Researchers Conclude That Women Have Less Interest in Sports Than Men

A new research paper published online in PLOS One challenges the basis for Title IX, which calls for gender equality in all areas of higher education including athletics. The authors conducted three studies and after analyzing the results of these surveys they concluded that women are less interested in sports than men.

In one survey of 112,000 individuals they found that women accounted for 51 percent of all people who exercise, roughly equal to their percentage of the population. But women were only 24 percent of all participants in sports and 20 percent of all participants in team sports.

A second study examined and documented the participation in sports of people at 41 public parks in four states. Here, they found that women accounted for 37 percent of the people observed exercising but were only 19 percent of the people participating in individual sports and 10 percent of those participating in team sports.

A third survey of colleges and universities found that only 26 percent of the students participating in intramural sports programs were women.

The authors of the report conclude that “our findings support the hypothesis of an evolved male predisposition for physical competition – one that manifests in contemporary societies as greater participation of males in sports.”

They go on to state that “strong moral arguments exist for ensuring that males and females enjoy equal sporting opportunities, and that Title IX has had many positive effects. Nevertheless, our results do suggest that it may be a mistake to base Title IX implementation on the assumption that males and females have, or soon will have, generally equal sports interest.”

The full article, “A Sex Difference in the Predisposition for Physical Competition: Males Play Sports Much More than Females Even in the Contemporary U.S.” is available here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study

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