Girls & Women in Sports

The health benefits of physical activity and sport participation have been evidenced in contemporary research. These benefits include improved physical and emotional well-being, as well as better performance in school and at work. Historically, sport participation at college and professional levels was male dominated, however, since the 1970s, and the establishment of Title IX, opportunities for women in sports have grown exponentially. Although there are more women in college sports today, there continues to be fewer women than men participating in professional sports after college. Is this reality due to lack of interest or lack of options for women in professional sports? It can be argued that increasing professional sport opportunities for women would not only allow women to further advance their careers, but could also contribute to increased positive social and economic outcomes in society. For example, women with increased visibility through careers in professional sports can demonstrate leadership, strength, and the value of sport and physical fitness to younger generations. Thus, as role models, women in professional sports can inspire girls to participate in sports and experience the many benefits of living an active lifestyle. For more information on mental health among athletes or to receive sport psychology services, contact the UNT Center for Sport Psychology.