How Parents and the Community Can Encourage High School Girls to Participate in Sports by Overcoming Gender Profiling
Parents tend to value the health of their children. On the contrary, the community and parents who are supposed to encourage the High School girls to participate in sports often profile the girl athletes. Even though participation in sports is healthy for both the boys and girls in High School to develop physically, socially, and mentally, the social challenges such as peer rivalry and gender profiling paradigm coerce the High School girls into giving up on sporting activities. The adverse effects of gender stereotypes, prejudice, bias, and profiling have caused the High School girls’ declining participation in sports.
The initial notion that girls will get married and become household managers has faded with time as more girls graduate beyond High School. Parents and the community have taken it upon themselves to nurture girls’ talents through various activities and not just academic-oriented programs, also through sports and other recreational programs. Frequent guidance and counseling sessions coupled with girl child empowerment have eradicated some of the gender profiling issues in High Schools. This project will be evaluating how the parents and the community can help High School girls overcome gender profiling and participate in sports.
Main Arguments/ Themes
Some schools have witnessed the number of girls participating in sports decline over time. This factor is evidenced by the high number of depressed and mentally disabled individuals since they shy away from the very thing that would have helped them understand social life. The tremendous physical changes in and outside the physical bodies of girls during puberty scare them from exploring sports for fear that they might be preyed on by the opposite gender. More aspects play a part in the detachment of girls from participation in sports. Parents and the community have a significant role in these girls’ lives by coaching them and mentoring them to venture into sports for their growth.
Sporting activities are essential to child development and growth (Soulliard et al. 94). The research study focuses on encouraging high school girls to participate in sporting activities by recommending appropriate remedies to gender profiling as a cause of High School girls’ reduced participation in sports. The paper will also address the related causes of High School girls shying away from sports. Such problems include gender stereotypes, bias, and prejudice in sports.
Less attention is being paid to the challenges that have made High School girls to shy away from sporting activities. For society to encourage sportsmanship, social changes, communal efforts, and parental support in sports are necessary to encourage High School girls to participate in sports. Parents and the community should endeavor to attend the sports events in which girls participate in their schools. This move will motivate the students to enter more sports clubs and participate in inter-school competitions. Additionally, parents and the community should report cases of discrimination or abuse to the respective institutions for action to be taken.
Sporting activities offer an avenue for girls to showcase their talents and dispatch their energies into suitable activities. Lunde and Gattario (81) affirm that sporting activities are vital to children’s growth and development, both physically and psychologically. Sports enhance the biological development of High School girls to prevent issues like obesity. The exercises in athletics allow them to burn calories and the excess fats that they regularly consume. If these calories and fats are left to accumulate in their bodies due to passivity towards sports activities, then they may develop health complications like obesity, varicose veins, thrombosis, and high blood pressure when they become adults.
The several pieces of research conducted by different researchers concerning girls and sports indicate that girls’ participation in organized sports gives them unique advantages as young women. For instance, athletic girls graduating from High school record the best grades, gain psychological well-being, and experience satisfaction in their future families. Active athletes gain confidence and reduce the chances of their involvement in drug use. Therefore, it is upon parents and the community to find out how to support girls by encouraging them to join organized sports as a form of growth that needs to occur in their lives (Lunde et al. 86).
It has been noticed that many girls drop out of sports during their adolescence stage. They feel pressured because of their appearance. Girls have been fed with the wrong belief that sports activities will mess up their body appearance. One such view is that if they go for gym classes, they lose their feminine engineering. Society has painted a lousy image concerning girls whereby it attributes increased weight due to training for athletics and sports. However, the reality is that the media has focused on women’s appearance rather than their performance. For example, recent cases have revealed discouraging comments meted to women who focus on their athletic version rather than their appearance (Peráčková et al. 112). This treatment is not given to the male athlete. Such comments and criticism affect women’s egos and make the High School girls aspiring to receive societal approval shy away from athletics and sports.
It is high time that people change their perceptions of girls and their participation in athletics and sports. Girls have been participating from the sidelines as cheerleaders and spectators for a long time. This period might be the opportunity for the active participation of girls in socially constructive aspects of life. Parents, especially women, must be aware of their behavior regarding negative comments about their appearance. Children look up to their parents’ behavior, not the words they say. Therefore, as a parent, you need to change the conversation from how bodies appear to how they can perform (Soulliard et al. 95). Parents need to encourage their girls on how their bodies can function in many things, including sports. As parents, they should nurture the connection of the mind and body. Parents can show how they involve themselves in sports activities or can do it with their children.
