Sex Roles

, Volume 33, Issue 7–8, pp 543–557 | Cite as

Ratings of gender appropriateness of sports participation: Effects of gender-based schematic processing

  • Nathalie Koivula


The domain of sports and physical activity has traditionally been considered to be appropriate for men and not compatible with the feminine role. Because gender-based schematic processing has been shown to affect attitudes and behavior, there might be differences in the categorization of sports as masculine or feminine, between sex-typed and non-sex-typed individuals. The findings in this study, including 104 women and 103 men (96.6% Caucasian, 2.9% Arabic, 0.5% Black) showed differences in gender appropriateness ratings between groups classified according to the Bem Sex Role Inventory, and also between men and women. Men, in general, and sex-typed men, in particular, were more inclined to stereotype sports as masculine or feminine. An explanation might be that these individuals engage to a greater extent in gender-based schematic processing. A possible additional explanation could be that childhood socialization into sports may serve as a means of providing proof of boys' manliness and the validation of prejudices against women, and that the need for this proof is stronger among sex-typed men.


Physical Activity Social Psychology Schematic Processing Sport Participation Additional Explanation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie Koivula
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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