Socio-Psychological And Cultural Impediment Influencing Women Participation In Sports In Anambra State, Nigeria
The main aim of this study is to assess the socio-psychological and cultural impediment influencing women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria. Four objectives guided the study. Out of the population, a sample of 200 respondents was drawn using random sampling and population sampling technique. The survey Design method was adopted. A 26 item self-constructed questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection. The questionnaire was distributed by the researcher and two research assistants, completed questionnaires were collected and analyzed using frequency and percentages. The study revealed that women’s participation in sports is strongly influenced by socio-psychological and cultural factors. A negative and tepid attitude is often given towards the participation of women in sports in Awka North LGA. Socio-psychological and cultural factors have a significant impact on how both women and the society view body image as related to sports. A significant number of people believe that exercise makes a woman manly and as such makes her less appealing. The socio-psychological and cultural factors that influence women’s sports participation, cause effects that include dislike towards sports participation, disinterest in sporting activities. Ignorance on the health benefits sports participation gives, is a leading cause of the negative influence these socio-psychological and cultural factors have. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended among others, that the government should create a youth centre for sports, well equipped and adequately staffed, to curb the problem of lack of facility, trainers, and role models and a proper education on the benefits of sports to both male and female should be taught properly at all levels of education.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background to the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objectives of the Study
- 1.4 Research Question
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisation of the Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Socio-Psychological and Cultural Beliefs
- 2.3 Gender and Sports
- 2.3.1 Gender Ideologies
- 2.4 Barriers to Women’s Participation In Sports
- 2.4.1 Environmental Barriers
- 2.4.2 Cultural Barriers
- 2.4.3 Social Barriers
- 2.4.4 Psychological Barriers
- 2.4.5 Specific Barriers for Women
- 2.5 African Women in Sports (Participation And Administration) Introduction
- 2.5.1 African Women in Sports Participation
- 2.5.2 African Women in Sports Administration
- 2.6 Benefits of Sports Participation Women
- 2.6.1 Physical Benefits
- 2.6.2 Mental Benefits
- 2.6.3 Social Benefits
- 2.6.4 Health Benefits
- 2.6.5 Success Benefits
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population
- 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
- 3.5 Validity of the Instrument
- 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
- 3.7 Method of Data Collection
- 3.8 Data Analysis
4.0 Results and Discussion
- 4.1 Result
- 4.2 Discussion
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background to the Study
Majority of cultures, traditions, norms and ideologies sideline women and associate them with roles and responsibilities that end in child bearing, child rearing and home making. This has caused a lot of resistance in accepting that women are capable of doing even more than the supposed gender roles allotted them. According to Coakley (2009), the original Olympic Games festivities excluded women not only from participating, but from spectating, such that a belief was held that the females caught viewing were punished by death. And even when Baron Pierre de Coubertin resurrected modern Olympics in 1896, Liegh (1964) stated that indecency, ugliness, and impropriety were strong reasons in Coubertin’s view, for excluding women. Other than that, there are numerous beliefs and myths that have discouraged the participation of females in sports and sporting activities.
As Burton-Nelso (1994) reported, Physicians in the mid-19th century believed that sitting upon a bicycle saddle was said to induce menstruation and cause collapsed uteri. Such ideologies and beliefs have been a great deterrent to the free and full participation of women in sports.
Traditionally, African women have been physically active with regard to the roles they play in society. Some of these roles have been participating in the village dance ceremonies, farming, fetching water and chopping wood. A Basden study of the Ibos (Igbos) of Nigeria by Blacking (1987), depicted that women were actively involved in dance ceremonies, mostly for religious functions to express joy and thanksgiving. Women have not only continued to perform these traditional physical activities, but are now involved in national and international sports despite the many challenges that have previously faced women sports in Africa. Fears of harassment, violence, intimidation and the domestic and reproductive responsibilities lead to low priority in sport among the women.
