Research Paper: Gender in Sports

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Gender in Sports

In the opinion of this author, in the sports of modern society, the status of male and female should be equal. To support this position, we well examine the history and development of male and female sports and then contrast it with the status of males and females in sports in modern society. The reasons for this status will be examined including genetics and sports technology, government input and commercial input into the sports field. This evidence will support the author's opinion that Now, female's status is fast approaching the male's because their ways of training and playing sports are becoming closer.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are ancient models for the equality of men and sports in the ancient world. In ancient Sparta, women and men both played in public sporting competition. This sporting competition had a very good purpose, it was meant to mold and guide Spartan society and ideology to accomplish the optimal society where excellence was sought after. This contrasted with the status of women in the rest of the Greek and ancient world where men were little better than chattel slaves ("Elysium Gates.com").

In particular with regard to the rest of the Greek world, wives were to be had strictly for the purpose of the producing legitimate heirs. Sexual pleasure was gotten from boys, slaves, and prostitutes who existed in similar types of relationships where free, adult male citizens dominated and molded society with their sexual attentions. In states such as Athens, wives and daughters of these free citizens were excluded completely excluded from public and intellectual activities, kept in the home and were not allowed to exercise or eat or publicly as their brothers or husbands did. Women could not own or inherit property and they were not educated. In contrast, Spartan women were expected to keep healthy and in shape to run the home and the manage the family wealth for their families brothers and to have healthy children. The healthy boys served in the Spartan Army. Indeed, a Spartan woman who died in childbirth was accorded esteem equal to that of warrior in battle. Spartan girls attended public schools, although for a shorter period of time than boys. In school they were allowed and encouraged to engage in sports. This was more than simple literacy. Rather it was a systematic education in rhetoric and philosophical thought (ibid).

In the modern world, nation states have rediscovered the utility of sports in molding political culture and ideology. The Olympics in modern times had female competitors from 1900 onward although women at first participated in fewer events than their male counterparts due to concerns over the physical strength and stamina of women led to the discouragement of female participation in more physically demanding sports. For instance, the first events were women's figure skating, but evolved to include golf as women like Edith Cummings became popular celebrities, even capturing the front cover of Time magazine. Such pioneering efforts led directly to the modern status of women in sports ("Eleusis.chiomega.com").

Certainly, we can not consider the present situation to be one of total gender equality. There is a long road to travel and changing this paradigm will be the object of the rest of this essay.

First of all, technology and technique are helping to bridge the gender gap in sports. There certainly are some gender specific differences that affect the performance of women in sports. However, until modern times, it was rare that there were societal pressures to overcome these. For instance, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a common sports injury, especially in females.

These differences stem largely from subject-specific neuromuscular mechanisms across joint movements. This suggests that prevention through neuromuscular training is possible and can be successfully implemented

(McLean, Walker, and van den Bogert 411-422). In another study, it was found that better training for female athletes in landing techniques similar to their male counterparts prevented many leg injuries (Lephart, Ferris, Rieman, Myers, and Fu 162). It is therefore, this author feels that it can be conservatively postulated that this is possible in a number of areas where gender differences have prevented the effective participation of women in sports.

The federal government has weighed in on the side of gender equality in sports, especially in areas where physically capable individuals are available from both genders. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Kathryn Tomlinson performed as well as male contemporaries during her employment as a "Zoo Crew" member during the 1998-1999 season. The EEOC's suit alleged that in the period of 1999 to 2000, the Phoenix Suns adopted new sex-restrictive hiring policies for the crew that limited positions to "males with athletic ability and talent." The hiring policy was distributed in the form of job announcements posted around the Phoenix area as well as in a newspaper advertisement in several newspapers Phoenix newspapers. The Phoenix Suns were ordered to pay $82,500 to resolve claims the claims of both Kathryn Tomlinson and two other women and that the SMT parent company would pay $22,000 to Ms Tomlinson and the other two litigants. The Suns agreed to strengthen its policies prohibiting sex discrimination. Further, it agreed provide sensitivity training to employees, supervisors, and management and to establish safeguards so as to ensure sex-restrictive advertisements would never be disseminated again and that they would issue a letter of apology to Kathryn Tomlinson."("Hr.blr.com").

Also, commercial organizations have gotten in on the act. After all, females make up fifty percent of any potential market and it only makes sense not to ignore this market. However, restrictions exist. Even the almighty dollar is sometimes brought down low in the eyes of the faithful. As we saw in the Phoenix Suns case, federal action has to be applied to get the ball literally rolling and for programs to be successfully implemented. This is certainly the case in college sports. In reality, at present, gender integration and equity in collegiate sports has been glacially slow.

The fact that EEO in sports lags far behind advances in other areas of higher education certainly raises eyebrows concerning the truthfulness and sincerity of past efforts. To make matters more complicated, men's non-revenue sports programs have been cut in the name of expanding women's sports, raising equity questions in the other directions that bring about protests on the part of advocates for men's sports. Legally, the schools are getting from both directions. What does the future hold? The article author s feel that the federal government will dictate the agenda in response to popular political pressure. Events that can be foreseen and that will affect the debate seem to be those sports that gravitate to television. This translates into profitability and will frame the debate in the future (Weistart 264). It is humorous and ironic to this author that gender equity on the playing field or court will probably be settled by gender equity and posterior girth on the living room couch. However, so develops society.

In many ways, this will be a matter of how gender equity is portrayed in the media, or colloquially when Monday Night Football meets the National Organization of Women (NOW). To complicate things, the gender divide must not only be crossed, but also the racial divide.

The words of sportscasters have power. A study was performed about gender and racially sensitive statements by sports commentators. Contrary to assertions by critics, the analysis of 1,156 descriptors in such sportscaster commentary during some 66 televised men's and women's college basketball games. These showed no significant difference between the portrayal of male and female players, although there was a concern about the overemphasis upon white female players. For instance, increases in the number of African-American and female game announcers may have lend balance to quantities of coverage in terms of race and gender. However, traditional racial stereotypes continue to dominate the sports commentaries even when

though gender stereotypes appear to be diminishing (Eastman, and Billings 183).

this disparity between white and black female players has been noted in other studies as well (Harrison, and Fredrickson 216). In the opinion of this author, this will probably be settled in time. Profit, especially in revenue producing sports will likely overcome prejudice in the long run. We tend to listen to the almighty dollar in many issues and sports is no exception. Younger people will undoubtedly demand and get as consumers gender equity in sports sooner or later.

To recap, in the sports of modern society, the status of male and female should be equal. To support this position, we have examines the history and development of male and female sports and then contrasted it with the status of males and females in sports in modern society. The reasons for this status were examined, including genetics and sports technology, government input and commercial input into the sports field. This evidence supports the author's opinion that the female's status is fast approaching the male's because their ways of training and playing sports are… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gender-sports/97750.