Social Factors Affecting Gender Inequalities in Iranian Professional Sports

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student in Sports Sociology, Department of Sports Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Sociology of Sport, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran (Corresponding Author)

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Sports Science, Faculty of Physical Education, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Iran

4 Professor, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

5 Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Al-Zahra University, Tehran, Iran


Professional sports are among the areas in which the presence of men is dominant. This paper aims at examining the social factors affecting the gender inequalities in professional sports in Iran. The method of this study is applied in terms of purpose, quantitative in terms of nature, and descriptive-survey in terms of data collection. The statistical population was all members of the women's national team who were selected through purposive-snowball sampling method.The data collected through a research-made questionnaire were analyzed through Lisrel statistical software. The findings show that the process of socialization and the stabilization of gender stereotypes lead to feelings of gender inequality. One of the first issues related to the understanding of inequality with sports is the lack of media and paying little attention to the women athletes. From professional sports standpoint, they have been defined on the basis of the perspective of masculinity and patriarchy, and the type of win-lose game in sports fields is derived from the gender discriminatory demands that seek more strength, heroism, and win-lose. However, athletes and coaches who want to strengthen the sports identity and achieve higher status should reinforce their views on gender identity and its attributes in women and men athletes.


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