Study Reveals Gender Bias in Perceived Quality of Women’s Soccer

Study Reveals Gender Bias in Perceived Quality of Women's Soccer

Despite the booming popularity of women’s soccer, the sport still faces disparities in coverage, investment, and revenue when compared to men’s soccer. The common assumption that men’s sports are superior due to physical advantages raises an important question: Is the perceived quality of women’s sports influenced by gender stereotypes?

Carlos Gomez, a researcher from the Department of Business Administration, conducted a study to explore this issue. The research aimed to determine whether individuals rate the quality of women’s and men’s soccer differently when the gender of the players is unknown. In an experiment involving 613 participants, videos of professional soccer players, including renowned figures like Alex Morgan and Luka Modrić, scoring goals were shown. In one group, the gender of the players was blurred, while the control group watched unmodified videos. Participants then rated the players’ performances on a five-point scale after watching both male and female players’ videos.


The study’s findings challenge assumptions about the quality of women’s professional soccer. When the gender of the players was blurred, there was no significant difference in ratings between men’s and women’s videos. However, when participants could identify the players’ gender, the videos featuring male players received higher ratings. These results debunk the notion that the perceived lower demand for women’s soccer is solely based on the quality of female players’ performances.

The research suggests that women’s soccer, and potentially other women’s team sports, still have untapped economic potential. Gender biases, combined with limited coverage and investment, contribute to the perception that women’s sports are less exciting than men’s. However, as anticipation for events like the Women’s World Cup continues to grow, this study provides valuable insights and challenges the ongoing discussions surrounding the quality of women’s soccer.

It is imperative to change the narrative and recognize the talent and competitiveness in women’s sports. By challenging stereotypes and increasing support for women’s team sports, society can unlock the full potential of women’s soccer and create a more equitable landscape for all athletes.


It is important to note that the reasons behind the popularity and perception of men’s soccer being rated higher than women’s soccer are multifaceted and can vary among individuals. Here are a few factors that contribute to this differential perception:

Historical Context: Men’s soccer has a longer and more established history compared to women’s soccer. The tradition and legacy associated with men’s soccer have allowed it to build a larger and more dedicated fan base over time.

Audience and Fanbase: Men’s soccer traditionally attracts a larger audience and has a larger fan base globally. This is influenced by factors such as cultural norms, media coverage, and historical investment in men’s sports.

Sponsorships and Revenue: Men’s soccer typically receives higher sponsorships and investments, leading to greater visibility and resources for the sport. This financial backing helps create better infrastructure, higher production values, and wider accessibility for viewers.

Depth of Competition: Men’s soccer is often seen as having a higher level of competition due to factors such as greater participation, larger talent pools, and more extensive leagues. The depth of competition can contribute to a perception of higher quality and excitement among viewers.

Perceived Aggression and Intensity: Some people associate men’s soccer with a higher level of aggression and intensity, which can be appealing to certain fans. This perception is influenced by cultural norms and historical stereotypes, where physicality is often emphasized in men’s sports.


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