The male effect on sporty women

January 16, 1998

WOMEN are less likely to take up dangerous sports like motor racing because of the psychological effects of the negative attitudes of male rivals, a researcher has found.

Judy Eaton, a psychologist at Coventry University, found that women are often discouraged from continuing such sports at a young age because of the dismissive and aggressive attitudes of juvenile male competitors.

The research was commissioned by the RAC, which says that women hold just 2 per cent of its competitive motor sport licences. It has spawned a number of other studies to be undertaken by Dr Eaton and her team. Included will be an investigation into why women tend to participate less than men in general sports after leaving school.

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