title IX Categories of
Support for Athletes:
Access to facilities
Quality of facilities
Availability of scholarships
Program operating expenses
Recruiting budgets
Scheduling of games & practice times
Travel and per diem expenses
Academic tutoring
Number of coaches
Salaries for all staff and administrators
Medical training services and facilities
Publicity for players, teams, and events

Coaching and Administration: Reasons for Under Representation
Women have fewer established connections in elite programs
Subjective evaluative criteria used by search committees
Support systems & professional development opportunities for women
have been scarce
Coaching and Administration: Reasons for Under Representation
Many women do not see spaces for them in corporate cultures of sport
programs
Sport organizations are seldom sensitive to family responsibilities among
coaches and administrators
Women may anticipate sexual harassment and more demanding standards
than those used to judge men
Strategies to Promote
Gender Equity (1-4):
Confront discrimination and be an advocate for women coaches and
administrators
Be an advocate of fair and open employment practices
Keep data on gender equity
Learn and educate others about the history of discrimination in sports and
how to identify discrimination
Strategies to Promote
Gender Equity (5-9):
Inform media of unfair and discriminatory policies
Package women’s sports as revenue producers
Recruit women athletes into coaching
Use women’s hiring networks
Create a supportive climate for women in your organization
Cheerleaders: Reproducing Definitions of Femininity?
Cheerleading in the late 1800s was a male activity; it changed after World
War II
Cheerleading today is a diverse phenomenon, but cheerleading sometimes
is organized in ways that reproduce traditional gender logic
–Be attractive, and pure & wholesome
–Support men as they work
–Be an emotional leader without receiving material rewards

Girls and Women
As Agents of Change
Sport participation can empower women
But this does not occur automatically
But personal empowerment is not necessarily associated with an awareness
of the need for gender transformation in society as a whole
But elite athletes seldom are active agents of change when it comes to
gender ideology
Why Elite Athletes Seldom Challenge Traditional Gender Ideology
Women athletes often fear being tagged as ungrateful, “man-haters,” or
“lesbians”
Corporation-driven “celebrity-feminism” focuses on individualism and
consumption, not everyday struggles related to gender
“Empowerment discourses” in sports are tied to fitness and heterosexual
attractiveness
Women athletes have little control or political voice in sports or society at
large
Boys and Men
As Agents of Change
Gender equity also is a men’s issue:
Equity involves creating options for men to play sports not based
exclusively on a power and performance model
Equity emphasizes relationships based on cooperation rather than
conquest and domination
Changes in Gender Ideology: Prerequisites for Gender Equity
Gender ideology is crucial because:
Gender is a fundamental organizing principle of social life
Gender logic influences how we
–Think of self and other
–How we relate to others
–How we present ourselves
–How we think about and plan for our future
Gender Logic
Based on a
Two-category Classification System
Assumes two mutually exclusive categories: heterosexual male and
heterosexual female
These categories are perceived in terms of difference, and as “opposites”
System leaves no space for those who do not fit into either of the two
categories
The two categories are not equal when it comes to access to power
Sports:
Celebrations of Masculinity
Gender is not fixed in nature – therefore, people must work to maintain
definitions
Sports are sites for preserving forms of gender logic that privilege men &
marginalize women
Dominant sport forms highlight and reward virility, power, and toughness
Sport images and discourse glorify a heroic manhood based on being a
warrior
Gender Logic in Sports:
Girls and Women As Invaders
Girls and women in sports often threaten the preservation of traditional
gender logic
Through history, myths have been used to discourage participation by girls
and women
Encouragement varies by sport, and whether the sport emphasizes grace or
power
Being a “tomboy” is okay as long as traditional “femininity cues” are
presented
Women Bodybuilders:
Expanding Definitions of Femininity?
Competitive bodybuilding for women did not exist before the 1970s
Women bodybuilders often are perceived as deviant in terms of gender
definitions
Women bodybuilders challenge traditional definitions of gender, despite
commercial images that highlight heterosexual attractiveness
Femininity insignias are used to avoid social marginalization

