Gender Discrimination in Sports
Gender discrimination in athletics has been a controversial issue for a long time. Men and women have different opportunities in the sports world. In the beginning, women did not have the same rights as men. Even though gender inequality exists in sports, the situation has improved recently. Today there are several famous female athletes, such as Abby Wambach, Ronda Rousey, and Simone Biles. Although these women have made an impact on the gender discrimination matter, most sports are still dominated by men. Gender discrimination in sports may be turning a corner, but it’s still not happening fast enough.
Social media coverage is another obstacle that women face when it comes to gender discrimination. Women’s sports receive significantly less airtime than men’s sports. According to the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota’s documentary: Media Coverage and Female Athletes, 40 percent of all athletes are female, yet they receive only four percent airtime of all sports media coverage (qtd. in Lopez). In addition, low media coverage of women’s athletics results in a decreasing fan base. This consequence provokes sponsors and advertisements to give little support to these women. On the rare occasion that the media does give coverage on women’s sports, it tends to lean towards their appearance and not about their talent and athletic abilities. The lack of media coverage for women’s athletics is a reason they are “taken with a grain of salt.”
For decades, female athletes have publicized the issue of gender wage gaps. Kelsey Clark, a writer for Inequality.org, notes that the United States Women’s soccer team who are three-time World Cup champions, were only awarded $2 million for their first-place finish in comparison to the USA men’s team that obtained $9 million after losing in the sixteenth round. Paying men more money for the same sport strips a woman’s determination and encourages them to not to participate anymore. “As of 2017, females make only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by a man, a 20 percent wage gap” (Milli). There is debate that the gender pay gap is reasonable due to the amount of money certain sporting events bring in when comparing men’s and women’s athletics.
Stereotypes of men and women have been established for an extended period of time. It is typical of people to assume that women should be more on the feminine side. From a young age, women were told not to engage in physical activities as much as men. Males have the reputation of being more masculine than women, although that may not always be the case in sports. A brand-new Nike commercial, Dream Crazy, was released a few days ago. The overall theme of the campaign is to overcome every obstacle or stereotype thrown in your path by dreaming big.
Courtesy of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, women were first introduced to sports in 1920 with the first girls’ state basketball tournament. Unfortunately, only five years later there was controversy surrounding this stepping stone for women. School administrators voted to discontinue their sponsorship of girls’ basketball because they believed it was unhealthy and inappropriate for girls. Due to popularity of the girls’ basketball tournament the event was televised for the first time in 1951 increasing its media coverage. The state tournament continued to thrive with an estimated audience of 260,000 people (Linder). Today women are participating in what was once all male sports. According to the New York Times football has remained a male-dominant sport, but some high school girls are gaining attention for their achievements. “For example, last fall, the high school quarterback Holly Neher threw a touchdown pass in Florida, making headlines as the first girl known to do so in state history” (Cretaz). Holly Neher is just one of many female athletes that are impacting gender discrimination in sports.
- Clark, Kelsey. “Gender Pay Gap for Women Athletes.” Inequality.org, 5 July 2015, inequality.org/great-divide/gender-pay-gap-athletes/.
- Cretaz, Britni De La. “More Girls Are Playing Football. Is That Progress?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Feb. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/well/family/football-girls-concussions.html.
- Linder, Jeff. “Timeline: 100 Years of the Iowa Girls’ State Basketball Tournament.” The Gazette, The Gazette, 24 Feb. 2019, www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/iowa-prep-sports/basketball/iowa-girls-state-basketball-tournament-history-timeline-100-years-ighsau-20190224.
- Lopez, Maribel. “Media Coverage and Female Athletes.” Rewire, Rewire, 21 Sept. 2017, www.rewire.org/pbs/media-coverage-female-athletes/.
- Milli, Jessica. “Pay Equity & Discrimination.” Institute for Women’s Policy Research, iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/.”
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Gender Discrimination in Sports. (2021, Apr 19). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/gender-discrimination-in-sports/
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