Women in Sports
By Alexandra Wade - December 22, 2021

Since the early days of organized sports, women have been fighting for the right to compete on an equal playing field. And while there has been progress over the years, there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to gender equality in athletics. One of the main obstacles that women face is a lack of support from both spectators and the media. In a recent Sociology of Sport Journal study, researchers tested whether or not men and women receive different treatment from sports fans during exhibition games played under professional rules. They found that female athletes were booed at a 17 percent higher rate than male athletes in similar situations. “We expected to find some sexism,” said Robert G. Stephens, Jr., one of the study’s authors. “But we were surprised at the degree to which it existed.”

Getty Images/AFP/Christophe Simon

This type of treatment can have a demoralizing effect on female athletes, many of whom already face significant obstacles in order to compete at the highest level. For example, women often earn less money than their male counterparts, receive less sponsorship support, and have to deal with sexist comments and treatment from fans and the media. Despite these challenges, women continue to make impressive strides in the world of sports. In fact, some of the most successful athletes in history have been women. Serena Williams, for example, is one of the most dominant athletes in the history of professional tennis. Williams has been ranked number one in the world eight times and is a four-time winner of both the US Open and the Australian Open. Without a doubt, Williams will go down as one of the most influential and dominating athletes of all time.

Another famous woman in sports Lydia Ko, a professional golfer who has played on the LPGA Tour since 2012. In 2015, she became the youngest golfer (male or female) to achieve the number one ranking in the world, at the age of 17 years and 11 months. With this ranking, Ko also became the first New Zealander (male or female) to be ranked number one in the world. Ko has won 14 professional tournaments since turning pro, including two major championships (the Evian Championship in France in 2013 and the Women’s PGA Championship in the United States in 2015). These are just a few examples of the incredible women athletes who have made their mark in the world of sports. Despite facing significant obstacles, they have persevered and achieved amazing things. We can only imagine what the future holds for these and other talented women athletes.