Sociology Extra Credit - ProfessorScherer SocialProblems 21November2013 ( athletes.

Sociology Extra Credit - ProfessorScherer SocialProblems...

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Unformatted text preview: Professor Scherer Social Problems 21 November 2013 Eating Disorders in Female Athletes (Reflection on Presentation) An issue that is becoming more common in today’s society is eating disorders in female athletes. Some of these individuals feel that they have to look a certain way in order to have an increase in their performance, even if this means practicing unhealthy eating or exercising habits. The pressure of coaches, parents, and the media are correlated with the onset of eating disorders in female athletes. Any individual can have an eating disorder, however there is a greater increase upon women and female athletes. There is also an increase among children who start sport training early on in life and have parents who expect more than what they are capable of. Coaches play a role as they may have this perceived image of what their athlete should look like, and are more apt to put unnecessary pressure on their players. Something that was mentioned many times during this presentation was that coaches or parents may find themselves saying “maybe you’d be an even faster runner if you lost weight.” When an individual hears something like this, this ultimately leads to unhealthy eating and exercising habits, which can result in low bone density, stress fractures, and other long term health problems. Female athletes have tremendous amount of pressure on them, whether it’s from family, a team or society in general. The media portrays women as individuals with the skinniest figure, making female athletes believe that they must look a certain way in order to fully succeed. Most female sports are depicted with individuals who are thin, attractive and admired by society. Coaches and teams need to change this culture by instead valuing strength, performance and a range of body types. If this culture can be changed, it can lead to a decrease in eating disorders and suicide. Reported data shows that at least 62% of female college athletes have disordered eating, which leads to an increase in suicide. This can be seen as a social problem as suicide affects the victim, the victim’s family and the rest of the world. If athletes continue to be conscious about their body, compare themselves to olympic athletes, and realize that they’re never going to get that “perfect” body because every person’s body is different, this has the potential to lead to depression and suicide. An individual with an eating disorder is not only hurting themselves but they’re also hurting their team. The media can also be seen as a social problem as it greatly impacts an individual’s mindset and perceptions pertaining to what they have to look like. This presentation was well worth it and I feel like I was able to gain knowledge I wouldn’t have been able to acquire without this experience. I was also able to make connections to topics we’ve covered in class and I really enjoyed it. A question I have is why are eating disorders in female athletes more common/talked about than eating disorders in male athletes? I feel like men also have the same amount of pressure to look a certain way because of what the media depicts a typical male athlete as. Maybe the typical eating disorder wouldn’t be as common in men as they are in women, but steroid use and drinking protein shakes in replacement of actual meals are very common among adolescent and adult males. ...
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