Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, the number of female coaches in the United States has grown due to an increased number of female sports offered at the collegiate level. However, the percent of female collegiate sports teams coached by women has dropped from 90% to 42.9% (Acosta & Carpenter, 2012) suggesting that female coaches are not benefiting from the growth in women’s athletic opportunities. The purpose of this project was to examine research articles published within the past 40 years that focused on female coaches to understand the female coaches’ experiences.
Maureen M. Smith
As women age, society assigns stereotypes that suggest that older women are no longer capable of being competent athletes. In considering the experiences of older women in sport from a sociological perspective, this article provides a short summary of works examining older women in masters sport settings, as well as three brief case studies of older women engaged in sport and movement. As American women age, more of them will have experienced organized high school sport (after the passage of Title IX), suggesting that the experiences of older women in sport will take on new dimensions and meanings worthy of exploration.
Cynthia Lee A. Pemberton and Robert B. Everhart
The purpose of the project described in this study was to develop and field-test an educational workshop designed to lower individual and organizational resistance to change relative to the issues of gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. The effectiveness of the workshop was assessed by addressing three questions: (a) Did participants believe that their participation in the workshop increased their awareness and understanding of Title IX?; (b) Did participants believe that their participation in the workshop increased their awareness and understanding of the gender specific value of sport?; and, (c) Do/did participants indicate that they intended to initiate actions to facilitate further gender equity on their own campuses?
Workshop participants included intercollegiate athletic personnel from two National Athletic Intercollegiate Association and/or National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III member institutions. The institutions and participants were selected based on their willingness to participate in the workshop fiel, d-tests.
The workshop content addressed Title IX and the gender specific value of sport using a combination lecture and small group activity format. The effectiveness of the workshop was assessed using a post-workshop survey, workshop facilitator notes and reflections, and in the case of the first workshop field-test, focus group and follow-up interviews.
The findings were: (a) Both workshop field-tests were effective in lowering change resistance as defined in this project, with the revised workshop being more effective than the original workshop; and, (b) The workshop was improved through consideration and implementation of selected education change strategies and adult learning theory.
Dorothy J. Lovett and Carla D. Lowry
Two reasons given for the dramatic decline in the percentage of women coaches since the passage of Title IX have been the effectiveness of the “good old boys” network and the lack or ineffectiveness of the “good old girls” network. With homologous reproduction used as a theoretical basis for these networks, 1,106 public secondary schools were surveyed to determine their administrative structures based on the sex of the principals and the athletic directors. Two types of administrative structures were identified with four models under each type. The numbers of male and female head coaches in the girls' athletics program under each administrative structure were determined and analyzed for independence. Significant differences were found between the different administrative models and the gender of the head coaches. Findings are discussed in terms of the prevailing administrative structures and the representation of females in coaching as a result of the dominant group reproducing itself.
Kathryn L. Davis
This review is an examination of selected literature from the past thirty years on gender equity in physical education. It is organized in terms of (1) defining the theoretical framework of gender equity, (2) the origins of gender equity in physical education from Title IX legislation, (3) the influence of teacher behavior and the curriculum in providing an equitable class environment, and (4) the applications and implications of gender equity for the physical education practitioner. Despite the well-developed research in the field of physical education about the prevalence of gender inequities exhibited by teachers, there are a few recent research studies in which the authors have failed to show this inequitable treatment. As research has progressed in this area, it is important to note that teachers may be improving in the area of equitable interactions with students of different genders. This review concludes with some suggestions for further research in the area of teaching for gender equity in physical education.
Robin G. Cash
This article explores a women’s way of coaching and being in sport that existed prior to Title IX. It considers a shift from an organic to a mechanistic coaching approach. An alternative model based on the concept of organicism and underlying principles of relational power, life-affirming actions, and inclusiveness of all beings is presented. This model emerged from three sources: (a) personal experience; (b) dissertation research interviews with former athletes of Eleanor Snell, who coached at Ursinus College from 1931 to 1972; and (c) the literatures of systems theory, systemic thinking, and Chinese philosophy. The life-affirming organic model re-visions sport, where sport is an important site for transformation not only of our individual selves but also of our human cultures.
The current study was an investigation of the gender coverage provided on intercollegiate athletic websites within a major BCS conference during the 2005-06 academic year. Due to Title IX and ethical concerns, the expectation was that the BCS sites would provide equitable gender coverage because the athletic departments were part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Overall, the results revealed that females received highly favorable article (41.2%) and photographic (46.0%) coverage allocations when compared to past content analyses on not-for-profit media outlets. Despite this fact, the results demonstrated that there was a statistically significant difference in the coverage provided to females and males within each of the units of measurement analyzed. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that females received their least favorable coverage allocations within the following units of measurement: advertisements (15.5%) and multimedia (2.5%).
Michelle L. Redmond, Lynn L. Ridinger and Frederick L. Battenfield
Opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports have been increasing since the enactment of Title IX; however, the media attention given to female athletes and women’s sports has lagged behind. Media coverage of female athletes has been investigated extensively in newspapers and magazines; however, few studies have examined the attention given to women’s sports on the Internet.
This study focused on one sports news website to examine and compared the coverage of female and male athletes and coaches in one specific sport, college basketball. A content analysis was conducted on ESPN.com during the 2007 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. Results showed that women and men do not receive the same attention on the main page; however, equity was evident when the webpage for women’s college basketball was compared to the webpage for men’s college basketball.
Mary Jo Kane and Jo Ann Buysse
In the aftermath of the passage of Title IX, Michael Messner laid the theoretical groundwork for what was at stake as a result of this landmark legislation. He argued that women’s entrance into sport marked a quest for equality and thus represented a challenge to male domination. He further argued that media representations of athletic females were a powerful vehicle for subverting any counterhegemonic potential posed by sportswomen. Scholars should therefore examine “frameworks of meaning” linked to female athletes because they have become “contested terrain.” Our investigation addressed Messner’s concerns by examining the cultural narratives of intercollegiate media guides. We did so by analyzing longitudinal data from the early 1990s through the 2003–04 season. Findings revealed an unmistakable shift toward representations of women as serious athletes and a sharp decline in gender differences. Results are discussed against a backdrop of sport scholars in particular—and institutions of higher education in general—serving as agents of social change.
Marie Hardin and Erin Elizabeth Whiteside
This study examines narratives by young adults about sport and gender in relation to equality. Specifically, we explore how focus-group participants used small stories to situate male and female athletes and Title IX. The U.S. law has been credited for increasing opportunities for girls and women but is considered a source of tension for gender relations. Our findings suggest that participants’ stories ultimately did not support emancipatory goals for girls and women because they positioned equality as a right women had not earned. We argue that feminists cannot underestimate the need to inject counternarratives into public discourse at every level, including stories shared with children about sport. These narratives must address misconceptions about equality and gender equity and, ultimately, challenge gender ideology.