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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the theoretical and research evidence on women in competition in the context of sport. First, it explores the history of women in competitive sport and physical activity, and then reviews the relevant theories of competition in sport and sex- and gender-based differences in sport. Next, the chapter examines women’s experiences in sport from a developmental perspective and reviews women’s competition in youth sport, high-performance sport, and nontraditional physical activities. This chapter also examines how women learn about competition, what gender/sex differences do or do not exist in dispositional competitiveness, the behavioral outcomes of competitiveness, and the overall consequences—both positive and negative—of competition in sport on women and girls. The chapter concludes by discussing the current research gaps and future directions in the study of women in competition in the context of sport.

Keywords: competition, women, sport, physical activity, gender, sex, social, biological, theory

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