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Participation differences between males and females in coeducational physical education classes

1 January 1997


The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate if there are participation differences between males and females· in coeducational physical education classes versus same-sex physical education classes. My research is based primarily around the work of Cathy Lirgg (1994). She proposes that there are significant differences in participation between males and females in coeducation physical education classes. The study took place at a rural high school in the Willamette valley of Oregon. The participants were two physical educators located at the school, two freshmen coeducational physical education classes, two same-sex male physical education classes, and two same-sex female physical education classes. In order to protect the privacy of the participants, I have not disclosed their true identity. After collecting questionnaires, conducting interviews, and making observations, it became evident that there were significant differences between the same-sex classes and the coeducational classes. The types of activities that were enjoyed, participation levels, and cohesiveness of the classes were substantially varied. My research revealed that the males of the coeducational classes felt that the females did not participate at the same level as themselves. Several of the females in the same-sex classes disclosed some concerns about the participating in a coeducational class. The value and the benefit of coeducational physical education classes is questionable.


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