Introduction: Gender stereotypes are socially-accepted beliefs pertaining to traits characteristic for women and men as well as activities which are universally considered appropriate for them. Sport is one of the areas subject to very strong gender stereotyping, which places itself primarily among masculine values. Referring to the social tendency for using gender stereotypes, the study is aimed at determining the level of parallelism of the Olympic and Paralympic movement, which while striving for integration (close relations), at the same time is weakened by prejudice associated with disability.
Material and methods: The group of subjects consisted of students of Wroclaw University of Physical Education (N=174). They assessed Olympic sports disciplines and their Paralympic equivalents on two independent-five-degree scales: femininity and masculinity. The achieved results have been statistically analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA test in the following arrangement: 2 (sex of subjects: women vs. men) x 2 (sports discipline: Olympic vs. Paralympic) x 2 (gender stereotypes: femininity of sports discipline vs. masculinity of sports discipline) x 21( sports disciplines).
Results: The obtained results show that Olympic and Paralympic disciplines treated collectively in the students’ opinion are more masculine than feminine, which confirms the thesis on predominance of the stereotype of masculinity in sport. However, Olympic sports disciplines analyzed individually, occurred to be both more masculine and feminine than their Paralympic counterparts.
Conclusions: In the light of gender stereotypes, paralympic sport appears to be slightly disavowed, which indicates a threat to its parallelism with the Olympic movement. It seems that prejudice connected with sports practiced by persons with disabilities as well as not a very good current situation of Polish Paralympic athletes may account for this alarming result
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.