Sexism In Sports Essay Research Paper SEXISM

Sexism In Sports Essay, Research Paper


What are the facts, opinions, and resources about sexism in

sports that address age-old questions about gender issues in

organized sports?

Some people talk about, debate and occasionally fight about

sexism in sports with questions like: who is better, men or women, or

if a women should play on a men?s team? These discussions usually

can not be settled, in that they are just matters of opinion. In this

paper we will tell just the facts, opinions of the public, and quote from

other reliable resources by which we will try to put to rest the age old

questions that have plagued athletes since the begging of organized


We polled many people and the answers sometimes were

surpassing. Not to be sexist myself but, without reading the ?What

sex are you? question, you could easily tell which question responses

were from men and which ones were from women, men had more

sexist opinions, that and the fact women have much neater

handwriting. Nine out of every ten people polled said that they all

played at least one sport, and at least half of the people that played a

sport, played more than one. Although most people could not give an

answer as to why a sport was the best to play, other then the answer

because it is cool. With those type of questions we did not get any

differing answer form either sex but the second you ask who is

better, you can usually tell, there were some exceptions though that

thought the other sex was better but that was rare. When asked if

men are better, most men said yes, but women said no, but almost

all women did say they are equal. The most interesting question

was: Do men behave different then women, Ninety nine present of

the people said yes. When asked why, most men replied that ?they

are tougher more focused then women? and some said that ?they

have better, or worse, attitudes depending on your view, in that men

start to hate their opponents?, and get a ?chip on their shoulder?.

When women answer that same question, most say ?men have bigger

egos, or talk highly about themselves?. In reply to that answer men

said it is good to have an ego, as long as you can back it up?,(even

though there are those who just talk big). They also said ?you have

to have an ego to have an edge over your opponents,? although this

edge can be taken to far though, when it gets you in trouble. To men

egos are good but to women having an ego is a bad thing, we won?t

even get into that argument, that is another two page report. Even

still if asked either sex should women play on the same team as the

men, most said that, if she was good enough she should be able

to…?if she was good enough?…What is that? As if there was a

common opinion that men are usually better, that counterdicts all the

opinions we just got. I guess when people answer the question they

don?t even realize they are making a sexist comment unconsciously,

like it was almost taught to us early. That is why there are so many

different opinions about the subject, that in turn, cause all of those

arguments. It is unmistakable that men do behave different, but is

that a good thing, that?s the very question that gets at all of the

arguments. That question will never be solved, but at least you know

your answer.

This controversy is not just a current event sexism in sports dates

back to B.C.?s.

Even in 776 B.C., ancient Greeks banned women as

competitors and spectators from the Olympic games. Any

married woman found near the stadium were hurled from

a cliff.

August 1890, W.S. Franklin announced the formation of a

women?s professional baseball league. He required that

be under 21 years of age, good-looking, and have a great

figure. A step forward but still not enough for the


1900 Olympic fieldin Paris was composed of 1308 men

and 11 women. Another step up from ancient Greeks but

still not enough.

Before 1916 women were not allowed to attend boxing

matches because they were to violent for the ladies.

In the 1920 Olympics, American figure skater, Theresa

Weld was cautioned by the judges for making jumps that

were not lady-like. Even before that it was unlady-like to

even jump.

In early bobsled races, two of the riders must be women

but they could not drive nor work the bakes.

In the 1928 Olympic 800-yard run, several women

collapsed, inciting IOC president Compete de

Baillet-Latour to try and rid the games of all women?s

track competition.

In 1936, Avery Brundige, while president of the US

Olympic Committee, said, I am fed up to the ears with

women as track and field competitors…her charms sink

to something less than zero. As swimmers and divers

girls are [as] beautiful and adroit as they are ineffective

and unpleasing on the track.? In 1952 he became the

president of the international Olympic committee.

Women?s events of no longer than 200 meters were

eliminated until 1960 when the 800-meter was

reinstated. Women were not allowed at center court for

the Italian championship tennis finals until the late


In 1972 the 1500m was added.

The women?s AAA in Britain did not allow women to

compete in long-distance road races until 1975.The

International Olympic committee refused to add the

3000m run for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, because the

event was deemed ? a little too strenuous for women?

in1984 the 3000m and the marathon were added.

