Gender Inequality in Sports

Between high school and professional sports, men and women continue to see inequalities, not just with pay but opportunities.

According to Alia Wong, “We’ve seen this for a long time now … not having opportunities for girls [in sports], not having equal facilities for girls’ teams—this is all still a big problem.”

Schools need to understand that more young women would want to participate in sports if they were given equal opportunities. A lot of young women stop liking athletics when they move into high school-level sports. In many instances, they quit because of the lack of encouragement from coaches, parents, and peers. 

Throughout my student athletic career, I have experienced and seen inequality and less encouragement compared to my male counterparts.

This past summer, some girls on the AHS  basketball team went to basketball camps where in many situations, they are the only girls there. They have also noticed that the boys are getting a lot more playing time at these camps. Another example of this would be in schools; boys’ teams are a popular topic of discussion throughout the year, while girls’ teams are not getting acknowledged as much. This alone may make girls not want to participate in sports because they are not being seen as equals. 

Yes, there are biological factors that limit women athletically. Historically, it makes sense that that is where current inequality came from, but this is not an excuse for these disadvantages to still exist. Some people even say women should not be able to compete in “male” sports because of physiological and emotional issues, differences in muscle mass, all-over strength, and testosterone levels. Just that statement alone breaks everything about what title IX protects against.

 According to Title IX, “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Many people expect young women to speak out for themselves on this issue. However, not all young women have the platform or the confidence to speak up about these problems, making people assume that they do not want to participate. This may lead women to have the idea that they should stay quiet and not speak up about their beliefs ingrained into their heads from society. Society has made it more socially acceptable for men to speak their minds. 

According to Jessica R. Preece in a piece for the BYU Magazine “Women are systematically seen as less authoritative,” says Preece. “And their influence is systematically lower. And they’re speaking less.”

These problems are present in most school athletic administrations and decision-makers, not just at AHS. If young men want to participate in any athletic activity they do not have to search for opportunities. 

People assume that the majority of young men want to play sports from a young age to high school, so they are automatically given those chances. Globally, we need to realize that if we were given those opportunities, more females would get involved.