Outline – Ashley Gross

I. Introduction

II. Background Information

  • Statistics about women in sports
    • Number of teams at different levels/percentage of the population at each age and gender that participates in each sport (+analysis)
      • professional
      • college
      • high school
      • club
      • recreational
      • age groups
    • Rate of pay
    • Social advantages
  • When and where Title IX-like policies were implemented
  • Look at possible other factors that contribute to the discrepancy between men and women in sports

III. Five most important research questions:

  • Why do women have so few opportunities in sports compared to men?
  • Does cultural influence play a significant role in determining the opportunities available for women in a country?
  • What about our rhetoric contributes to the way we treat men vs. women?
  • “Men’s games are faster, more physical, etc” – but women often have more skill — why do people like watching men more than women? What leads to this? Is it that they’re more exposed to men’s sports, get used to that, and then decide they like that style of play better?
  • How do implicit biases contribute to the way people think about and treat professional athletes? (including how they’re paid)

IV. Hypothesis

  • Women have fewer opportunities in sports which deters them from pursuing higher levels of their sport and produces fewer female adult athletes in every sport. This leads to a smaller fan base, which then leads to less support and funding, and continues the trend of minimal opportunities
  • People tend to have biases about women in sports, not because of an innate nature, but because we’ve socialized this idea around the world

V. Methodology

  • In order to test this theory, I will conduct surveys and possibly an experiment
    • Survey
      • Ask about their preference for watching sports, playing sports, what they wanted to be when they were little, the types of opportunities that were available to them, how they were encouraged to participate or not
    • Experiment
      • Have subjects watch a video (of different genders playing sports?) and respond to questions afterwards about perception
      • Other ideas?

VI. Importance to Leadership Studies

  • Understanding why half the population lacks access to certain opportunities could lead us toward a place of equality (talk about ethical reasons for wanting equality) insofar as people have the option of doing what they want (even if this leads to unequal numbers participating, since I don’t know if the desire to play certain sports will be the same across genders or not).
  • Look at what types of actions could help make a positive change – policy? education?

VII. Annotated bibliography

Further Research:

  • Read more about the preferences of men and women in sports
  • Become more aware of theories about where gendered preferences come from
  • Talk to Dr. von Rueden about cultural influence
  • Research more about creating a survey/experiment and making sure it’s testing what I want it to be testing