Sociology Index

Sex Sex-typing And Sexism

Sex is biological classification of individuals as males and females. Sociologists unanimously agree that even though sex is a classification based on biological differences, sex is a socially constructed classification. Gender gap is the gap between the political party preferences of men and women.

Sex Typing: Sex typing refers to stereotypes of the sexes and the consequent actions of characterizing men and women on the basis these stereotypes. For example, women are mediators and men are competitive; boys prefer trucks while girls prefer dolls.

Sexism: Sexism is actions or attitudes that discriminate against people based solely on their gender. Sexism is linked to power in that those with power are typically treated with favour and those without power are typically discriminated against. Sexism is also related to stereotypes since the discriminatory actions or attitudes are frequently based on false beliefs or over generalizations about gender and on seeing gender as relevant when it is not.

Sexism And Billie Jean King

Acknowledging the problem of sexism, tennis has a better track record than most mainstream sports. At the first Open Wimbledon, Billie Jean King took home £750 for winning the women’s championship, while Rod Laver won £2000 for winning the men's. Ms King managed to convince the company Philip Morris to sponsor a parallel event that became the Virginia Slims Circuit. It was this act of revolt that eventually led to the formation of the Women's Tennis Association in 1973. By 1970, the difference in pay between men and women in top level tennis was as bad as 12:1.

At this point, putting their careers on the line, Billie Jean King and nine other brave women, decided to boycott the United States Lawn Tennis Association organised Pacific Southwest Championships. Billie Jean King also managed to convince the US Open to become the first Grand Slam tournament to give equal prize money to men and women. 1973 was also the year in which Ms King would defeat Bobby Riggs in the famed Battle of the Sexes match, bringing even more attention to women's tennis. The forcible outing of her sexuality by one of her former partners caused a major backlash in her career, causing her not only to lose her endorsements. She became the first sportswoman to ever come out as gay, making it easier for others who came after.