SOCIOCULTURAL FACTORS AND SPORTS PARTICIPATION

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IMPACT OF SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS OF FEMALE STUDENTS’ PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS

ABSTRACT

The study examined Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors on Female Students’ Participation in Sports. with reference to Female Students in CASSS, Kaduna Polytechnic as a Case Study. Objectively, four research questions were formulated. The survey design was used in the study. The sample size was 345. 345 questionnaires were administered to the respondents, but 278 questionnaires were found valid. The data gathered were analysed using simple percentage and mean. The findings revealed that: Physical benefit, mental benefit, social benefit, health benefit and success benefit are the benefits of sports’ participation to females; Females do not engage in sports because it will affect their marriages, females do not participate in sports because they may not marry, females’ participation in sports is affected by lack of awareness, females’ participation in sports is affected by lack of facility, and the absence of role models has limited the interest of females in sports participation are the attitudes of females towards sports participation; … . Based on the findings, conclusion was drawn and recommendations given that 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; … .

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

Despite immense contributions of female to national development in Africa, they still face a number of difficulties that limit their potentials in promoting personal and collective development. Ladan (2009) opined that, for many years, society maintained a greater degree of sports competition for boys than for girls. In recent years, there have been many change in female’s participation in sports, but the rate of changes have been found to be extremely low. Adler (2008) explained that, today as in the past most female members of the society have fewer opportunities in life compared to their male counterparts as they are expected to run a home and bring up children. Female have less free time in their choice of leisure activities and they are more restricted than males. Over a long period of time, female have demanded changes in society to give them equal status with men. Social changes have gradually given female greater opportunities to plan their own lives. Nevertheless, the battle for equal opportunities with men is still being fought.

The low rate of female involvement in sports is not due to lack of interest in sports by them. Instead, it is due to the long history of direct and indirect forms of discrimination and stereo-typing that female have to contend with (Adeyanju, 2011). The sport for all movement started in the mid-1970s in Europe. It was a concept being adopted to achieve a long term objective by the council of Europe, it was aimed at encouraging the population at large to become more active while it also proclaimed the message that sports are not for the talented few. Almost twenty years later, participation in sports and recreation are justified on the assumption that they serve as mediums for developing desirable attitudes and behaviour that are essential for one’s own wellbeing. Sports for all was an attempt to extricate sport from domination by the privilege few and to declare it as an entitlement for everybody in an egalitarian society. This means that, sports for all implies equal opportunities for participation for both males and females, irrespective of age, political affiliation, gender, race or religion. While this was considered to be important and the ideal, it has proved difficult to achieve in reality, particularly in relation to female (Okey, 2011).

In contrast to the expectation of sport for all, female experience role conflict and this is reflected in the attitude of the general public regarding female athletic participation in Nigeria. Female’s participation in sport in Nigeria has for a long time been relatively low compared with men due to differential treatment based on socio-cultural roles and expectations. Consequently, the traditional images of gender in Nigeria have often worked against female’s participation in sport. This perhaps, extensively reduces already existing opportunities that are available for female in sports. An analysis of those actively involved in sports in Nigeria indicates that men constitute the greater number either as players, coaches, or as administrators. In spite of Nigeria’s ethnic, culture and religious diversity, a constant theme seems to run through the society as regards the traditional place of female; her traditional place is in the home. Her ideal role is associated with child bearing, rearing and housekeeping. Nigeria is therefore is classified as a society where cultural values predominate in all activities (Adeyanju, 2011).

Female have faced barriers that have discouraged their progress in the level of participation in sport. Amuche (2004) demonstrated that, throughout history, men have controlled sport, used it for their own purposes and shaped it to fit their abilities. Consequently, fewer numbers of female have participated in sporting activities than men. Ikhioya (1999), reported that, female in Nigeria universities were not active sport participants. According to him, these female did not regard sport as conducive to their physical wellbeing. Nigerian society still experiences significant gender inequality in sports, despite recent international class performances by female sprinters and football players in national teams. This inequality can visibly affect the opportunities for female to participate in sport, thereby limiting their sport experiences. Ikhioya (1999), further showed that in most communities in Nigeria especially rural ones, cultural beliefs and attitudes had strong influences on low participation of female in sports. Besides, organization of sporting activities in most communities are usually focused on combative sports, such as boxing, wrestling, archery and shooting. Men are major participants in such sports which tend to discriminate against female. Sports participation and non­participation are influenced by several factors which are related to and basically hinged on socio-cultural background. The survival of any activities like sports is regarded as a function of socio-cultural characteristics which prevails in an organization. Sports therefore as an institutionalized social phenomenon depends largely for its continuing existence on the favourable support it receives from cultural and social forces.

It was stated by Adeyanju (2011) that, psycho-social and cultural factors which exert pressure on female through the immediate family, community, religion, media, peer groups and other sources of socialization to reinforce expected behaviour and teaching of gender roles. Sports is an exemplary activity which focuses attention on the gender influence by allowing for the comparison of innate against learned factors. Sports, traditionally, is defined as a male domain. Excellence in sports is an attribute cherished for men while it is seen as a distraction for female rather than an element of healthy living.

