Although the passage of Title IX secured equity of treatment and opportunity for female high school athletes in the United States, little research has examined the social well-being of girls who participate in sports during high school. The current survey study investigated how 9th grade sports participation relates to perceived gender discrimination from peers and adults at school over four time points spanning 10th through 12th grade. The ethnically diverse sample (46.6 % Hispanic/Latina/Mexican-American, 14.1 % Asian-American/Pacific Islander, 12.8 % African-American/Black, 11.5 % European-American/White, 15.1 % Other/Mixed) consisted of 384 girls in the southwestern United States. Results of growth modeling showed that 9th grade athletes (n = 309) perceived greater gender discrimination relative to girls who were not involved in sports (n = 75), and accelerated in peer gender discrimination compared to non-athletes. Athletes and non-athletes did not differ in perceived gender discrimination from adults at school. Analyses conducted separately within each ethnic group revealed that ethnic groups did not differ in patterns of gender discrimination. These findings suggest that girls who play sports may experience differential treatment from their peers. Future directions and policy implications are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 19, 2012
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