Girls enjoy peer recognition instead of competition amongst themselves. Having friends with whom they can connect helps them to acquire stability emotionally and psychologically. These friendships developed quickly through athletics and other sports where they have to communicate and cooperate for results. Parents and teachers must mentor and coach the High School girls to learn about teamwork as a culture for nurturing their talents. This concept will help them support each other to overcome performance and appearance issues (Weiss et al. 8).
The research applies a descriptive design where the problems are explored and the variables correlated to understand how they contribute to the reduced number of High School girls participating in athletics and sports. A qualitative perspective is essential in identifying the places or schools where gender affects the participation of High School girls in athletics. The research employed interviews and surveys that were administered online and physically to assess the impact of concentrating on appearance and performance and how these two aspects were affecting the lifestyle of teenage girls. These data collection methods generated sufficient information to warrant the inclusion of parents and the community as the supporting pillars for girls’ participation in athletics.
The intended audience for this project is High School girls, their parents, and the community (100 participants). I will use questionnaires, interviews (based on the research questions), and surveys as the primary data collection methods. I will also use the college library databases and journals as highlighted in the bibliography section.
Questions that I planned on asking interviewee(s))
The research methodology will be based on a cross-sectional study, causal research, case study, and descriptive designs. I will conduct a cross-sectional survey to observe the effects of gender profiling on High School girls. While the case studies will help me compare the different perspectives of the researchers who already conducted field research, I intend to use the descriptive data in evaluating my findings on the remedies to gender profiling. I have decided to use the three methodological approaches because they will complement each other, thus providing reliable data for the project’s conclusion.
Results of the Research
The study revealed that 40 female students from the 60 participants do not have their body image significantly affected by athletics. Some attributed their perfect form to sports and athletics, with a few exceptions who eat excess food and end up out of shape. About half of the participants stated that they could likely participate in athletics, with the other half saying that there are numerous hindrances for their participation in athletics participation. Over 60% of the girls stated that their parents have not willingly declared their support for sports since they do not attend most of these events. Ten girls reported that they have been body-shamed by their peers, forcing most of them to abandon the sports in which they were active. The girls explained that the boys in their schools thought they were not suited for football and should venture into more girlish sports. The results demonstrate that most girls are likely to be coerced into sports by teachers instead of peers and parents.
The research revealed that most girls are afraid of participating in athletics because they lose their body shape, and society begins stigmatizing them. This challenge forces them to abandon the healthy exercises that could help them overcome the health complications that they develop later on in life. The research also demonstrated that girls tend to emulate their mothers and what they have done to maintain their bodies. This concept makes them disinterested in interactive and sporty activities that would have helped them in their future careers. They end up settling for less explorative jobs to have time for activities that keep them in shape. Those girls who develop problems like obesity develop low self-esteem and inferiority complex, which go unaddressed and impact their adulthood.
In conclusion, High School girls can be encouraged to participate in athletics by engaging the community in sensitizing against gender profiling. Sensitization improved the self-esteem of the girls (Peráčková et al., 110). Additionally, sexist language should be avoided in communications to safeguard both the parents and the community from dismantling the growth and development of the girlchild. School administrators should take legal action against any staff member discouraging the girls from participating in athletics. The encouragement that girls receive through mentoring and coaching will make them avoid influence from external pressure, which has proven to be unhealthy in most cases. Parents and the community can empower girls to adopt an athletic culture which will, in turn, boost their confidence and satisfaction in their jobs when they enter the job market. It is also vital to avoid stigmatizing the girls with health complications.
Additionally, since the level of physical activity does not affect girls’ body image, every member of society should convince them to engage in sports to unlock their sporty talents. The students who participate in sports have demonstrated a high level of appreciation for their bodies and functionality making it essential for adolescent girls who wish to change their outlook. The inactive students displayed lack of fitness since they could easily pick up injuries in their first period in sport events. Therefore, parents and the community should endeavor to support girls’ participation in sports and boost their confidence. This move will also help the girls develop emotionally and have a clear mind when making decisions.
Lunde, Carolina, and Kristina Holmqvist Gattario. “Performance or appearance? Young female sport participants’ body negotiations.” Body image 21 (2017): 81-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.03.001
Peráčková, Janka, et al. “Self-evaluation of body image in sport active and sport inactive adolescent girls.” Acta Gymnica 48.3 (2018): 109-114. http://gymnica.upol.cz/artkey/gym-201803-0003_self-evaluation_of_body_image_in_sport_active_and_sport_inactive_adolescent_girls.php
Soulliard, Zachary A., et al. “Examining positive body image, sport confidence, flow state, and subjective performance among student athletes and non-athletes.” Body image 28 (2019): 93-100.
Weiss, Maureen R., et al. “Evaluating Girls on the Run in Promoting Positive Youth Development: Group Comparisons on Life Skills Transfer and Social Processes.” Pediatric exercise science 1.aop (2020): 1-11.
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