An examination of gender equity compliance through the perception of high school girls' sports head coaches

Dorothy A. Jacobsen

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the perception of gender equity compliance of the public, co-ed high school girls' sports head coaches in the state of Louisiana. The study examined several aspects of gender equity, including: (1) opportunities for participation, (2) treatment of benefits and services, (3) awareness and knowledge of Title IX, and (4) understanding of compliance issues with Title IX. Included in the examination of the perception of the treatment of benefits and services were the variables of years of coaching experience, gender of head coach, experience coaching boys' sports, and enrollment classification. The data collection questionnaire, Perception of Head Coaches on Gender Equity in Louisiana High School Athletics Survey , is a modified version of an instrument developed by the National Women's Law Center, "Check It Out: Is the Playing Field Level for Women and Girls at Your School?" (Bunker et al., 2000). Overall, the results indicated that there was a gender specific difference found in the perception of treatment of benefits and services between female and male head coaches. The female coaches have a lower perception of gender equity compliance than the male coaches. Male coaches who have coached boys' and girls' sports reported a higher perception of equitable treatment than the male coaches who have only coached girls' sports. Enrollment classification had a limited affect on the treatment of benefits and services. The head coaches with more coaching experience had a higher perception of equitable treatment than the coaches with fewer years experience. The head coaches indicated that gender equity was not easily attainable even though the coaches perceived that the high school demonstrated a commitment to achieving gender equity. The head coaches indicated awareness, knowledge and understanding of compliance issues of Title IX even though there were areas the coaches perceived the treatment was not equitable.