Gender Ratio and Social Interaction among College Coaches

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Stichting Oecumenische Vrouwensynode
  • 2 University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • 3 Michigan State University
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Data from 947 Division I college coaches in the United States were used to examine three hypotheses concerning the impact of gender ratio on the frequency of social interaction between women and men coaches. These hypotheses were based on (a) the structural perspective characterized by the politics of optimism, (b) the institutional approach associated with the politics of pessimism, and (c) the common consciousness or subculture perspective represented by the politics of transcendence. Most support was shown for the politics of pessimism, which contends that an increase of women in a male-dominated occupation is associated with rising gender boundaries and sex segregation. Results are explored in the context of gendered homosociality.

Annelies Knoppers is with the Stichting Oecumenische Vrouwensynode, Postbus 19, 3970 AA Driebergen, The Netherlands. Barbara Bedker Meyer is with the Department of Human Kinetics, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Martha E. Ewing is with the Department of Physical Education and Exercise Science and Linda Forrest is with the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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