This study examined gender-based teasing as a barrier to Latina girls’ participation in school-based sports and physical activity. Focus groups with 78 Latina teens, ages 12 to 15, indicated that they often felt self-conscious and insecure about participating in school-based sports and physical activity because they did not like being the center of attention, were self-conscious about their appearance, and were afraid to make mistakes. Gender-based teasing from male peers—and sometimes female peers—further heightened Latina girls’ feelings of insecurity and made it even less likely they would try out for a sports team. Still, there was evidence of resistance. Latina girls, particularly student athletes, resisted traditional gender-based expectations by calling out the inequities they saw all around them. These young women along with their nonathlete counterparts provided concrete suggestions on how schools can increase the participation of Latina teens in sports and physical activity.
- focus groups
- physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- General Social Sciences