Physical educators from randomly selected high schools (N = 180) in the AAHPERD Central District were surveyed via telephone regarding their required (9th grade) physical education programs. Four researchers scored the 180 instruments, and each instrument was scored independently with a 96% inter-rater reliability. For the entire sample, 52% of the activity units were team sports, 39% individual sports, 4% dance-gymnastics, and 4% adventure-cooperative-recreational. Of the 180 schools, 71% conducted programs in compliance with Title IX. Of the teachers interviewed, 88% of the females and 30% of the males taught outside their socially accepted areas, although they tended to conduct similar curricula. In general, schools delivered traditional multi-activity programs emphasizing team and lifetime sports, while 25% of the schools had programs with a primary emphasis on competitive, contact, male-oriented team activities. Thus, curricula tended to perpetuate the current socially constructed view of gender and physical activity.
Gloria E. Napper-Owen, Susan K. Kovar, Kathy L. Ermler and Joella H. Mehrhof
Athena Yiamouyiannis, Heather J. Lawrence, Mary A. Hums and B. David Ridpath
Intercollegiate athletics administrators face many difficult and complex issues throughout the course of their careers related to balancing athletics budgets, remaining competitive in select sports and complying with Title IX. To better prepare future athletics administrators to handle these challenges, the authors provide background information on the complexities of the issue, discuss use of the Responsible Decision Making Model for Athletics (RDMMA) as a tool to assist in the process, and demonstrate the use of this model as applied to intercollegiate athletics. The RDMMA provides a framework from which to organize information, ensure all constituencies are considered, save time in decision making, and evaluate intended and unintended consequences of decisions. Professors can use the RDMMA as a tool in the classroom to bridge the gap between academic theory and practical application of these concepts to help guide future athletics administrators on how to approach complex issues and responsibilities.
Dana Munk, Ramona Cox, Martha E. Ewing and Peggy McCann
There has been quite a surge of women’s professional football teams in the United States; however, football is rarely offered for girls at the youth sport, middle school, high school, or intercollegiate levels. While this lack of participation can be easily attributed to the contact sport exemption clause in Title IX, researchers have shown that litigation has changed the course for women by legally opening doors for opportunities in tackle football. Today, it is more likely the lack of opportunities for females in traditional male sports is because of stereotypical beliefs linked to their gender. Using qualitative methodology, researchers in this study explored stereotypical, discrepant, societal messages encountered by current professional female football players. Findings suggested societal reactions were linked to stereotypical beliefs about women in sports and included a lack of social support, discriminatory messages, and skepticism over girl’s ability to play contact sports. Implications for further study also emerged.
Janet S. Fink, Mary Jo Kane and Nicole M. LaVoi
“I want to be respected for what I do instead of what I look like”
—Janie, a swimmer
“They can see the moves I make, the action I make [on the court]. But I also want them to see this is who I am off the court. I’m not just this basketball player. I can be somebody else”
—Melanie, a basketball player
Despite unprecedented gains in women’s sports 40 years after Title IX, female athletes are rarely used in endorsement campaigns and, when used, are presented in sexually provocative poses versus highlighting their athletic competence. This pattern of representation continues, though empirical evidence demonstrates consumers prefer portrayals focusing on sportswomen’s skill versus their sex appeal. Research also indicates females are keenly aware of gendered expectations which create tensions between being athletic and “appropriately feminine.” The current study addresses what we don’t know: how elite female athletes wish to be portrayed if promised the same amount of financial reward and commercial exposure. Thirty-six team and individual scholarship athletes were asked to choose between portrayals of femininity and athletic competence. Findings revealed that competence was the dominant overall choice though close to 30% picked both types of portrayals. Metheny’s gendered sport typology was used to analyze how sportswomen’s preferences challenge, or conform to, traditional ideologies and practices surrounding women’s sports. Implications for sport management scholars and practitioners are discussed.
Angela Lumpkin, Judy Favor and Lacole McPherson
While the number of high school girls’ teams has dramatically increased since Title IX, the number of female head coaches has not. In the 10 most popular high school sports in 2011-2012, only three (volleyball, swimming and diving, and competitive spirit squads) had more than 44% female head coaches. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether females or males are coaching high school girls’ sport teams and whether female coaches are attaining head coaching positions in the most popular high school girls’ sports. Additionally, the study sought to understand better why males and females choose to become head coaches of high school girls’ sport teams and what factors might cause head high school girls’ coaches to resign from coaching. In the 21–30 age group, there were more female than male head coaches of girls’ teams, but after age 40, male head coaches vastly outnumbered female head coaches. Of the coaches with 12 or more years of experience, only 33% were females. Time away from family, player issues, inadequate compensation, and time away from other activities were the top reasons high school coaches might resign.
