Thursday, May 7, 2015

The X Chromosome

A huge form of entertainment is sports. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and all the sports can be considered as recreational entertainment and leisure time. While this is a pastime for some people, there is a group of individuals that are not represented: women. Women have always been considered inferior in sports and use to be excluded from participating. In 1972, the U.S. Congress passed Title IX which states “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, on be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” (Dusenbery & Lee, 2012). Since the passing of Title IX, female participation in high school was 1 in 27 and has increased to 2 in 5 in 2012 (Dusenbery & Lee, 2012). Also the number of women participating in college sports increased to over 600 percent. Even though there are more female athletes, there is still gender equity in sports. For instance, in high school girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play compared to boys. In college, women have less than 60,000 fewer participation opportunities than their male peers (Dusenbery & Lee, 2012). Women are not only given the short end in participation, but also jobs and money opportunities. Female sports receive less money for coaching staff salaries, recruiting, and scholarship funds in college athletics. There is a decrease in female coaches and women journalists are normally hired for their looks. Women sports are not considered equal so they have to face so many obstacles to receive a small amount of respect. Janelle Pace, a Division I student-athletes, states “Honestly, I do not know when we will see the day where men’s and women’s athletics are equal. They may get more attention in the future, but they will never bring in the same fanbase and revenue as men’s sports” (J. Pace, personal connection, May 3, 2015).




            While women are participating more on the court and the work field, they are always under represented. Women sports only receive two percent of network news and ESPN Sportscenter coverage compared to men sports, which composes ninety-six percent of the coverage.  Based on a twenty-year study by the University of Southern California, the media coverage of women athletics has declined to less than two percent despite the increase in female athletes. Based on this information, it can be observed that people are not watching women sports and are not given the opportunities to watch these games. “It reinforces the historical stereotype that sports proves men are superior to women, that the women’s product isn’t the same quality or would not have the same mass appeal” (Messner & Cooky, 2010).

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