Study Says Girls Only Like Sports To Impress Boys. Um, What?!

Girls and Sports

I don’t know, they seem pretty into it to me… | Source: ShutterStock

Are you a sports fan and also a girl? Well, according to recent research, you might not actually love sports as much as you think you do. A study published in the journal Communication, Culture and Critique states that women are only into sports because men are. Or, in other words, us girls aren’t real sports fans – we only like it because we’re trying to impress dudes.

Sorry, but what?! I can’t be the only chick out there who’s feeling more than a little annoyed with this information. For one thing, this study was so tiny that it’s hard to even take it seriously. Only 19 women made up the study group – 17 of them were white, all of them were straight, and the majority of them had children. Considering the fact that there are millions of women out there whose opinions weren’t represented, it’s kind of impossible to make a generalization like this out of such a small group.

For another thing, I have to take some personal offense to this because I’m a huge baseball fan. I would never call myself a sports expert or claim that I love all sports – I don’t. Baseball is really the only one I’m into (besides the Olympic games, which I’m obsessed with), but trust me: my love of baseball has nothing to do with an attempt to impress guys.

I started liking baseball a few years ago, and it didn’t involve a dude. I was sitting home, bored out of my mind, when my dad turned on the Yankees game. At first, I tuned it out, but then I suddenly found myself totally into it. It was a super exciting game, going into extra innings against the Boston Red Sox, and I was completely riveted. I quizzed my dad on everything I needed to know about baseball, and from that day forward, I was a Yankees fan.

Girls can love sports just as much as boys, if not more. | Source: ShutterStock

I watch Yankees games on my own all the time. When I can’t be in front of the TV, I have my trusty ESPN iPhone app to fill me in on what’s going on. I go to games as much as I can and I enjoy every second of them. And I do all of this because I really, really love watching baseball. There’s no other reason.

Actually, I regularly get made fun of by guys for liking baseball. My brother isn’t into sports at all and every time he sees me watching a game, yelling at the TV or talking to my dad about the players, he makes fun of me. And in case you thought I was doing this to impress my boyfriend, you’d be totally wrong. My BF has as much interest in sports as I do in bugs – as in, none whatsoever. He groans whenever I turn on a game and I literally have to beg him to let me keep it on.

I also know a ton of girls who have a genuine love for sports that has nothing to do with trying to get their crush to like them. Two of my best friends are total sports fanatics. They’re obsessed with football, basketball, baseball, hockey… you name it, they probably watch it. They’ve played softball for years and join in on football games with our guy friends whenever they can. They honestly know more about sports than most guys I know – and they’ve been that way since they were kids.

So basically, I have to totally disagree with this study. I’m sure there are some women out there who pretend to like sports to impress a guy – but that’s definitely not true for every woman, and my friends and I are proof of that.

Are you a sports fan? Do you feel the same way I do about this study? Why do you love sports? Have you ever pretended to like sports just to impress someone? Tell us in the comments!



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  1. avatarLissa says:

    I guess I’ll chime in as the only woman here who hates sports. While I agree the study is wrong to come to these conclusions based on such a small sample size, I also believe that there are many many people who do pretend to like sports. Sports ARE boring to watch unless you follow a team, deeply understand the game, know a lot about the history and players, etc. When you have all that, I can see a sport become thrilling and interesting – you are invested enough to really care about the outcome. But some of us are not interested enough to even get to that point. For us, it’s just watching a bunch of dudes throw a ball around on a TV screen for 4 hours.

    I wish people would be more honest about it because I suspect some of my guy friends pretend to like sports for social reasons too. I’d like to see a more scientific study done with men and women and a larger sample size.

  2. avatarChloekarty says:

    I totally agree with you because I am a sport fan for example when it comes to basketball,soccer,athletics. But for years I have noticed that a lot of guy are totally interested in me when I talk about these sports. Furthermore liking sport means that you can relate to guys as you share the same interest.

  3. Pingback: A Game and Beer | Finding Mr. Wrong

  4. avatarAlexis says:

    I 100% agree. My mother, sister and I are obsessed with all sports: football (soccer), tennis, golf, cricket, rugby, etc. While my dad is the one watching E! news. My mother is convinced that it is rubbish.

  5. avatarLaura Beck says:

    Love the post and agree 100% – except with being a Yankees fan, I’m a life long Sox fan, even in seasons like this. Because I believe so strongly there are a lot of women sports fans out there, I started, fun, fashionable fanwear for women (and kids and babies) so we don’t have to look like facepainters! My love of sports had/has nothing to do with boyz, tho my husband doesn’t mind one bit! :)

  6. avatarLeah says:

    I am a huge sports fan. I love to play volleyball and swim. And I love to watch football and baseball. This study is horrible it doesn’t even include teens.

    • avatarChloekarty says:

      I totally agree with you this is because I am teen myself but you are right I have seen many teenage girls liking sport in order to get their crush to like them. One thing you just need is be yourself even if you sport fan as the boy will like you for being confident with yourself.

