Equity & Diversity

Sports in the City

By Sean Cavanagh — October 21, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

When it comes to boys’ and girls’ participation in sports, the most serious gender gap may be an urban one.

That’s one of the findings of a recent study from the Women’s Sports Foundation that examines gender differences in youth athletic participation.

It found that rural and suburban boys and girls take part in sports at about the same rate. But a strong disparity emerged in urban areas.

In those urban communities, more than twice as many girls, 55 percent, as boys, 26 percent, were not involved in any athletics, the study found.

Overall, a higher percentage of boys than girls took part in sports across all types of communities— 75 percent, compared with 69 percent, the survey found.

The study, “Go Out and Play,” was released this month by the foundation, a New York City-based nonprofit group founded by the tennis star Billie Jean King to promote sports and physical activity among women and girls.

Marj Snyder, the chief program officer for the foundation, attributed urban girls’ low level of participation to economic and cultural factors, including lack of transportation and parents’ concerns about their daughters’ safety in getting to sporting events.

For “a girl who wants to participate in a basketball league and has to travel by subway to get there, her parents are going to be [worrying] about it,” Ms. Snyder said. Immigrant families in urban areas might expect daughters to spend more time at home, taking care of younger siblings, she added.

The study was based on a nationally representative survey, conducted last year by telephone, of 863 parents and 2,185 students in grades 3-12.

Of youths in urban communities who were involved in sports, a far greater proportion of boys (75 percent) than girls (45 percent) said they were “moderately” or “highly” involved.

Girls take part in a broader range of nontraditional sports than boys, Ms. Snyder said, such as dance and double-dutch, a type of jump-roping. Such activities, which were counted in the study, can be arranged relatively easily, with little need for transportation, she noted.

Those sports, Ms. Snyder said, “can be gateways to other activities.”

A version of this article appeared in the October 22, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity From Our Research Center Do Educators Think Critical Race Theory Should Be Taught in Class? We Asked
An EdWeek poll shows educators are split over whether children should be taught that racism is systemic and embedded in American policies.
2 min read
Photo of elementary students raising their hands in classroom.
skynesher/Getty
Equity & Diversity Students Embrace a Wide Range of Gender Identities. Most School Data Systems Don't
Districts like Philadelphia aren't waiting for the federal government to make their student information systems more inclusive.
9 min read
Illustration showing 4 individuals next to their pronouns (he/him, they/them, and she/her)
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Equity & Diversity Teachers Are Divided on Teaching LGBTQ Topics
Educators say a dearth of curriculum, lack of training, and fear of getting it wrong can cause hesitation to teach about LGBTQ topics.
7 min read
People wave pride flags and hold signs during a rally in support of LGBTQ students at Ridgeline High School, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Millville, Utah. Students and school district officials in Utah are outraged after a high school student ripped down a pride flag to the cheers of other students during diversity week. A rally was held the following day in response to show support for the LGBTQ community.
People wave pride flags and hold signs during a rally in support of LGBTQ students at Ridgeline High School, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Millville, Utah. Students and school district officials in Utah are outraged after a high school student ripped down a pride flag to the cheers of other students during diversity week. A rally was held the following day in response to show support for the LGBTQ community.
Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP
Equity & Diversity 'You're Not Going To Teach About Race. You're Going To Go Ahead and Keep Your Job.'
Educators in Oklahoma say a new law restricting classroom conversations about race and racism is causing widespread confusion and fear.
6 min read
Regan Killackey, AP English Language & AP Research teacher at Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Okla., in his classroom on Nov. 15, 2021
Regan Killackey, AP English Language & AP Research teacher at Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Okla., in his classroom.
Brett Deering for Education Week