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Men Vs. Women In Professional Sports

1447 words - 6 pages

Men Vs. Women in Professional Sports      Ever since the ancient Greece, men have held athletic competitions or sports. It is only in modern times that women have had an opportunity to compete. Most sports still don’t have men and women directly competing against one another. In the past athletic instructors adapted the rules to make sports less physically taxing for women. For instance in basketball, to ensure that girls maintain proper decorum, they were forbidden from snatching the ball and dribbling it more than three times in row. Females would not be considered strong enough to play a full-court basketball game until 1971. Women have struggled to be taken seriously as athletes for more than two centuries. Over the years, females have competed against the stereotype of being too fragile to play strenuous sports. During the 1920s, many people believed that girls couldn't handle the stress of interscholastic competition. In the 1930s, some doctors warned that high-stress sports might harm a woman's reproductive system. Women playing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League had to attend charm school. There, they studied etiquette and beauty routines, including how to arrange their hair in a manner that would "best retain its natural style despite vigorous play.” The Olympics did not admit women athletes until 1912. Women could not compete in the marathon competition until 1984, partially because some medical experts thought that women could injure their organs by participating. A major turning point for women's sports occurred when President Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, which states that any educational program receiving Federal assistance can lose its funding if it discriminates on the basis of sex. This legislation was a great opportunity for women because it gave female athletes access to better equipment, coaches, playing fields, and travel budgets. Before Title IX, Interscholastic competition for females had been declining over the years. According to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) In 1970, only one out of 27 girls played high school varsity sports. Now, due in part to Title IX, that number is one in three. While Title IX has greatly decreased the disparity between male and females in College athletics, in professional sports, the disparity is evident.

In professional sports the disparity between the male and female leagues are still there. Over the past twenty years, however women have made great strides towards being considered equal in sports. Women first started taking great strides in professional sports during World War II. When the male professional baseball players went off to war, a group of team owners started a professional league for woman (the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League). This league turned out to be successful. After the men came back from war, however the woman’s league could no longer sustain...

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