Gender-based Double Standards:
Do They Exist in Sports?
What would happen if:
Mia Hamm beat up a man or a couple of women in a bar fight?
A rugby team “mooned” tourists in Washington, DC?
A basketball player had four children with four different men?
Anna Kournikova was photographed with near naked men ogling and
hanging on her?
Homophobia in Sports
Popular discourse erases the existence of gay men and lesbians in sports
Gay men and lesbians challenge the two-category gender classification
system
Being “out” in sports creates challenges
–Women risk acceptance
–Men risk acceptance and physical safety
Most people in sports hold a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy concerning
homosexuality
Strategies for Changing
Ideology and Culture
There is a need for
Alternative definitions of masculinity
Critically question violent & destructive behavior
Alternative definitions of femininity
Becoming “like men” is not the goal
Changing the ways we talk about & do sports
Lifetime participation, an ethic of care, gender equity, and bringing boys
and girls and men and women together to share sport experiences


Race and Ethnicity:
Are They Important in Sports?
Defining Race & Ethnicity
Race refers to a category of people regarded as socially distinct
Share “genetic” traits believed to be important by those with power and
influence in society
An ethnic group is a socially distinct population that shares a way of life
Committed to the ideas, norms, and things that constitute that way of life
Minority Group
Refers to a socially identified collection of people who
Experience systematic discrimination
Suffer social disadvantages because of discrimination
Possess a self-consciousness based on their shared experiences
The Concept of Race
Racial categories are social creations based on meanings given to selected
physical traits
Race is not a valid biological concept
Verified by data from Human Genome Project

Racial classifications ambiguous
because they are based on continuous traits with arbitrary lines drawn to

create categories
Racial classifications vary from culture to culture




Race in the United States
A primitive but powerful classification system has been used in the U.S.
It is a two-category system based on the rule of hypo-descent or the “one-
drop rule”
The rule was developed by white men to insure the “purity” of the “white
race” and property control by white men
Mixed-race people challenge the validity of this socially influential way of
defining race
Tiger Woods:
Disrupting Dominant Race Logic
CABLINASIAN

CA = Caucasian
BL = Black
IN = Indian
ASIAN = Asian
Using Critical Theory to Ask Questions About Racial Classification Systems
Which classification systems are used?
Who uses them?
Why are some people so dedicated to using certain classification
systems?
What are the consequences of usage?
Can negative consequences be minimized?
Can the systems be challenged?
What occurs when systems change?
  Race Ideology in History
Racial classification systems were developed as Caucasian Europeans
explored and colonized the globe
These systems were used to justify colonization, conversion, and even
slavery and genocide
According to these systems, white skin was the standard, and dark skin was
associated with intellectual inferiority and arrested development
Race Ideology in Sports Today
Race logic encourages people to
“See” sport performances in racial terms, i.e., in terms of skin color
Use whiteness as the taken-for-granted standard
Explain the success or failure of people with dark skin in racial terms
Do studies to “discover” racial difference
Traditional Race Logic
Used in Sports

  Achievements of White Athletes are due to:
Character

Culture

Organization
  Achievements of Black Athletes are due to:
Biology

Natural physical abilities

Searching For ”Jumping Genes” in Black Bodies
Why is the search misleading?
Based on oversimplified ideas about genes and how they work
Assumes that jumping is a simple physical activity related to a single gene
or interrelated set of genes
Begins with skin color and social definitions of race
A Sociological Hypothesis
Race logic + discrimination + sport opportunities



Beliefs about biological & cultural destiny
+
Motivation to develop skills




OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS
The Power of Race Logic
Black male students often have a difficult time shaking “athlete” labels
based on race logic
Young people from all racial backgrounds may make choices influenced by
race logic
In everyday life, race logic is related to the cultural logic of gender and
social class

Sport Participation and
African Americans
The facts show that

Priorto the 1950s, African Americans faced a segregated sport system
African Americans participate in a very limited range of sports
African American men and women are under represented in most sports
Sport Participation and
Native Americans
Native Americans comprise dozens of diverse cultural groups
Traditional  Native American sports combine physical activities with ritual
and ceremony
Native Americans often fear losing their culture when they play Anglo
sports
Stereotypes used in sports discourage Native American participation
Images of
Native Americans in Sports
Using stereotypes of Native Americans as a basis for team names, logos,
and mascots is a form of bigotry
regardless of the intentions

Are there conditions under which a group or organizations could use the
cultural and religious images of others for their own purposes?
What would happen if a school named their teams the Olympians and used
the Olympic logo (5-Rings) as their logo?

