A new study shows that many women don’t want to date sports teams because they fear they’ll be ridiculed.
A new study published in the Journal of Communication shows that women who don’t identify as sports fans often feel uncomfortable in sports clubs, because they don’t know if their friend is into sports.
“Women who identify as non-sports fans often experience discomfort in their friendships with other women because of their fear of ridicule and social ostracism,” said lead author Katherine C. Clark, a research associate at the University of Chicago.
“Women often don’t see themselves as fans of the sports teams that they associate with.
They see themselves primarily as friends, family members, and confidants.”
The study was led by the University at Buffalo’s Toni M. Schulz Center for Women’s Studies.
Clark and her colleagues conducted an online survey of 5,000 college-age women and 2,000 adults ages 18-34.
Clark found that many of the women surveyed were concerned about how they would feel if they had to date someone who didn’t identify with their sports team.
In one of the most extreme cases, a survey respondent who identified as a sports fan was embarrassed by a woman who asked her out.
“She asked if I’d ever dated a guy who didn’s sports team,” the respondent told the researchers.
“She asked me how I felt if I was dating a guy I didn’t like.
I said, ‘No, I don’t like sports, but I don t want to get into a relationship with someone who doesn’t identify themselves as a fan.'”
While Clark said she doesn’t believe the survey participant was the target of any discrimination, the study did find a correlation between sports fandom and feelings of discomfort.
“Sports fans are often described as having a higher level of social anxiety, so a woman might feel uncomfortable having a boyfriend who doesn’s sports fandom,” Clark said.
“It’s an important message that many young women are still trying to process.”
The authors of the study suggest that women may be feeling uncomfortable in the sport that they love, especially in their personal relationships.
“Sport is not an escape,” Clark told USA TODAY.
“Sports are something that we have to be part of, but they are not something that can replace or replace a partner.”
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