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Women in Sports

A history of sport and women in sport in the United States illustrates how various social, economic, and political institutions impact the individuals who participate in sport. Historically, women have often been viewed as inferior to men with respect to physical prowess and athletic competition. Such values have been reinforces by a number of social, economic, and political institutions, from legislation and religious institutions to the media and athletic organizations. Without doubt, political institutions have had an enormous impact on women in sport and not always for the worse. According to Struna (2003), federal legislation like Title IX ôhas been credited with much of the growth in womenÆs sports in the United Sates, [and] it has also helped to influence thinking about womenÆs sports elsewhere in the worldö (1221).

Political institutions are broader than just government and the courts. Colleges and universities are an important political voice as are the upper-classes whose women were primarily responsible for the entrance of women into sports via various clubs and organizations. Lower-class women were often denied access to such sporting organizations and clubs. As Struna (2003) argues, ôMiddle- and upper-class womenàhad access to the broadest range of sports and other recreationsö (1222). This analysis will address the influence of political institutions on women in sports.

The influence of legislation on womenÆs participation in sports cannot be underestimated in U.S. society. Over time, especially fueled by the womenÆs and civil rights movements of the 1960s, women were able to gain more access to political and economic power. Economically, womenÆs broadened roles that included the workplace enabled women to gain more freedom and autonomy as well as political voice. One of the most significant pieces of legislation that has influenced women in sports after the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was Title I...

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Women in Sports. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:34, May 27, 2020, from