History of Women in Sport

History of women in sport… For most of human history, athletic competition has been regarded as an exclusively masculine affair. In antiquity, athletic competitions were held among warriors to prove their fighting prowess or otherwise demonstrate their virility. The exclusively male origins of competitive sport carried over into the Olympics, where women were not allowed even to watch competitions, much less compete. However, a separate women’s athletic event, the Heraea Games, was eventually developed.

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Few women competed in sports until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as social changes in Europe and North America favored increased female participation in society as equals with men, as exemplified by the women’s rights movement. Although women were permitted to participate in many sports, relatively few showed interest, for a variety of social and psychological reasons that are still poorly understood. The modern Olympics had female competitors from 1900 onward, though women at first participated in considerably fewer events.

Concern for the physical strength and stamina of women led to the discouragement of female participation in more physically intensive sports, and in some cases led to less physically demanding female versions of male sports. Thus netball was developed out of basketball and softball out of baseball. Due to a relative lack of public interest in female athletics, most early women’s professional sports leagues foundered, so amateur competitions became the primary venue for women’s sports.

Throughout the mid-twentieth century, Communist countries dominated many Olympic sports, including women’s sports, due to state-sponsored athletic programs that were technically regarded as amateur. The legacy of these programs endured, as former Communist countries continue to produce many of the top female athletes. Germany and Scandinavia also developed strong women’s athletic programs in this period. In the United States, nearly all schools required student participation in sports, guaranteeing that all girls were exposed to athletics at an early age, which was generally not the case in Western Europe and Latin America.

In intramural sports, the genders were often mixed, though for competitive sports the genders remained segregated. Title IX legislation required colleges and universities to provide equal athletic opportunities for women. This large pool of female athletes enabled the U. S. to consistently rank among the top nations in women’s Olympic sports, and female Olympians from skater Peggy Fleming (1968) to Mary Lou Retton (1986) became household names.

Tennis was the most popular professional female sport from the 1970s onward, and it provided the occasion for a symbolic “battle of the sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, enhancing the profile of female athletics. The success of women’s tennis, however, did little to help the fortunes of women’s professional team sports. Women’s professional team sports achieved popularity for the first time in the 1990s, particularly in basketball and football (soccer). This popularity has been asymmetric, being strongest in the U. S. certain European countries and former Communist states. Thus women’s soccer is dominated by the U. S. , China, and Norway, who have historically fielded weak men’s national teams. Despite this increase in popularity, women’s professional sports leagues continue to struggle financially. The WNBA is operated at a loss by the NBA, in the hopes of creating a market that will eventually be profitable. A similar approach is used to promote female boxing, as women fighters are often under cards on prominent male boxing events, in the hopes of attracting an audience.

Today, women participate competitively in virtually every major sport, though the level of participation decreases in contests of brute strength or “contact” sports. Few schools have women’s programs in American football, boxing or wrestling. This practical recognition of gender differences in physiology has not impeded the development of a higher profile for female athletes in other historically male sports, such as golf, marathon, and ice hockey. [pic] [pic] [pic] Mass Media: Mass Media is a form of communication, which is directed from one source to a large percentage of the population. It Includes: T.

V, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines. The mass media is a powerful influence on people’s behavior, opinions and beliefs. The mass media has the power to divide or unite a nation. Sport and media have developed an interdependent relationship. Sport relies on media to promote success and attract sponsorship, whilst the media rely on sport to see their product, ie papers, T. V ECT. The Representation of Sport in the Print media eg Newspapers, Magazines • passion for sport is reflected in the representation of sport in the Mass media • Clinches used by reporters suggest that male athletes are gladiators and that competitions are huge battles. • The representation of female athletes is much different in terns of the amount of coverage given to their sport and the language used. E. G Graf’s Win… ‘recover her poise, fluent accuracy’ • The majority of sport represented in the media is Male dominated and has been for hundred os years. Women’s representation is slowly on the increase Sport and Television • Mass media is responsible for the growth of new sports (world series cricket channel 9) • Programs like the Wide World Of Sports and Extreme Games increase the interest in new and alternative sports that are visually appealing. Success and coverage of sports influenced whether people play it or not. • Changes have been made in a lot of sports and even athletes to make them more attractive to the media. Therefor increasing sponsorship and coverage. Eg: Friday night footy, Shot clock in Basketball Tennis Tie breaks. • TV companies want sedentary people to feel like they are at the fame and are providing outstanding coverage of many sports. Innovations such as race stump cam, slow motion replays player stats and different camera angles, improved sound quality, dressing room interviews ECT has assisted to this. Women only receive 10% of all media coverage, Men get 72. 8% of t. v coverage viewing Economic considerations of T. V coverage and Sport • Sport is extremely popular with T. V programmers, as it’s cheap and entertaining. • Financially the T. V stations come out much better in this relationship. They get great mileage out of past footage even when comp is rained out…E. G Rugby League. • This financial balance has led to many organisations (AFL) seeking greater control of media rights in order to make a greater profit out of the relationship. The Production of Media Messages Athletes are often used as a commodity. • To increase Mass media sales, athletes are presented in ways to attract the reader or viewer. • Poses of athletes, unparticular females, are often styled to create images of sexual appeal • Space allocated to women indigenous Aussies and alternative sports is minimal. [pic] [pic] Fair and Unfair Advantages In games and sports, you are said to have an advantage over another (or others) when conditions seem to favor your success over your opponent(s). In other words, you have an advantage over your opponent when you have a better chance of winning than s/he does.

Some advantages (such as home-field) precede play, others (such as being ahead in the score) are “earned” during the play itself. Some advantages are very obvious, others are almost imperceptible. Some are visible, others are intangible. But why are some advantages acceptable to us and others are not? Why do we work hard to eliminate or minimize certain advantages and not others? How do we tell the difference between a “fair” and an “unfair” advantage? Advantages that intuitively seem fair include the following: • greater physical or mental ability; greater concentration; • more experience; • more diligent practice; • more effort or “hustle” or energy expended; • greater speed; • faster reflexes; • greater knowledge; • better vocabulary; • better co-ordination. In general, we think of these as legitimate reasons for one player or team to have a better chance of winning than another. It’s hard to imagine someone seriously saying, “That race wasn’t fair. He was faster than I was. ” Or, “We wuz robbed [in a baseball game]. They outhustled us. ” Or, “You cheated [at Scrabble]. You know more words than I do. We also seem to believe that certain inherent character traits give players a justifiable advantage, though they have little to do with the skills being tested by a particular competition. We praise players for having grace under pressure, confidence in their ability, a winning attitude, a “killer instinct,” a “game face,” a “poker face. ” All of these supposedly give players a competitive edge in almost any competition and usually separate the near-great from the great, which means that virtually all games and sports are testing these intangible qualities.

On the other hand, advantages most of us would consider unfair include behaviors we call “cheating”:  • having more players on your side (e. g. , in a tug-of-war or a football game); • using marked cards during a poker game; • jumping the gun in a race; • doctoring your equipment (such as putting cork in a bat); • playing an opponent who’s groggy from a medication; • building up your body with drugs that aren’t available to your opponent; • using secret hand signals in bridge; adding a foreign substance to a baseball before pitching it; • punching your opponent during a pileup in football; • surreptitiously pushing your opponent during a race. We also seem to think that various differences between players (such as age, gender, weight, physical handicap, school size, or professional status) give one individual or team an unfair (dis)advantage. In these cases, we keep one set of players from playing “down,” i. e. , playing those over whom (we believe) they have an insurmountable advantage of some sort.

For example, we rarely allow males and females to compete against each other, we have leagues for youngsters and brackets for oldsters that are age-specific, we pit boxers and wrestlers against others in the same weight class, we have a Special Olympics only for those with specified physical impairments, we divide high school and college sports into divisions based on the student population or the number and type of athletic scholarships they’re allowed to give, and (except in specially defined events), we say that people who have earned money in competition should not compete against people who haven’t. [pic] [pic] [pic]

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