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Women in Sports

An all-encompassing study that addressed a wide range of questions about sports and fitness activities in the lives of women.

Coed sports activities have become a new reality for athletic women in America today, a transformation accompanied by a serious search for athletic partners of similar skill levels, particularly among younger women, and a confident certainty that participation in sports does not diminish femininity. Among women sports enthusiasts today, a commitment to “feminism” has little relation to athletic attitudes and behavior, and the women who were both most active in organized sports/fitness activities in their teens and twenties or who are most active today tend to share a single specific childhood experience: they played mostly with boys or mixed gender groups rather than mostly with other girls.

Conducted in September and October, 1985, by New World Decisions, a New Jersey based opinion research firm that mailed lengthy questionnaires to a random sample of 7000 members of the Women’s Sports Foundation, the survey addressed a wide range of questions about sports/fitness activities: interest in participating or watching specific sports, early childhood experiences, the support of family and friends, current encounters with coed participation, and attitudes toward a variety of topical issues, including whether drugs are necessary to become competitive internationally, whether participation in racially mixed sports groups reduced prejudice, whether girls should play contact sports and how often women prefer to watch or participate in single sex or coed/sport fitness activities.

Women in Sports(1.10 MB)

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