Introduction to Sociology/Sociology of Sports

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Gender and Sports[edit]

Recent research suggests that there are no differences in sports-related concussions between men and women. Some had suggested that the increased participation of women in a variety of sports may be of concern because it was believed women suffered more serious effects from sports-related concussions. However, that does not appear to be the case as the effects of concussions were largely the same for men and women.[1]

Long Term Effects of Professional Athleticism[edit]

Retired NFL players use prescription painkillers at substantially higher rates than does the general public in the U.S.; 7% of retired NFL players vs less than 2% in the general public.[2] This is largely due to long-term pain resulting from injuries during their time as professional athletes. Abuse of prescription narcotics is particularly high among offensive linemen.[2]

Fans of Professional Athletes[edit]

Fans draw think about and evaluate professional athletes in intriguing ways. For instance, some research has found that fans are not as disturbed when professional athletes cheat in ways that are unrelated to the sport they play (e.g., cheating on one's spouse) as they are by cheating that is related to one's sport (e.g., using performance enhancing drugs).[3] The same seems to hold for sponsors of professional athletes who are more likely to terminate a contract when an athlete is caught cheating in the sport than when they are caught doing something unethical that is unrelated to the sport.


  1. Zuckerman SL, Solomon GS, Forbes JA, Haase RF, Sills AK, Lovell MR. Response to Acute Concussive Injury in Soccer Players: Is Gender a Modifying Factor? Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
  2. a b Cottler, Linda B. et al. n.d. “Injury, pain, and prescription opioid use among former National Football League (NFL) players.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence In Press, Corrected Proof. (Accessed January 29, 2011).
  3. Lee, J. S., & Kwak, D. H. (2015). Consumers’ Responses to Public Figures’ Transgression: Moral Reasoning Strategies and Implications for Endorsed Brands. Journal of Business Ethics, 1–13. doi:10.1007/s10551-015-2544-1