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Gender Roles In Soccer

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Soccer is a world phenomenon played and enjoyed by all levels of athletes. Soccer is defined as “a form of football played between two teams of 11 players, in which the ball may be advanced by kicking or by bouncing it off any part of the body but the arms and hands, except in the case of the goalkeepers, who may use their hands to catch, carry, throw, or stop the ball” (dictionary.com). This seeming-less simple game has greatly contributed to; the gender binary, gender performance and bodies, and intersectionality and gender inequality among our Men and Women’s US national teams. The US women’s soccer team made their first appearance in August of 1985 and the Men’s team in 1913. Currently the women’s team has a roster of 24 and the men’s…show more content…
This idea is ever present in the world of professional soccer; it could not be any more clear than having a team specifically composed of only men and another team of only women. Wade claims that the majority of people we know do not fit perfectly into the gender binary idea of there being a male gender and a female gender (Wade, 2014). Yet among the professional soccer teams, it seems majority if not all of the athletes fit into either a male or female binary. This is not the same for all countries. If we were to view or judge other teams how we view the US it may be unclear if a player is a man or a woman. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, more commonly known as FIFA is responsible for all major international tournaments. FIFA is a biased organization that perpetuates habits that reinforce gender binary (Jennings, 2011). In 2011 FIFA announced its gender verification regulations, enabling the association to measure the hormones in players. Since then players from Germany, England, Korea, and New Guinea have been sex tested. (Faga, 2015). Such countries do not have as prevalent gender binaries, making it difficult to precisely isolate a gender. Sex testing athletes has forced a binary upon them, making them identify as solely male or female. This is in part due to how the United States has raised the professional athletes from a young age. Children are heavily exposed to certain toys, sports, clothes, shows, and more based on their binary; and if the child were an athlete there was greater pressure to fit into a binary that matched their role. The clear gender binary among the US men and women national soccer team is in part of gendered
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