Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sports machismo may be cue to male teen violence

28.01.2008
The sports culture surrounding football and wrestling may be fueling aggressive and violent behavior not only among teen male players but also among their male friends and peers on and off the field, according to a Penn State study.

"Sports such as football, basketball, and baseball provide players with a certain status in society," said Derek Kreager, assistant professor of sociology in the Crime, Law, and Justice program. "But football and wrestling are associated with violent behavior because both sports involve some physical domination of the opponent, which is rewarded by the fans, coaches and other players."

Using a national database of 6397 male students from across 120 schools, Kreager analyzed the effects of team sports – football, basketball, and baseball – and individual sports – wrestling and tennis – on male interpersonal violence. The study looked at factors such as self-esteem, reports of prior fights, and popularity of the various sports.

The researcher found that, compared with non-athletes, football players and wrestlers face higher risks of getting into a serious fight by over 40 per cent. High-contact sports that are associated with aggression and masculinity increase the risk of violence, he concluded.

"Players are encouraged to be violent outside the sport because they are rewarded for being violent inside it," Kreager said.

However, the violent behavior is not restricted to players alone. The Penn State researcher also found that the risk of getting involved in fights increases with the proportion of friends who play football.

"Males with all-football friends are expected to have a 45 per cent probability of getting into a serious fight, more than 8 percentage points higher than similar individuals with no football friends and almost 20 percentage points higher than males with all-tennis friends," Kreager said in a recent issue of the journal American Sociological Review.

As for individual sports, wrestlers are 45 percent more likely to get into a fight than non-wrestlers, while tennis players are 35 per cent less likely to be involved in fights. The team sports, basketball and baseball, on the other hand, do not lead to fights.

The findings run contrary to a belief that participation in sports discourages anti-social behavior among boys because of the emphasis on teamwork, discipline and practice, and good sportsmanship and fair play.

"My results suggest that high-contact sports fail to protect males from interpersonal violence," Kreager said. "Players might be getting cues from parents, peers, coaches, and the local community, who support violence as a way of attaining 'battlefield' victories, becoming more popular, and asserting 'warrior' identities."

Pressure on teams to win games may be contributing to the problem, because it makes coaches want to build a stronger team by selecting aggressive players and encouraging a 'win at all costs' attitude both on and off the field.

A compromise solution, Kreager adds, is to break the cycle of aggression.

"There is definitely a gate-keeping role for the coach," he explained. "You would want to not select those kids you are already aware are uncontrollably aggressive, because they are going to be a problem for others in the team. And that is also going to encourage other kids who are hanging out with them to be violent."

The same also goes for players who start becoming more violent, Kreager added. "You want to sanction them somehow and make sure they are not rewarded, else other kids might get a wrong message and that might perpetuate the violence off the field."

Amitabh Avasthi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Sustained Relief for Severe Depression
19.03.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht AI study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes
06.03.2019 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Laser processing is a matter for the head – LZH at the Hannover Messe 2019

25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News

A Varied Menu

25.03.2019 | Life Sciences

‘Time Machine’ heralds new era

25.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>