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Co-ed vs Single Gender Sports Teams 2 S. Golbe I agree with Susan about how the lack of respect for women in athletics is frustrating; it's a complex issue that could be tackled in a number of ways. However, I tend to support single-sex teams in youth sports because of my personal experiences with coed sports when I was growing up. I always felt more confident on all-girls teams versus coed programs. In junior high, I signed up for coed downhill skiing but quit after the first week of practice because I didn't feel confident or comfortable trying skiing at the competitive level in the presence of boys. I hated the practices because I had to run and do conditioning drills in front of boys. I was embarrassed about my athletic ability not being at the same level as the boys; but more so, I was self-conscious that I might be bad in comparison to the other girls, and that the boys would witness it. This completely deterred me from wanting to stick it out. This was a stark contrast from my single-sex team experiences with field hockey and lacrosse, where I felt much more confident and comfortable trying a new sport and learning new physical activity skills. If I had any insecurities about being slow or looking awkward, I was able to get over that in an environment without boys, and ultimately I stuck with and developed a love for those sports and physical activity that has lasted.Here is a link to the scholarly article "Developing Physically Active Girls" from the Tucker Center, a leader in research on girls and women in sport. The whole article is interesting, but if you scroll down to the section "Peer and Social Climate" on page 12 of the text (page 32 of the PDF), it expounds upon the idea that peer interaction is important when learning physical activity skills, and how boys and girls differ in their peer interactions in a physical activity settings.
by K. Esty
Thursday, February 19, 2015
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