Society is built on the norms, values and cultures of the people. The sociocultural factors that influence women’s involvement in sports include the values, norms, cultures, traditions and religious beliefs and their influences. According to Bibi (2016), participation of females in various sports activities depends upon factors like parental approach, cultural norm and tradition of any society, and some guided religious principles. His study further illustrated that aforementioned factors form different approaches and viewpoints on sports participation of their wards.
It is expected that the people of any society behave according to the prevailing cultural norms and tradition of that society. The customary constraints of any culture may influence the activities carried out by the members of any society. Faluyi (1989), opined that the influence of cultural tradition on women can not be underestimated when analyzing the factors affecting women participation in sports. Most Nigerian sports women retire reflexly from active sports when they get married in preparation for marital roles and duties. And by the time they start having children, they forget they ever took part in sports. Studies have shown that physically, becoming a mother is not any more detrimental to sports than becoming a father (Kaplan, 1979; Klarfs & Arnheim, 1981).
Anyanwu (1980) stated that, In the past, society frowned at women taking part in such activities like wrestling, shooting with bows and arrows, horseback riding and hunting. The assumption of people was that the involvement of women in those traditional sports could make them develop heavy muscles and lose their feminine appearance. The Nigerian traditional culture regarded women as the fair and weaker sex who should not participate in any vigorous physical activity. Although. their daily chores and duties were mostly likely far more vigorous and tasking on their bodies than any sporting activitiy today.
According to Boyle and Robinson (2003), participation in sports and physical activities can be bound by social construction of gender and gender role types. This follows the cultural misconceptions that sports are for men. Lack of support from parents, husbands, siblings, friends, peers and social institutions constitute serious limitations to females’ exercise behaviour.
Orunaboka & Kemebradikumo (2007) said that Women who choose to participate and even get involved in sporting careers are stigmatized by the society as not choosing a recognized and profitable career. The demands placed on women from paid employment, housework, child rearing, and lower socioeconomic levels hinder their involvement in exercises (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). All women face pervasive and invasive messages about how women’s bodies should look, move, and develop and they face rigid social definitions of attractiveness (Lonsdale, 1990)
Female participation in sports has been a controversial issue all over the world and Nigeria is not an exception. Involvement in sports has taken a new turn in which those who engage in sports have various reasons for participation. In the olden days, the reasons for participation in physical activity was for the sole purpose of survival but in the world today, those who engage in sports have various intrinsic and extrinsic motivations such as financial, satisfaction, social, psychological, and fulfillment. Participation in sports makes athletes and others fit for such activities that they might engage in. Females who participate in sports, recreation and physical activities are generally healthier, more confident and feel better than those who do not (New South Wales info sheet, 2006, Orunaboka & Nathan, 2007).
The idea that sports must be examined in changing social, economic, political, and cultural contexts denotes the close relationship that exists between sports and their context. The 1992 European Sports Charter, defined Sport as referring to/meaning all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels”.
The emergence of women in sports is largely a twentieth century phenomenon. Infact, women made their first appearance in the Olympics in the 1900s (Bucher & Krotee, 2002). And the debut of prominent sports women are seen and commended as they had to withstand oppositions, considering women like Manon Rheaume (1992) the first woman to play in any of the four major North American sports, Hockey. Billie Jean King (1959-1983) a Tennis player by virtue of whom the world celebrates the likes of the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova. Jackie Joyner Kersee a renowned and well decorated Track and field Olympian (1984-1996) amongst numerous others.
The notion that women have been conditioned to be what they are, is deeply rooted in the prejudicial social pattern of different cultures. Women through the ages have always been viewed to be frail and fragile. Consequently, in keeping with this metaphor, a feminine picture of a woman was conjured up which seems to militate against females doing anything too physical. Adeyanju and Shuaibu (1992) observed that in Nigeria, the female faces greater stress than her male counterparts because she is working against the expected traditional feminine role when she commits herself to serious athletic competitions. In fact in some parts of the country, women are forbidden to expose themselves beyond the knee and elbow. Such women find it difficult to take part in sports which would require them to wear shorts, skirts and sleeveless vests. The case of Sokoto State legislation is 1983 and Sharia legislation of 2000 in some parts of the North comes to mind.
