Gender Issues In Sports Essay Introduction

Examples of Gender Inequality in Sports

Did you know gender inequality exists in sports? Even though this could be shocking news to some people, it is evident that most sporting activities in the world depict well-rooted gender disparity.  In essence, there are two genders, female and male. Naturally, men are muscular, strong, daring and aggressive as compared to women who are gentle, sensitive and sympathetic. These gender attributes, some of which are natural while others are sheer stereotyping, largely contribute to gender differences in the world of sports. Nonetheless, sports are largely seen as a pastime, created and meant for men in the world.  In this essay, we shall discuss existing examples of gender inequality in sports.

Over the years, people hold the belief that succeeding in sports means being a successful man in life. On the other hand, women endure frustrations whenever their sport of choice does not match femininity. These differences cut across the board, with some sports being a preserve of men. In some cases, the inequalities arise from laws and restrictions imposed, barring women to participate or dictating their participation. A good example is tennis, which is acceptable for both men and women. Whilst this is the case, women are always restricted to playing three sets while men play up to five sets. However, this slowly changing as men sometimes play three sets during tournaments.

Following these gender differences, there have been arguments about the money paid Wimbledon owing to the fact that female players are poorly paid. Billie Jean King, a former tennis player holds a different opinion regarding the number of sets for each gender to play. According to Jean, the decision to have ladies play three sets only as compared to their male counterparts who play five stemmed from a case where a female tennis player. This isolated case informed the adoption of the law even though women are capable of playing same sets as men. The decision was also reached in haste because most of the boards that oversee sports are dominated by men as either officials and/or members.

Football, which is the word’s famous sport, has its equal measure of gender inequality. For example, in 1921, the Football Association banned football for women. This decree was to be in existence for about fifty years. This demonstrated inequity, as football officials viewed the game as men’s. Today, there are very few activities involving female football teams in the world. While every country in the world has a national football team, there are few countries, which have national women’s soccer teams. What about Soccer World Cup, which recently ended in Brazil that handed Germany the title after beating Argentina? Women’s soccer never receives such world attention, support and funding.

In 1986, when the world witnessed the first Olympics, there were no women participating in any of the events. However, they were allowed to play golf and tennis during the second tournament. It is important to note that even though women have been allowed to play over the years, they only compete against themselves. In schools and colleges, boys and girls are separated during sports, as the two genders are not allowed to mix. In athletics, this disparity equally exists. For instance, men and women are not allowed to start their marathon races at the same time.

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Gender Equality In Sports

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Gender in sports has been a controversial issue ever since sports were invented. In the early years, sports were played only by the men, and the women were to sit on the sidelines and watch. This was another area of life exemplifying the sexism of people in which women were not allowed to do something that men could. However, over the last century in particular, things have begun to change.
Women are being allowed to participate now, including professional leagues such as the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Women in sports, especially softball and basketball, have become a big-time business. World War II is when the basis of women’s professional sports began. While the men were overseas fighting the war against the Nazis and Germans, the women entertained the people who stayed back by playing baseball.
Recently a major issue for women in sports is female coaches and their salaries. The salaries of the male coaches in athletics have continuously been on the rise. And on top of that, the male coaches make 159% of the money that female coaches make. Female participation in College athletics are also on the rise. However, the majority of funding in colleges goes into the men's athletic programs.
Another issue of women in sports was the health risk to the women who compete. The recommendations of the scientists state that involvement in sports and other such physical activity reduces the likelihood of developing a number of life-threatening health conditions. Involvement in cooperative and competitive activities can improve a woman’s social outlook, sense of competence and emotional control.

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The physical activities involved with playing sports do not hurt the female players, but in fact it helps their overall physical AND mental health and conditioning.
Women’s sports have greatly evolved throughout their time in the world. Nowadays, women are starting to earn more than they used to, and the number of women that take part in professional sports has risen.



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