Ikulayo (1998) observed that, most developing countries, including Nigeria, have not experienced rapid changes in female’s active participation in sports compared to their more developed counterparts. This is due to a number of socio- cultural factors such as religion, parent, culture, peer group, gender role, mass media etc on religion aspect for example in northern Nigeria where majority are muslims. The Islamic religion and social expectations for public behaviour influences the choice of female in this part of the country to participate actively in sport. Adeyanju (2011) observed that, religious attitude as regards the free association of men and female and the exposure of parts of the body especially that of female, is a major constraints to female participation in sports.

Ikulayo (1998) stated that, most societies in the late twentieth century still believed that a woman’s place was in the kitchen, in care of children and in managing domestics chores. When female are at home, they may not have adequate space or time to fully participate in sports. Yan and Thomas (2005), reported that, cultural expectations shape children’s physical activity patterns and gender differences in their motor performance. Adler (2008) indicated that, parents’ reactions and expectations towards their children create the messages or concepts of children’s sex role stereotypes in physical activity. This report portends that, sex role stereotype can affect sport experiences of female. It is in the view of the above that the study seeks to investigate Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors on Female Students’ Participation in Sports. with reference to Female Students in CASSS, Kaduna Polytechnic as a Case Study.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Human beings live in a world where inequality reigns. This inequality manifests itself in various spheres in Nigeria and it affects the femalefolk greatly. Inequality exists in political, social, education and sports spheres; where female are being discriminated against based on their gender. Adeyanju (2011) observed that, the low involvement of female in sports is not due to the lack of interest in sports by female. It is due to the long history of direct, and indirect forms of discrimination and stereo-typing as well as many other problems that female have to contend with. Female’s participation in sports in Nigeria has for a long time been relatively low compared with men due to differential treatment attached to socio-cultural factors i.e parent, religion, culture, gender, peer group, mass media etc. Ikhioya (1999), reported that, female in Nigerian tertiary institutions were not active sport participants. According to him, female did not regard sport as conducive to their physical well being. Changes can however be noticed following the advent of western education accompanied by exposure across culture and ethnic background. Review of available literature revealed that there is paucity of study on influence of social cultural factors on sport participation among students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The present study therefore seeks to investigate Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors on Female Students’ Participation in Sports. with reference to Female Students in CASSS, Kaduna Polytechnic as a Case Study..

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors on Female Students’ Participation in Sports. Other specific objectives are to:

  1. Identify the benefits of sports’ participation to females in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic.
  2. Examine the attitudes of females towards sports participation in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic.
  3. Examine sociocultural beliefs about females’ participation in sports in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic.
  4. Find out the sociocultural factors affecting females participation in sports in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic.

1.4     Research Questions

The following research questions are formulated from the objective of the study to guide the study:

  1. What are the benefits of sports’ participation to females in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic?
  2. What are the attitudes of females in sports towards sports participation in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic?
  3. What are the sociocultural beliefs about females’ participation in sports in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic?
  4. What are the sociocultural factors affecting females’ participation in sports in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic?

1.5     Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is to provide information on some socio-cultural factors influencing female students’ participation in sports. It is hoped that the findings of the study would help:

Students/Female Students discover the benefits involve in females’ participation in sports.

Researchers carrying out research on related subject matter as a reference material and also equip him or her with adequate knowledge and skills to enable him or her to exploit the untapped consultancy and research opportunities in the sector

Sport administrator understand the socio-cultural factors influencing female students’ participation in sports.

Government implement policy against socio-cultural factors influencing female students’ participation in sports.

1.6     Scope of the Study

The focus of this research work is to primarily study the Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors on Female Students’ Participation in Sports with reference to Female Students in CASSS, Kaduna Polytechnic. Therefore, the study will comprise female students in CASSS, Kaduna Polytechnic.

1.7     Operational Definition of Terms

Factor: One of the things that affects an event, decision, or situation.

Female Student: A school girl or lady pursuing a course of study in higher institution.

Impact: Influence that the sociocultural factors have on the behaviour and responses of the society to sports. The changes or effects caused by these factors, as applied to participation of female student in sports in CASSS Unit of Kaduna Polytechnic.

Participation: The act of taking part in an event or activity. This refers to how females partake in sports and sporting activities. How they engage or are involved in both the performance, playing, spectating and officiating of sports.

Sociocultural Factors: sociocultural factors imply those set of beliefs, morals, values and norms that affect the lifestyle, culture and practices of the people and how these females’s participation in sports.

Socio-Cultural:  Sociocultural is a term related to social and cultural factors, which means common traditions, habits, patterns and beliefs present in a population group.

Sports: Sports in this study refers to all forms of physical activities, but is more inclined to those performed in competitive or team form.

 

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