  7. avatarsomeone somewhere says:

    19 women to represent us all??? Not only is that unrealistic, it’s wrong to the bone.

    Hello to everyone from a soccer lover, and player —> myself! :)

  8. avatarTanika says:

    Yeah, I agree with the over gurls. I El-Oh-Vee-Ee sports! Especially soccer, basketball, table tennis, football and volley ball because my family share a lot of things with sport (: but when it comes to either basketball or soccer.. GO BOSTON CELTICS AND CHELSEA F.C <3

  9. avatarMads says:

    This is so screwed up, where do I begin????? I LOVE the New York Giants to death because I do, not because a man told me to. I love track, I love to run and swim, and I love to watch football because it’s who I am. No one can make me like the Patriots, ever, and this bullcrap is the old politicians that wont accept that we, gURLs, are who we are and still want us to shut up and cook their dinner. REBEL!!!!!!!

  10. avatarDestiny says:

    I agree that this study is totally degrading. I am a complete Yankees fan and I know other girls who are in sports at my school. Participating or watching sports should be based on your passion and interest for them, not hoping that it will attract and impress the opposite sex.

  11. avatarICanMakeYouSmile says:

    This is such a stupid study. What dumb ass thinks he can judge the majority of women from a group of less than 20 women? I love and play soccer, volleyball, and track and none of my love for sports has to do with impressing guys. Though my bf loves that him and I can train for track and stuff together, my passion is based solely on what I love, not what other people love.

  12. avatarTaylor says:

    Ok, this really makes me mad. I love love love sports, especially baseball and softball, basketball, curling, football, volleyball. I play softball, basketball, curling and volleyball and sometimes badminton. I’ve loved sports all my life, ever since I can remember I watched some sort of sports game every day, learning the rules of all these sports and practicing and playing them. I don’t care who you are, do not tell me I like sports because of stupid boys. I’ve had a genuine love and interest in all things athletic forever, even BEFORE I was interested in boys. How do you argue with that? This study is so biased and opininionated it’s not even funny. Don’t EVER tell me I don’t love sports. EVER.

  13. avatarAriz says:

    Seriously? I love love LOVE English football, and I don’t need to explain WHY. These studies are so sexist! Why doesn’t anyone say anything when guys watch The Notebook or Dear John? Actually, they do; they call the guy “gay”. Come on! What everyone likes is their personal preference! LEAVE PEOPLE ALONE!

  14. avatarSam says:

    That study is ridiculous!! I love badminton so much but I got into because of my school which is ALL girls and my PE teacher is female as well. No boy I know is as interested in badminton as me and since I go to an all girls school I have no boys to impress. That study makes women sound stereotypical when it comes to sports, that it’s a man’s thing. Thing’s like this make me really annoyed sometimes. Women can love sports just as much as men. FACT.

  15. avatarAbby says:

    I LOVE watching Basketball- and the guy I’m crushing on plays baseball-NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER. It seems that every study I see is degrading to females :(

  16. avatarRose says:

    I’ve loved baseball since preschool! Because we had this little battle against the other class and we practiced and i loved it! I played little league (only 3 of us were girls though…) and I always went to the community baseball game! But honestly I do hate every other sport including cheerleading and swimming. I happily show my hatred and don’t care if my crush loves it or not.

    PS: big yankees fan here as well

  17. avatarJohanna says:

    Thats completely ridiculous! i’m a DIEHARD basketball and hockey fan (basketball would have to be my number 1 love, IM COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH THE BOSTON CELTICS! .. i literally think i bleed green) i started getting into sports when i was 9, i wasnt trying to impress boys then and i never will use it to impress boys.. if they think its impressive then good for them, but i love sports cuz thats what i like

  18. avatarElizabeth says:

    Not cool. I have been a die-hard hockey fan since I was a kid. I haven’t missed a game at my local college for 21 years now. I idolized Patrick Roy, wanted desperately to play goalie, and cheered on the North Stars (when I was very little) then the Canadiens and Avalanche. My whole life, I’ve been a rink rat. In the winter, I’m at high school games, junior games, college games, pro games… any place there’s a puck on the ice, I’m there.

    My husband hated hockey when I met him. He didn’t care for any sport but baseball. HE was the one who started watching it for MY sake.

  19. avatarKatherine says:

    dumbest study ever. as a die hard twins fan, baseball is second only to music in my social life, lol. i’d take a baseball or hockey game over jersey shore any day.

  20. avatarChantelle says:

    I love Baseball and Football, so this study is totally wrong. I mean, I know girls who don’t like sports, which is fine by me, but seriously, I know girls/woman who watch sports because they like it.
    btw, my dad’s a Yankees fan, but me and my mom are Cub fans. As for football, I like the Colts, and any team that can handle Tim Tebow. :)

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