Regarding the advantages of co-ed sport over men’s and women’s leagues, much of the discussion focuses on women’s experiences. In 2008, the sociologist Eric Anderson looked at men, specifically how their attitudes towards women changed when they joined co-educational cheerleading teams.
Anderson interviewed sixty-eight self-identified heterosexual male cheerleaders from colleges and universities across the United States. These men played soccer in high school, but after failing to form soccer teams at college, they switched to cheerleading to stay committed to competitive athletics. The goal of Anderson’s study was to see how their views changed as they moved from an all-masculine sports environment to a mixed environment. Anderson also arranged informal group interviews for people of different genders and observed four gender-integrated cheerleading teams during training and competition.
Many male cheerleaders were surprised by the skill of their teammates. During one training session, “Jeff” and another man were lifting a teammate over their heads. Then, bored, they swapped positions so that Jeff was at the top of the pyramid, standing on the shoulders of one man and one woman.
“I never thought women could do that before I joined the cheer,” he later said. – You know, it’s not like I weigh a hundred pounds.
He added that although he had seen cheerleading routines during his high school career, “you really have no idea how hard it is physically until you try it.”
The shift in perspective has spread to other sports. “Brad” remembered hearing about another school in high school that had an ex-girlfriend on his soccer team. “I thought it was wrong,” he admitted. “We discussed it with my teammates and we all agreed that the woman just can’t handle what we can. Now I can see that women can take a lot and are not as fragile as I thought.
Unlike men, many women on coed cheerleading squads cheered in high school. This created a situation where the men often relied on the competences of their teammates. Anderson describes how “Emily” teaches “David” a complicated, dangerous feat.
“Immediately after completing the feat, he turned to hug her, beaming with pride in himself,” writes Anderson. “Then he waited for her congratulations and smiled again when he received it.”
About half of the men said that prior to joining the cheer, they had attitudes that Anderson describes as misogynistic – usually hypersexalizing women and seeking to exclude them from positions of power. Most, but not all, mentioned that cheerleaders changed their thinking by bringing them into more direct contact with women in a situation where they were dependent on each other.
“In high school, it was all about cheerleaders making signs for our games or making cookies for us,” said one male cheerleader. “I mean, we used to hang out with them at parties, but it wasn’t like here. We didn’t travel with them, we didn’t eat team dinners and so on… I’ve never had best friends who weren’t men before. But now some of my best friends are women.
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Sociological Forum, vol. 23, No. 2 (June 2008), pp. 257-280
Why is cheerleading so important?
As crowd leaders and uplifting, cheerleaders are the team behind the team. A fan for single players, entire sports teams and athletics departments. To see also : NFL World Reaction To Cowboys Cheerleaders Training Camp Photos. Cheerleaders know and understand that the spirit of the school is the driving force that can motivate the team to play the best game possible.
What is the importance of cheerleading? You may not realize it then, but the benefits of cheering can help you navigate your life in a unique and amazing way. In addition to the physical skills needed for stunts, jumping and rolling over, being a cheerleader teaches you practical life skills like discipline, teamwork and goal setting, all while building your confidence.
When did cheer become a female sport?
Cheerleading and Women’s Participation in the Early 20th Century In 1903, the first cheerleading fraternity, Gamma Sigma, was founded. See the article : Jacksonville Jaguars Announces Partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. In 1923, at the University of Minnesota, women were allowed to participate in cheerleading.
Who organized cheerleading as an entirely masculine job? Organized cheerleaders started out as an entirely male occupation. On November 2, 1898, student Johnny Campbell of the University of Minnesota got the crowd to a soccer game to cheer, “Rah, Rah, Rah!” Ski-u-mah, Hoo-Rah! Hurrah!