The aim of this study was to examine (a) aggression displayed by players and (b) referees’ decisions about these behaviors as a function of the gender of the players in French soccer. Twenty-six games (13 for women and 13 for men) were videotaped. Instrumental aggressive acts and referees’ decisions were then observed. The findings indicated a significant effect of gender on instrumental aggression and referees’ decisions related to these behaviors. Male players displayed more instrumental aggressive acts than female players did. Nevertheless, relative to the total number of aggressive acts displayed, referees penalized women more than men. Gender stereotypes might be a relevant explanation for these results, as soccer is generally perceived as a masculine-type sport, particularly in France, and aggression as a masculine characteristic.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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