Elaine M. Blinde and Susan L. Greendorfer
This paper is a synthesis of results from five separate studies examining how recent structural and philosophical changes in women’s intercollegiate sport programs may have altered the sport experience of female athletes. Based on both questionnaire and interview data, it was apparent that athletes participating in sport programs characterized by the greatest change (e.g., post-Title IX programs, programs of the 1980s, product-oriented sport models, and Division I programs of recent years) shared somewhat common experiences — with the presence of conflict being one of the most pervasive themes. Four types of conflict were identified: (a) value alienation, (b) role strain, (c) role conflict, and (d) exploitation. Each of these types of conflict is discussed and examples to substantiate the presence of each form of conflict are presented. Based upon the findings, it is suggested that the changing context and emphases of college sport may have exposed female athletes to different sets of circumstances, expectations, and experiences, thus altering the nature of the sport experience and bringing into question the educational legitimacy of college sport.
Stephanie Habif, Judy L. Van Raalte and Allen Cornelius
Opportunities for women in sport in the United States changed dramatically in the 1970s with the passage of Title IX. Researchers during the 1980s, however, indicated that negative attitudes toward female coaches remained. The purpose of this research was to assess current attitudes toward male and female coaches in two sports. In Study 1, 139 basketball players read scenarios and evaluated hypothetical coaches. Based upon the results, there were no overall differences in attitudes toward male and female coaches on the Attitudes of Athletes Toward Male versus Female Coaches (AAMFC-Q) questionnaire (Weinberg, Reveles, & Jackson, 1984). However, males expressed a significant preference for male coaches, t(78) = −8.84, p < .001. In Study 2, 129 volleyball players read scenarios and rated hypothetical coaches. In contrast to the basketball players, volleyball players showed no significant differences in their attitudes toward or preferences for a coach of a particular gender. Base upon the results of both studies we suggest that attitudes toward female coaches are changing, but preferences for male coaches may still exist, particularly for athletes involved in traditionally masculine sports.
Elaine M. Blinde
Due in part to changes brought about by Title IX and the NCAA, women’s intercollegiate sport programs have increasingly emulated the male model of intercollegiate sport. Given such a shift in orientation, the present study examined the relationship between the degree to which an athlete’s sport program emulated the male model of sport and (a) the nature and type of values emphasized in the athlete’s sport program, and (b) the degree of value alienation experienced by athletes. Such hypothesized relationships are consistent with feminist claims that women are alienated in structures that have been created and shaped by men without regard for the existence or experienees of women. A questionnaire was mailed to 952 former female athletes who had participated in sport programs at 10 Division I universities, with completed questionnaires received from 482 athletes. Results indicated that an increasing emphasis was placed on “male model values” as the sport program of athletes increasingly emulated the male sport model. Furthermore, athletes were slightly more likely to express feelings of value alienation with increasing emulation of the male sport model.
Joel Thirer and Stephen D. Wright
The purpose of this study was to examine the social status criteria for male and female adolescents in the mid-1980s and to compare these results with those of Eitzen (1976) and Coleman (1961a, 1961b). It was further intended to transcend these previous studies by examining the criteria by which male and female adolescents ascribed social status for females relative to being an athlete. The results indicated that the trend toward deemphasizing the importance of athletics as a status symbol for male adolescents, which appeared in Eitzen’s research, was not supported. Being an athlete was still the foremost criteria for male popularity when judged by both male and female adolescents. This is similar to the pattern reported by Coleman (1961a, 1961b) in his research of males judging males. For females, being an athlete was ascribed fairly low social status when judged by both male and female adolescents. This indicates that at the time of the present study, even with the impact of Title IX legislation, athletic performance is still not a valued attribute for female adolescents in the eyes of male and female peers.
Jepkorir Rose Cheypator-Thomson, JeongAe You and Brent Hardin
The passage of Title IX in 1972 in the United States marked the initiation of research agendas, development of curricular programs, creation of pedagogy, and development of environments that address the needs of both women and men equally in educational settings. The purpose of this research was to determine how gender has been studied in extant literature in physical education. In particular, the intent of this research examination was to analyze the extent to which the concept of gender has been addressed in mainstream United States-based (US-based) journals in physical education. The liberal feministic theory guided this research investigation. Data collection involved the selection of five research, theory, and practice-based journals in physical education. Constant comparison method was used to analysis the data for the purpose of determining the themes that emerged from the literature (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984). The findings of the study revealed several perspectives related to gender in physical education. Three major themes emerged from examining the literature and they include program-centered, participation-based, and workplace-connected perspectives as related to occurrences in physical education environments.