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Girls in Sports at Record High, Yet Many Girls Fail to Meet Minimal Standards of Physical Activity, University of Minnesota Report Says

ve reasons, but to get in

shape, socialize with their peers, develop physical skills and to have


However, despite the breadth of knowledge specific to girls' physical activity and the variety of positive outcomes that can accrue through participation, many barriers, stereotypes and gender inequities are firmly in place that limit girls, according to the report.

"Poverty substantially limits many girls' access to, and participation in, physical activity and sport, especially for girls of color who are overrepresented in lower socioeconomic groups. So while some girls are physically active, many girls fail to meet minimal standards of physical activity needed to accrue developmental and health benefits, or worse, they are completely sedentary. There remains a great deal of work left to be done," LaVoi said.
The report also found:

-- Girls' participation rates in all types of physical activities

consistently lag behind those of boys and girls' dropout rates are


-- Girls' experiences are shaped by the quality and expertise of the

adults who make decisions, manage, govern, deliver and coach physical

activity programming, many of whom have minimal -- if any -- formal


-- Outdated, stereotypical standards of femininity and masculinity

continue to influence the extent to which girls participate in or shun

physical activity.

-- Female athletes continue to be trivialized through the popular media's

widespread sexualization of women.

-- Traditional models of physical education organized around competition,

team sports, power, strength and aggression which focus on the "motor

elite" rather than skill development, disadvantage girls (and boys) who

are less skilled to begin with, which may contribute to a lack of

enjoyment and a shunning of lifelong participation in physical

SOURCE University of Minnesota
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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