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An athlete is a person who recreationally or competitively engages in an individual or team sport. The number of girls and women who compete in athletics has risen dramatically within the United States as a result of Title IX, a gender equity law passed in 1972. However, men’s sports are more culturally valued than women’s sports, and many more opportunities for sport participation exist for boys and men than for girls and women. Gender norms and other biases regarding men’s and women’s bodies are central to athletes’ experiences in sport. Around the world, sport is considered a masculine domain, creating a gender paradox for women: To be successful, women must develop characteristics traditionally associated with masculinity; yet at the same time, women athletes are expected ...

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