Sport Participation and
Latinos & Hispanics
The experiences of Latino athletes have been ignored until recently
Stereotypes about physical abilities have influenced perceptions of Latino
athletes
Latinos now make up 25% of Major League Baseball players
Latinos often confront discrimination in school sports
Latinos have been overlooked due to faulty generalizations about gender
and culture
Sport Participation and
Asian Americans
The cultural heritage and histories of Asian Americans are very diverse
The sport participation patterns of Asian Americans vary with their
immigration histories
Little is known about how the images of Asian American athletes are
represented in the media and minds of people in the U.S.
The Dynamics of Racial & Ethnic Relations in Sports
Race and ethnicity remain significant in sports today
Today’s challenges are not the ones faced in the past
Racial and ethnic issues DO NOT disappear when desegregation occurs
The challenge of dealing with inter-group relations never disappears
changes in terms of the issues that must be confronted

Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Exclusion in Sports (I)
Changes are most likely when
People with power and control benefit from progressive changes
Individual performances can be measured precisely and objectively
Members of an entire team benefit from the achievements of teammates
Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Exclusion in Sports (II)
Changes are most likely when
Superior performances do not lead to automatic promotions
Team success does not depend on off-the-field friendships
The Biggest Challenge: Integrating Positions of Power
Power in sports is not readily shared
Even when sport participation is racially and ethnically mixed

The movement of minorities into coaching and administrative positions has
been very slow
Social and legal pressures are still needed before power is fully shared
Needed Changes:
Regular and direct confrontation
of racial and ethnic issues by people in positions of power

A new vocabulary
dealing with new forms of racial and ethnic diversity

Training sessions dealing with practical problems and issues
Not just feelings

The Racially
“Natural Athlete”?
There is no evidence showing that skin color is related to physical traits
that are essential for athletic excellence across sports
or in any particular sport
Socially Constructing the Black Male Body: Race Ideology in Action
In Euro-American history there has been
Strong fears of the physical power and prowess of (oppressed) black men
Powerful anxieties about the sexual appetites and capabilities of (angry)
black men
Deep fascination with the movement of the black body
THEREFORE, the black male body =
valuable entertainment commodity
 Research Summary
(Genetic Factors & Athletic Performance)
Are there genetic differences between individuals? YES
Are genetic characteristics related to athletic excellence? YES
Could one gene account for success across a range of different sports?
PROBABLY NOT
Might skin color genes & physical performance genes be connected? NO
EVIDENCE
Research Summary (Continued)
Are physical development & the expression of skills in sports related to
cultural definitions of skin color and race? DEFINITELY YES
Do cultural ideas about skin color & race influence the interpretation of and
meaning given to the movement and achievements of athletes?
DEFINITELY YES
Social Origins of
Athletic Excellence
A cultural emphasis on achievement in activities that have special cultural
meaning
Resources to support widespread participation among young people
Opportunities to gain rewards through success
Access to those who can teach tactics and strategies
Consequences of
Race Ideology in Sports
Desegregation of revenue producing sports
Continued racial exclusion in “social” sports
Position stacking in team sports
Racialized interpretations of achievements
Management barriers for blacks
Skewed distribution of African Americans in U.S. colleges and universities


Sport in Society:
Issues & Controversies
Chapter 14
Sports in High School and College:
Do Varsity Sport Programs
Contribute to Education?
Arguments For and Against Interscholastic Sports
Arguments For:
Involve students in activities
Build self-esteem
Enhance fitness and lifetime participation
Generate spirit and unity
Promote support
Develop and reward valued skills
Arguments Against:
Distract attention from academics
Create dependence
Increase passivity and injuries
Create superficial and transitory spirit
Waste resources
Create pressure and distort status system
Experiences of
High School Student-athletes
Research shows differences between those who play varsity sports and
those who do not
Research suggests that these differences mostly are due to selection and
filtering processes
Those who play sports often bring to sports characteristics that make them
different from others who do not play sports
Methodological Problems
Research on the consequences of playing varsity sports is difficult to do
because
Growth and development among students is due to many factors
Meanings given to sport participation vary by context and from one
person to another
What the Research Tells Us
Be careful when generalizing about the educational value of varsity
sports
Long term studies are needed
Student-athletes may be treated differently by significant others
Varsity sports exerts an influence on the larger student culture in high
schools
Student Culture in High Schools
Being a student-athlete often is a source of status and popularity
More for men than women
Sports are sites for major social occasions in the school
Sports often reproduce dominant ideologies related to gender, social
class, and race and ethnicity
Interscholastic Sports
 Are Valuable If They
Enable students to be noticed, rewarded, and taken seriously as human
beings
Connect young people with adult advocates in their lives
Provide occasions to learn things that are applicable beyond sports
Do Athletes Rule
U.S. High Schools?
  Data on this issue are scarce; research is need on the following:
How many students have been physically and/or verbally mistreated
by athletes?
How many people know of cases where athletes have mistreated
others?
Are some athletes more likely than others to harass or intimidate
other students?
Intercollegiate Sports and the Experiences of College Students
 Intercollegiate sports                 are not all the same
They vary by Division in the NCAA
They vary greatly from big-time entertainment-oriented programs to
smaller, less expensive, athlete-oriented programs
Characteristics of
Big-time Programs
Usually have a primary emphasis on football or men’s basketball and
their revenue generating potential
About 1 in 3 programs make money
Full scholarships are available to some athletes in nearly all of the 18-
24 sports
Teams often travel extensively
Quality of skills & competition is high
Student Athletes
in Big-time Programs
Participants in revenue producing sports usually have scholarships
Time and energy commitments to sport are exceptionally high, and
participants often must choose between
Working out and practicing sports
Doing coursework
Engaging in social activities
Academic detachment is a commonly used coping strategy among
athletes

