Gender and physical activity

Topic 9: Gender and physical activity

Learning Objectives

9.1. Gender, sport and physical activity

examine the main influences that impact on the participation patterns of boys and girls in physical activity and sport

suggest ways in which the imbalance between boys' and girls' levels of participation in physical activity might be addressed in school and in the community

9.2. Gender, media and body image

discuss how body image influences and is influenced by physical activity participation of both males and females

debate how media representations of the body may impact on both young men’s and young women’s participation in physical activity and sport

9.3. Gender socialisation and its impact on physical activity participation

examine how social regulation of the body has impacted and continues to impact on the participation of both men and women in physical activity and sport

explain why the characteristics associated with hegemonic masculinity and hegemonic femininity might impact on the participation of both boys and girls in sport and physical activity

9.1. Gender, sport and physical activity

In this topic area, you need to be able to examine the main influences that impact on the participation patterns of boys and girls in physical activity and sport; and suggest ways in which the imbalance between boys' and girls' levels of participation in physical activity might be addressed in school and in the community.

Influences on boys and girls’ participation patterns in physical activity/sport

International guidelines on physical activity in childhood and youth suggest that all young people should take part in sports or other physical activities, be physically active on all or most days, and engage in activity that is of at least 3 moderate intensity, and lasting about an hour. Whilst girls in many contexts do achieve these targets, there is considerable evidence from around the world suggesting that most do not.

The tables below summarise a range of empirical research into girls...

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