Assignment on Under-representation of Women in Sports
Girls and women are more involved in sport and physical activity today as compared with 20 years ago. Despite the increasing number of females participating in sport and physical activity, there are still disproportionately fewer females than males who engage in such activities.
This underrepresentation of girls and women in sport and physical activity is a concern of sport scientists since it has been well-documented that such participation often leads to increases in physical fitness and psychological well-being.
Additionally, in the case of female athletes, participation in sport can also be an empowering experience at the personal and group levels to understand why females are underrepresented in sport and physical activity, it is important to study the mechanisms that contribute to existing participation patterns.
Especially important are those factors that affect children’s and teenagers’ participation in sport and physical activity. Research has shown that people who participate during childhood are more likely to participate as adults. The process of socializing children and teenagers into sport and physical activity has been one area of concern. The process of socializing boys into sport is much more consistent than it is for girls. There is an underlying regularity in the process by which boys are socialized into sport.
Regardless of geographical background, race, or social class, sport participation for males appears to represent normative behavior and has been institutionalized in the socialization process for males. On the other hand, the socialization process for female sport participation varies according to demographic variables, such as race and social class.
In order for young females to become highly involved in sport, several sources of influence may have to be present to overcome forces which tend to socialize them away from sport and physical activity. Among the many identified sources of influence, the family plays a very important role in socializing young girls into sport and physical activity, especially in initiating involvement at an early age.