1997 a women?s professional basketball league was

made, the WNBA (Women?s National Basketball


As you can see by this history it has been a long and slow battle

for women in sports. When we put this into a timeline form you

can truly see how it has progressed through the years.

Athletes are Athletes… A recently published article by Clay Kallam

that has won many awards, this best sums our report up. The

Article in it entirety is in the following web site

(For purposes of this report we only wrote up the relevant issues.)

Athletes are athletes

By Clay Kallam


It happens twice a week during basketball season. At one gym, the boys team

runs out on the floor, the cheerleaders pumping their pom-pons as the fans cheer each

starter. At another gym across town, the girls team faces another funereal atmosphere,

with only parents, boyfriends and the occasional stray prepwriter dotting the stands on

one side of the floor.

In a few enlightened leagues, it’s not this way. The girls and boys both play on

the same site on the same night, before the same fans – and no one gets shortchanged.

The natural question is obvious: Why doesn’t it work this way everywhere? The

answer is sadly indicative of the subcurrent of sexism that still haunts American

athletics: The boys coaches won’t stand for it.

In a recent meeting of a new league in California where the idea of playing the girls and

boys varsity games back-to-back (with the girls game first, to be sure), one boys coach

said “The girls games are terrible. I can barely stand to watch.”

Others said they couldn’t watch their freshmen play if the girls played at the

same site, as if the boys varsity coach takes his spot in the stands at 4:30 for the 7:30

tip-off and misses not a moment of a game that includes maybe four future varsity

members, none of whom remotely resemble the players they will be when the varsity

coach finally gets them. He might see a half of the JV game before taking his team into

the locker room to go over the scouting report and get ready for the main event, but to

hear the coaches talk, they need every second of observation of boys they see every day

in practice and all summer long.

Let’s be serious. The boys coaches don’t want the girls there for two reasons: 1)

It rocks their masculine world; and 2) The girls team might actually be better in some

years and the boys coach would have to swallow his not-insignificant ego.

But we all know girls can play the game (you wouldn’t be reading this if you

didn’t believe that), though I will concede that a bad girls high school game is worse

than a bad boys high school game. On the other hand, there are schools where the girls

team is not only more successful, but draws better than the boys team – and puts on a

much better display of fundamental basketball. When that happens, the boys coach must

not only deal with a mediocre team, he must also answer too many ego-busting

questions about when he’s going to get it together like the girls. (And this doesn’t even

include the boys themselves, who also must swallow large amounts of testosterone

when they’re 5-20 and the girls are playing for the state title.)

Truthfully, there is not one good reason why the boys and girls shouldn’t play at

the same site on the same night. One of the primary justifications for high school sports

is that it improves school spirit, which translates into a more upbeat campus and

happier students. If that’s the case, then putting the boys and girls together can only

amplify the positive effects of athletics because it gets more people involved in the


Typically, if the girls game is at 6 p.m. and the boys follow at 7:30, fans will

start to trickle in about halftime of the girls game. If it’s a close game, or the girls have a

good team, the fans will get involved. If they don’t, nothing is lost – in fact, the boosters

might even sell a few more hotdogs. Over time, more and more students and parents

will make an effort to see the girls game, because they will begin to know the players

and enjoy the different style of play.

In some cases, if the girls team is outstanding and the boys team weak, fans will

leave at halftime of the boys game – but the best situation is when both teams are good.

Then, the gym is rocking and rolling all night long, and everybody, from players to

students to parents, is pumped up, excited and happy.

That last scenario is also the most negative for split sites. What do the students

and fans do when both teams are good, both are playing critical games and they play at

the same time in different places? If the girls are playing for the league title and the

boys are playing for third place, where do the cheerleaders go? If it’s the classic

archrivalry in one of those years when all four teams are good, which game gets


Usually, it will be the girls, but not always. Girls games in the San Francisco

Bay Area can draw 1,200 people on their own, and as time goes on, it’s more and more

likely that fans will choose to see the females rather than the males (though the opposite

will still be the norm) – and what will the boys coaches say then?



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