Nav: Home

Negative stereotypes affect female soccer performance

July 14, 2016

London, July 14, 2016 - Subjecting female soccer players to a negative stereotype about their abilities reduced their dribbling speed significantly, according to a new study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise. The results demonstrate the impact negative stereotypes can have on athletic performance.

There continues to be a stereotype that women are inferior as soccer players. This view continues regardless of women's success on the field. For example, the German woman's team has won the World Cup twice, and the team is currently ranked 2nd in the FIFA world rankings (the men's team is ranked 4th). Furthermore, there is less coverage of female soccer games and their salaries are far below their male counterparts.

Scientists from the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, researched one stereotype in particular, namely: "females cannot play soccer." This idea is still prevalent in Germany despite the success of the nation's women's national team. Germany is the only country whose men's and women's national teams have both won at World Cups.

Thirty-six teenage female soccer players who play at a competitive level from three soccer clubs in Frankfurt participated in the study. The participants were asked to read a fictitious article either about female inferiority in soccer or about the worldwide growing popularity of soccer. Then, they had to answer on a seven-point scale whether they agree with the statement "I think boys and girls play soccer equally well."

The researchers then compared the time the women needed to complete the dribble exercise before and after reading the article was to see if negative stereotypes did in fact affect the girls' performances. The results showed that women who had read an article with negative stereotypes needed significantly more time to complete the exercise than those in the control condition.

Two motivational factors were also investigated: flow and worry. Flow is a term used in sports studies to describe a pleasant psychological state that makes it easier to be focused on the activity at hand. As a result, action and awareness are merged. Contrary to expectations, the results showed that there was no significant relationship between reading negative stereotypes and either flow or worry. Interestingly, girls who felt more worried, spent less time on the dribbling task.

Negative stereotypes can limit women from achieving their potential and effect participation in sport. This study confirms the results of previous research by demonstrating that female players are influenced by stereotype threat as early as their teen years, pointing to the importance of early intervention. Therefore, encouragement and positive messages are important for increasing female participation. As Johanna Hermann, co-author of the study, recommends: "Don't stop when you're stereotyped, stop when you're done, girls!"
-end-
Notes for editors

The article is "Girls should cook, rather than kick!" e Female soccer players under stereotype threat," by Johanna M. Hermann and Regina Vollmeyer (doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2016.06.010). It appears in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, volume 26, (2016), published by Elsevier.

Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's Newsroom at newsroom@elsevier.com or +31 20 485 2492.

About Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Psychology of Sport and Exercise is an international forum for scholarly reports in the psychology of sport and exercise, broadly defined. The journal is open to the use of diverse methodological approaches. Manuscripts that will be considered for publication will present results from high quality empirical research, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, commentaries concerning already published PSE papers or topics of general interest for PSE readers, protocol papers for trials, and reports of professional practice (which will need to demonstrate academic rigour and go beyond mere description).

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions -- among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey -- and publishes over 2,500 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and more than 35,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. http://www.elsevier.com

Media contact

Kate Wilson
Elsevier
+44 734 205 9022
k.wilson.2@elsevier.com

Elsevier

Related Negative Stereotypes Articles:

Do girls read better than boys? If so, gender stereotypes may be to blame
A new longitudinal study of fifth and sixth graders in Germany examined the relation between classmates' gender stereotypes and individual students' reading outcomes to shed light on how these stereotypes contribute to the gender gap in reading.
Bad behavior between moms driven by stereotypes, judgment
Mothers are often their own toughest critics, but new Iowa State University research shows they judge other mothers just as harshly.
Even scientists have gender stereotypes ... which can hamper the career of women researchers
However convinced we may be that science is not just for men, the concept of science remains much more strongly associated with masculinity than with femininity in people's minds.
Study: Some stereotypes seem to be universally applied to biracial groups in the US
A new Northwestern University study has found evidence that there are some stereotypes that seem to be universally applied to biracial groups in the U.S.
Stereotypes of romantic love may justify gender-based violence
The media have become key agents of socialization in the construction of teenagers' and young people's identities.
Us vs. them: Understanding the neurobiology of stereotypes
In a review published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, and colleagues describe how non-invasive brain stimulation -- a technique he and others have pioneered to unlock the secrets of the brain -- could shed light on the neurobiology underlying implicit bias.
Algorithms reveal changes in stereotypes, according to new Stanford research
New Stanford research shows that, over the past century, linguistic changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes correlated with major social movements and demographic changes in the US Census data.
Sexual harassment, gender stereotypes prevalent among youth
Young women enrolled in high schools and colleges told Washington State University researchers that people routinely make sexual comments, both in-person and online, about them and their bodies.
Study: Stereotypes about race and responsibility persist in bankruptcy system
Bankruptcy attorneys have little knowledge of the racial disparities that exist within the bankruptcy system, relying instead on common stereotypes about race, responsibility and debt, according to research co-written by Robert M.
Autism on screen may reinforce stereotypes, study finds
Fictional portrayals of autistic people -- such as The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper -- are not fully representative of those with the condition, research from the Universities of Edinburgh and Oslo suggests.
More Negative Stereotypes News and Negative Stereotypes Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.