Sexism In Sports Essay, Research Paper
SEXISM IN SPORTS
What are the facts, opinions, and resources about sexism in
sports that address age-old questions about gender issues in
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
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
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
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
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?