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Psychologist Robert Deaner speaks today about sex and sports

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By Jessica Langowski

“Do sports matter as much to girls as they do to boys? Gender and the Myth of the Blank Slate” is the next Psychology Speakers Series lecture coming to Grand Rapids Community College.

The lecture, by Dr. Robert O. Deaner, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Grand Valley State University, will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in room 168 of the Applied Technology Center (ATC) on today.

Deaner will be speaking about his research that was published in the journal PLOS ONE, entitled “Males play sports much more than females even in contemporary U.S.”.

“The existence of such a sex difference might seem obvious. However, many scholars, advocacy groups and the United States courts believe the sex difference in sports interest is non-existent, small or rapidly disappearing,” Deaner said.

According to his research, Deaner did three different study groups to conduct his experiment and test his hypothesis. His studies found three main aspects that match his hypothesis, including “historical reviews of sports document that many societies had substantial female participation, but males are reported as being much more involved in most or all cases”, “studies in large contemporary societies ubiquitously report greater male interest in participating, watching, and excelling in sports”, and that “several studies have reported that females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a disease characterized by heightened prenatal androgen exposure, are more likely than unaffected females to show strong interest in stereotypically masculine sports”.

College students who attend this lecture can expect to learn the disposition males and females have when it comes to the appeal of playing sports and participating. Through this experience, college student attendees will understand how this disposition affects their lives and the world they live in.

In his research, Deaner and his associates found that their research discoveries “contradict the popular claim that there is no substantial sex difference in sports interest”.