The area of physical education and sports like many others, is saddled with traditions, taboos, and myths. In medicine or engineering for instance, such tradition originated myths often disappear under close scrutiny of scientific analysis. In education as in any other social discipline, the primary area of interest, human behaviour does not lend itself easily to scientific analysis. According to Mshelia (1998), these fields are more conducive to the birth and growth of unchallenged ideas which after years of fermentations, suddenly appear as truths or principles.
Nigerian women are actively trying to emulate their female counterparts in developed countries, as a handful of women no longer withdraw from competitive sports. Bold as these steps may seem, Kabido and Dashe (1982) opined that the liberation of Nigerian women in sports is still greatly handicapped by the fact that men dictate the behaviour of women. A woman’s identity according to Mshelia (1998), from historical times has been tied to that of her husband, family and significant others hence for a woman to be involved and continue active participation in sports, she must be located in a social environment highly supportive of her activities. Bouchard, Shephard and Stephens (1994) reported that social factors such as social support are significant correlates of exercise behaviour. Social limitations to women’s involvement in physical activity include lack of social support, role conflict, lack of equal opportunities and limited role models (Rauzon, 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The world has been experiencing a large acceptance of women in all sectors of society. Since it has become evident that not only is sports good for the body but necessary, women should be cheered on to participate in their numbers and reap the numerous benefits of sports. Kraus & Curtis (2006), stated that so many women in developed countries have become impressive athletes that doctors call pregnancy a nine months conditioning programme. Participation in sports gives a general increase in fitness and health for all individuals, and this includes both physical, emotional, mental and social health.
The participation of women in sports in Awka LGA of Anambra State is shied away from and very often discouraged. It is looked on at as a thing of little importance and is usually ignored. These observed attitudes of individuals towards women’s participation in sports have been nothing but crippling to a stigma free experience of sports participation.
Awka Local Government Area has been indued with five Institutions of Higher Learning and has been unable to present seasoned female athletes. Where these institutions can serve as the perfect breeding ground for any woman who desires to be involved in sports, not only do women rarely participate in sports, or are hardly seen officiating, but even the number of women in the spectators bench is quite alarming.
Participation in sports of any kind in Awka Local Government Area (LGA), Anambra State by women, is very low if any. The few that participate are not encouraged by society and male counterparts and as such, they do not continue after a while. Because of these reasons, the researcher wants to look at the influence of socio-cultural factors affecting women’s participation in sports in Awka LGA and how this situation can be salvaged in the Local Government Area of Awka, Anambra State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to assess the socio-psychological and cultural impediment influencing women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study include to;
- Identify the socio-psychological factors that affect female participation in sports in Awka LGA, Anambra State.
- Identify the implication of cultural factors on women’s participation in Awka LGA, Anambra State.
- Examine the attitudes of females towards sports participation in Awka LGA, Anambra State.
- Identify to what extent, socio-psychological and cultural factors are responsible for the attitudes of females towards sports participation.
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions are formulated to guide this research:
- What is the socio-psychological factors that affect female participation in sports in Awka LGA, Anambra State?
- What is the implication of cultural factors on women’s participation in Awka LGA, Anambra State?
- What are the attitudes of females towards sports participation in Awka LGA, Anambra State?
- To what extent are socio-psychological and cultural factors responsible for the attitudes of females towards sports participation?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- HO1 There is no significant impact of socio-psychological and cultural impediment on women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria
- HA1 There is a significant impact of socio-psychological and cultural impediment on women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will provide information for other researchers to build on, should they seek to research in this area. Viewing the sociocultural factors and their influences on women’s participation in sports, an opportunity for adjustment of the society’s perception and a certain level of acceptance of women in sports will be made. Those common misconceptions and myths will be corrected and as such, new and more encompassing values and practices will be formed.
