Gender Equality: Gender Inequity In Sports

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Equity describes the relative distribution of resources and this area can be viewed through different lenses such as sociology, economics and psychology (Hebl et al., 2004). Inequity therefore, exists when such resources are unfairly distributed in a given field. Gender inequity in sport exists due to the large gap between male and female employment, where men significantly hold more administrative and coaching positions than women do. Some of the issues that arise in regard to gender inequity involve the hiring process, the work environment, pay discrepancies, interest level, qualification and burnout (Yiamouyiannis & Osborne, 2012). In the context of sport, the games promote values of fairness, respect and good character. If the governing …show more content…
The Amateur Sports Act of 1978 (Lopiano, 2000) was ground breaking for women as this law allowed women to participate in sport regardless of their gender and race. The creation of Title IX paved the way for women and girls to find their place in society. Parents understood that sport participation was a positive piece in the physical, emotional and social well-being of their children (Lopiano, 2000). For example, active girls and women had more confidence and self-esteem in themselves compared to inactive girls (Lopiano, 2000), and a 1995 survey also indicated that physical activity decreased the risk of behaviours such as smoking (Aaron et al, 1996). Another key finding in research shows that girls who participated in sport experienced greater academic success than girls who did not play sport (Lopiano, 2000). Despite these advances for female equality in sport, statistics show that women are still under-represented head coaches. In NCAA Division 1, there is a female head coach for 40.3% of women’s teams and 2.8% of men’s teams (Blom et al, 2011). In Canada, women make up 30% of the coaches of women’s teams (Cunningham, 2007). Specifically at UBC, of the 25 varsity teams (13 male, 12 female) that represent the school, there are only 2 female head coaches; one for women’s basketball and …show more content…
Women who play or coach a sport are automatically stigmatized and judged due to the perception that men should be coaches because they are superior. ** Theberge (1993) found that coaches who are bigger and stronger physically, are more trustworthy, especially in sports where physical strength matters, which happens to be the case for most sports. Surveys have been conducted with NCAA Division I female athletes over the years and they expressed that male coaches are more competent, organized, aggressive, and demanding than female coaches, who focus on building interpersonal relationships and providing positive feedback (Brush and Naples, 2011). The irony that came with the creation of Title IX demonstrates the gender bias that exists across sports. Sexism conveys the negative attitudes surrounding women in the workplace. Aicher and Saigas (2010) hypothesized in their study that those with higher sexism levels preferred a male head coach to a female head coach. This hypothesis was supported in the results of their study, which suggests that modern sexism is a major factor for gender stereotypes and hiring practices of coaches in intercollegiate sports (Aicher & Saigas,

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