For many years gender inequality in sports was still present, even after the women's right movement, Title IX was passed in 1972 (Sandys, 2007). Title IX banned sex discrimination in any education program that is federally financed. This was supposed to correct the imbalance of treatment between the sexes of college students. Since the passing of the federal gender-equality law, universities started to offer a chance for many of women to participate, that was not previously offered before (Adams & Tuggle, 2004). Now that more women have jumped into the sports arena, many institutions are giving the appearance of offering more sports to females (Hardin & Shain, 2005). Equal opportunity for women in sports would provide better psychological and sociological development that would derive from the impact of sports participation.
Literature Review: Issues in Gender Roles
Women have been criticized when it comes to sports participation, sports is viewed as a dominant role for males and females should play a supportive role rather than participating in the actual field activities, this is just one of many reasons why inequality still exists. Sandys (2007) suggests that gender inequality in sports stems from the stereotypes that exist in society today. For example, stereotypes of women’s physical abilities and social roles are still very prominent today, and so women naturally feel inferior in the sports domain. If we stray away from the right track towards gender equality in sports and increased feelings of empowerment will only be reached if these stereotypes are eliminated (Sandys, 2007). Therefore, it could be argued that increased media coverage of women’s sports could be a possible solution, because it would serve to educate the public on the actual participation that women do have in sports and how it is now becoming a norm (Adams & Tuggle, 2004). In fact, in the past decade alone, there has been a substantial increase in women participating in sports (Sandys, 2007); however, these statistics go unnoticed because of lack of awareness. Increased media coverage could serve as a mediating factor on the effects that negative stereotypes have on women’s perception of participating in sports.
Other issues in gender roles contribute to the inequality that woman face in the sports industry. Discrepancies still exist on the types of sports women participate in and often their choices are more limited than that of men’s, and the availability of leadership roles within the industry is also limited for women (Sandys, 2007; Adams & Tuggle, 2004). Not only are the types of roles that women play in sports limited, but societal attitudes on the presumed gender roles of women in sports also play a factor in the issue of inequality. For example, it is found those women who are in the work force with children reported they are not allowed to form any type of sports activities outside of home (Hardin & Shain, 2005; Fink, 1998). Furthermore, more often...