Study Purpose and Sample DescriptionThe purpose of the article “The Gender Gap in Sports Performance: Equity Influences Equality” is to discuss issues underlying gender differences in sports performance from a global perspective and identify the factors that affect female performance in sports. The authors claim that sport exhibits disparity in regards to gender equality, with reduced opportunities for girls and women and they discuss the biological, cultural and socio-cultural reasons for such disparity. The gender gap is predominantly attributed to biological differences, which often leads to bipolarity in competitive sport-expression. The study focuses on the performance of Olympic athletes in Australia, Europe, Japan, South Africa and the United States and they are the samples for this article. The research examines top performances and medalists from each state and how the media coverage is distributed between female and male athletes.
The Research Design and Method
The Research design is mainly the data analysis. The article analyses the amount of funding received by the athletes, the percentage of total medals distributed between female and male athletes, and the percentage of television coverage. The method of data collection in this study is observation. The researchers focused on the Olympic Games and analyze the data available for the performances of the athletes.
The article came to conclude that the support from national governing bodies and sports federations, media coverage and financial incentives increased and therefore the sociocultural inequality for women is reduced. However, the gender gap remains visible and will continue to appear in certain events. As the authors claim, only them the biological differences between men and women will be reflected and the discussion of the gender differences is limited. The gender gap in a number of medals and media coverage is present at the Olympic Games.
Opportunities for Further Research
The article is focusing only on the Olympic athletes and their performance, therefore the results are only applicable to the professional experienced athletes. The research might go further and identify the gender differences in the national and local sports events and focus on the sports competitions on the level of schools and colleges. In addition to that, the study may investigate the gender equality gap in sports in different states that are not described in the article, since the difference in the gender gap can be enormous.
The hypothesis tested in this article stated that the gender gap in sports affects performance and influences the opportunity for female participation and social factors that have an impact on that. The hypothesis was accepted; however, the social factors were not detailed.
Threats to Validity
The bias in this study is not visible, however, the authors concentrate only on the top performers from each country and do not discuss the results of the other athletes that participated in the Games. The results might be slightly different is the article considered all the athletes and their results, participation, funding and support.
The study discusses the data from the Olympic Games and makes a conclusion based on it, however, the discussion of reasons for the gender gap is limited. The article indicates, that there are biological, socio-cultural and other reasons for gender inequality in sports, but it does not cover in full how and why the gap exists. The study did mention that the gap is bigger in the societies where certain sports are seen as not suitable for women and more research and discussion might be implemented in this area.
Implications of the Findings
The results of the research can be used to monitor and reduce the gender gap in sports. The article can be used as a ground for the further research of gender inequality in Olympic Games and other events. The results mainly show that the gender gap will still exist in the near future, therefore media and government should make efforts to support and cover both female and male athletes equally.
- Capranica, L., Piacentini, M. F., Halson, S., Myburgh, K. H., Ogasawara, E., & Millard-Stafford, M. (2013). The Gender Gap in Sport Performance: Equity Influences Equality. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance, 8(1), 99-103.