Date of Award

Fall 9-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Second Advisor

Dr. Samantha Sutton

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Towers

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the athletic participation rate of males and females within the high school of study. Freshmen and senior students were surveyed to gather data on the reasons students chose to participate or not participate in athletics. Focus groups were conducted at a local university to further explore why students participated in athletics and why some of these students discontinued their participation in athletics. Focus groups also explored challenges facing athletes and student perceptions of female participation in athletics. Athletic participation data from the high school of study were also taken into consideration. This study also touched on the history of females as they journeyed throughout history from the Theory of Separate Spheres to Title IX. The impact of Title IX on female athletics is also touched upon. Special attention was paid to the struggle female athletes have as they compete in athletics, why athletics are good for all participants, and health risks specific to females. Based on all of the data gathered, recommendations were made to the high school of study, to parents of female athletes, and for future studies to increase female athletic participation. Results of this study will assist administrators as they look for ways to increase female athletic participation within the high school of study.

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