Play like a girl: the presence of gender-based equality in varsity athletics at Acadia University
LE3 .A278 2018
Bachelor of Arts
Using a mixed methods approach that incorporates qualitative and quantitative methods, this thesis sought to investigate gender inequality in sports at Acadia University. To address the question, quantitative surveys were sent out to all the varsity athletics population at the university, resulting in a sample of 75 athletes. Additionally, qualitative interviews were conducted with 5 female athletes and 4 athletic staff members. The survey and interviews focused on several key themes: gender norms, media promotion, double standards, and differential treatment in financial support. The findings suggest that Acadia University has succumbed to the realities of gender inequality in sport that are demonstrated in the greater society, by providing more support to male athletes than female athletes through the media, the display of double standards, and through the difference shown in financial investment. This research contributes to a feminist analysis of gender in sport, drawing on liberal, radical, and Marxist approaches. The aim of this work is to provide an original contribution to the academy on the issue of gender equality in sport from experiences at a particular post-secondary institution. The hope is that the results enable recognition of the role of women in sport and influence a critical policy shift both within and beyond Acadia for more equitable support towards female athletes.
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