Female Athletes in Male-dominated sport.

Essay by bree04High School, 11th grade August 2003

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The concept of gender refers to the socially constructed differences between men and women. For the past generation, the issue of gender bias has been grounds for discrimination within Australian society.

In Australia, sport can be a major element of a person's lifestyle. It is a key part of the Australian society, and to be accepted, in many cases, an individual is compelled to excel at their chosen field within their gender.

The reality, however, is that within sports we have encouraged a very distinct separation between males and females.

Historically, many sports have been considered a male domain and have been used by society to define masculine qualities in terms of physical attributes as well as behaviour such as competitiveness and aggression.

Historically, the male athlete has been glorified in sport and viewed by society with greater recognition as athletes.

Viewing female athletes primarily in terms of their sexual attributes rather than their athletic endeavours has the potential to discourage the individual both as an athlete and as a woman.

For women, this is a major impediment

to their sporting identity and is even harsher when a woman is attempting to compete against the males. Unfortunately, this is a particularly common view of today's society.

Not only are women under-represented in their sport, but when they are recognised, it is not often something to do with the quality of their performance. When it comes to females playing in male sports, there is no recognition and little acceptance.

If sport is such a huge part of Australia's identity and lifestyle, why are we viewing females as non-participants or spectators rather than elite athletes?

This issue is not only confined to Australia, it extends to all over the world. It is a global issue and one that has been around for...