Also, all females who desire to participate in sports will be free to do so, with a degree of confidence as this research will provide facts and scientific proofs that will counter generally upheld misconceptions. A great opportunity for the State to generate revenue as women can be trained in elite sports and sponsored to compete at both national and international levels.
1.7 Scope of Study
This study is on socio-psychological and cultural impediment influencing women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria. The study covered Awka local government area, Anambra state.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Refers to the impact that the socio-psychological and cultural factors have on the behaviour and responses of the society to sports. The changes or effects caused by these factors, as applies to participation of women in sports in Anambra state.
This refers to how women partake in sports and sporting activities. How they engage or are involved in both the performance, playing, spectating and officiating of sports.
Is the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others, ‘imagined’ and ‘implied presences’ referring to the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by even when they are alone.
Cultural factors imply those set of beliefs, morals, values and norms that affect the lifestyle, culture and practices of the people and how these women’s participation in sports.
Sports in this study refers to all forms of physical activities, but is more inclined to those performed in competitive or team form.
Women as seen in this study refer to the general female group, from girls to older and mature women. It’s cuts across all age groups
1.10 Organisation of the Study
This study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one included the background of the study, research problem, research objectives and questions as well as limitation of the study. Chapter two contains the literature review. Chapter three includes the methodology and study area. Chapter Four contains the results and discussion of key findings of the study. Chapter Five finally looks at the summary, conclusions, and recommendations based on the findings.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This study was to determine the socio-psychological and cultural impediment influencing women participation in sports in Anambra state, Nigeria. Four objectives were formulated to guide the study. A descriptive survey design was adopted in the study, the population selected for the study were 5 wards out of the 20 within the LGA of Awka North, and 200 respondents were drawn using a random sampling method. A 26 item self-constructed questionnaire was used as the instrument for data collection, frequency, percentages and mean were used to analyze data.
The study revealed that:
- The socio-psychological and cultural factors that influence women’s participation in sports include the family support, social and cultural beliefs like “exercise causes infertility”, gender roles, existing social barriers like “sports being for those in school”, and that these sociocultural factors in turn, inhibit the participation of women in sports
- The females in Awka North Local Government Area have a negative and tepid attitude towards sport participation and sporting activities
- The society frowns on the formation of well-toned muscles in a female sports participant and sees it as her becoming manly, and has taught the females to also view their body from this unpleasant angle.
- The negative attitudes observed by the researcher are as a result of the influence and reach of these socio-psychological and cultural factors. They limit the interest of the females in sports, and mostly make the females ignorant on the benefits of sports to health.
- Most females engage in sports only within a school system and afterwards neglect it.
Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions were drawn. First, women’s participation in sports is strongly influenced by socio-psychological and cultural factors. Secondly, a negative and tepid attitude is often given towards the participation of women in sports in Awka North LGA. Thirdly, socio-psychological and cultural factors have a significant impact on how both women and the society view body image as related to sports. A significant number of people believe that exercise makes a woman manly and as such makes her less appealing. Fourthly, the sociocultural factors that influence women’s sports participation, because effects that include dislike towards sports participation, disinterest in sporting activities. Lastly, ignorance on the health benefits sports participation gives, is a leading cause of the negative influence these socio-psychological and cultural factors have.
Based on the findings in the study, the following recommendations were made:
- A proper education of the benefits of sports participation to both males and females should be taught at all levels of education.
- Provision for female competitions in common sports like soccer, volleyball and basketball both in and out of school
- An awareness campaign to desensitize and neutralize myths and beliefs about the adverse effects of sports and women in communities within the state.
- Creation of a youth centre for sports by the government and other Non-Governmental Organizations for Women empowerment, well equipped and adequately staffed, to curb the problem of lack of facility, trainers, and role models.
Socio-Psychological And Cultural Impediment Influencing Women Participation In Sports In Anambra State, Nigeria
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