Healthy Competition for Girls

Richter, Don C. "Healthy Competition for Girls." Unpublished manuscript, 1996.

Richter argues in this essay for the value of athletic competition for adolescent females, based on the fact that sports have explicit public rules and build self-esteem. Particularly important for young women who compete fiercely in what he calls the "social norm game" is the social world of sport, which the frame of competition is explicit and yet limited. Essentially, participation in sports enables young girls to view their evolving selves through the lens of achievement and accomplishment instead of through the lens of disgust and disparagement. Society needs to let girls play. (KA)