The Diversity of
Student-Athlete Experiences
Some coaches and programs give priority to academic involvement
Some student-athletes give priority to academic involvement. Usually
if:
Past experiences reaffirm importance of academic achievement
Social support fosters academic identities
Non-sport career opportunities are perceived
Contact & experiences expand confidence apart from sports
Grades and Graduation Rates Among Student-athletes
Graduation data are confusing because there are so many ways to
compute statistics
Graduation rates among student athletes are higher than for
comparable students except in big-time revenue producing sports
Information on grades must acknowledge
Athletes often are overrepresented in certain courses and majors
Athletes in entertainment-oriented sports come to college with lower
grades and test scores
Recent Reforms in
Big-time Programs
The purpose of many new rules and standards passed since the mid-
1980s has been to:
Send messages to high schools & students that academic achievement
does matter in college
Set new guidelines for universities that had ignored academic issues
Provide college student-athletes the support they needed to meet
academic requirements
Academic Support Programs
Research is needed on these programs because they are very diverse in
terms of focus and philosophy
Recent media coverage suggests that some programs focus on
eligibility, not learning
Too many programs are administered by athletic departments rather
than faculty with academic appointments
Academic Integrity Issues
Restoring academic integrity to programs where athletic success is tied
to millions of dollars of revenue and the emotions of boosters and
alumni is difficult
Raising academic standards is important, but it must be done in ways
that do not unfairly disadvantage certain students
Prop 16 and similar rules must be critically examined to test their
fairness
Questions About the Benefits of Interscholastic Programs
School spirit often is enhanced, but does this improve the overall
academic climate?
Most programs lose money, but are the expenditures worth it in
academic and developmental terms?
Are the public & community relations functions of varsity sports worth
their costs?
Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations
Overemphasis on sports development and big-time models
Regular critical assessments and new sports focused on lifetime and co-ed
participation
Limited participation access
More teams in more sports where size and strength are not primary
Gender equity and opportunities for students with disabilities

Varsity High School Sports: Problems & Recommendations
Emphasis on varsity sports may distort status system among students
Avoid fostering sport-based systems of privilege
Give equal attention and recognition to the achievements of students
in activities other than sports
Intercollegiate Sports:
Problems & Recommendations
Focus on entertainment and commercial values
Impose cost containment and spending limits measures on athletic
departments and sports; make a financially level playing field
Lack of athletes’ rights
Student-athletes must be voting members of decision-making
committee
University must employ an independent ombudsperson for appeals
and advocacy
Drop the myth of amateurism in revenue sports
Intercollegiate Sports:
Problems & Recommendations
Gender inequities
Cut football expenses through cost containment and limitation rules
Fund women’s sports on an investment basis to foster development
Distorted priorities related to race relations and education
Aggressively recruit ethnic minority students, faculty and
administrators
Employ strategies to create culturally diverse campus cultures
Sources of Isolation
For Black Student-athletes
Racial and ethnic stereotypes used by some students
Time and emotional energy devoted to sports
Barriers to developing relationships with other students
Lack of campus activities representing the interests and experiences of
black students
Lack of self confidence among black students
Cultural and experience differences between blacks, whites, and other
ethnic minority students
Feelings of jealousy among white students who think black student-
athletes have it made

				
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