A test of testosterone: why boys don’t play volleyball
February 27, 2017
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“No, we don’t wear spandex,” is the answer most male volleyball players give when asked about their sport.
The use of the revealing clothing, commonly associated with women’s volleyball, is one of many stereotypes that plague volleyball today. With gender being a major topic in today’s society, it’s become increasingly popular to characterize things, such as sports, as either masculine or feminine.
Their characterization in either category greatly influences a high schooler’s decision to participate in the sport, in fear of ridicule or judgement from others.
According to a study conducted by Tom Alley, a professor at Clemson University, “athletic achievement has been equated with a loss of femininity. Perceptions of males and females as more or less masculine or feminine depend on the sport(s) in which they participate.”
Then how does playing volleyball cause the opposite?
This problem can be easily described by those facing it, specifically the boys who are currently trying out for Carlmont’s volleyball team.
Ezekiel Licudine, a sophomore, said, “most men turn away from playing volleyball because many think the sport is too feminine due to their attire […] or the popularity of volleyball amongst women.”
This brings to light the fact that the gender stereotypes surrounding the sport are not caused intentionally, but mainly due to the overall amount of participation by each gender.
Much like Licudine, Maxil Ertl, a sophomore, said, “Men get turned away because it’s not, stereotypically, a masculine sport. This is of course due to the fact that it is a very female dominated sport.”
Alike most things, experience can solve most problems, and no-one has more experience with how this topic affects Carlmont students than Mike Lapuz, the head coach of the team.
“They [boys] tend to stick to what their peers prefer to play,” said Lapuz. “This is mostly due to wanting to be accepted by their male counterparts.”
As shown, the desire to feel accepted isn’t a problem that someone else will fix for an athlete; so they must pursue their passions regardless of outside opinions.