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Women, Sports, and Science: Do Female Athletes Have an Advantage?

Sandra L. Hanson and Rebecca S. Kraus
Sociology of Education
Vol. 71, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 93-110
DOI: 10.2307/2673243
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2673243
Page Count: 18
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Women, Sports, and Science: Do Female Athletes Have an Advantage?
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Abstract

Both functionalist and conflict theories of sports suggest that participation in sports may have a positive influence on achievement in science, especially for young women. The research presented here found that young women's involvement in high school sports often has a strong and positive association with their success in science in their sophomore and senior years of high school, but that participation in cheerleading is usually negatively associated with success in science. It also found that involvement in sports is a factor in young African American women's success in science, but not always a positive factor. Comparable analyses for young men showed that sports activities are much less important in predicting their science experiences and that when these activities are significant, they have a negative influence.

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