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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v9.i34.60
38 pages

SCIENCE EXPERIENCES AMONG FEMALE ATHLETES: RACE MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Sandra L. Hanson
Department of Sociology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064
Rebecca S. Kraus
U.S. Department of Justice

RESUMO

Sport participation is increasingly seen as a resource with considerable physical, social, and academic benefits. As a new millennium begins with girls more visible in sport, an important question is whether all girls reap these benefits. Although general academic benefits of sport have been shown, the authors’ earlier work showed that experience in the male sport domain benefits young women in the elite (often male) science curriculum. Competition, self-esteem, and other individual resources gained through sport are potential sources of success in the similarly competitive male realm of science. In this research, the authors used critical feminist theory to guide their examination of racial and ethnic variations in the relation between sport participation and science experiences for young women. Data from the nationally representative National Education Longitudinal Study were used to explore the impact of sport participation in the 8th and 10th grades on 10th grade science achievement (measured by science grades and standardized test scores) and course taking for African American, Hispanic, and White women. The findings revealed that sport participation has some positive consequences for the science experiences of each of the groups of women. It also has some negative consequences, although the positive consequences outnumber the negative consequences for Hispanic and White, but not African American, women. Sport in 10th grade, especially competitive varsity sport, is most likely to have positive consequences. The findings revealed that each of the groups experiences different routes to success in science, and sport participation is present at some level in each of these routes. A consideration of multiple areas of science experience is important for understanding the connections between race and ethnicity, sport, and science for young women. Unique sociocultural contexts are used to attempt to understand these findings, and implications are discussed.


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