Chapter 6: Women and Sports
1 Mark Questions
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Explain the term ‘Menarche’. [Delhi 2016]
Menarche is the first menstruation and the commencement of cyclic menstrual function in female. It usually occurs between 9 to 17 years of age.
What is Osteoporosis? [Delhi Outside 2016]
Osteoporosis: Low Oestrogen Levels & Poor Nutrition, Especially low calcium intake makes bone porous.
Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones due to the loss of bone density and improper bone formation.
Suggest any four ways through which women participation in sport across age group can be enhanced. [Delhi 2015]
Four ways to enhance women participation:
(i) Do not treat them as low profile popularity of sports in community is bound to promote women programmes of sports.
(ii) Provide the encouragement at primary level.
(iii) Provide good infrastructure and facilities.
(iv) Make them feel safe and secure by giving incentives.
3 Marks Questions
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5 Marks Questions
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Discuss in detail about Female Athletes Triad. [Delhi 2016]
Female athlete triad is a syndrome in which anaemia, Oesteoporosis and amenorrhoea are present. It is simply known as ‘triad’. The triad is a serious disorder or illness with lifelong health consequences and can be very fatal. The symptoms of triad may include fatigue, frequent injuries, loss of endurance and power irritability, increased healing time form injuries, cessation of menstruation and low self-esteem etc.
Anaemia is usually defined as a decrease in the amount of red cells in the blood. It is identified as the most common medical condition among athletes. They may get feeling of fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of endurance, and weakness. A number of research studies show that athlete especially female athletes are often iron deficient or anaemic. Iron is essential for better performance, because its major function is to carry oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from all the cells of the body. Athletic anaemia may be caused by inadequate iron intake, less iron absorption, loss of iron through sweat (especially during long distance races), destruction of red blood cells, gastrointestinal blood loss and menstruation etc.
In fact, regular menstrual losses increase the iron needs of female athletes. By limiting or eliminating meat, eliminates some of the best available source of iron. In fact, iron from fruits, vegetables and cereals sources is not absorbed well as that from animal sources. Female athletes specially the long distance runners may loose iron through intestinal bleeding, sweat, urine and faeces.
Oesteoporosis refers to the decreased bone material contents. It is a skeletal disorder. A reduction in bone mass may cause fracture. In fact, low oestrogen levels and poor nutrition specially low calcium intake can lead to Oesteoporosis which is one of the significant triad of female athlete.
There are various factors which usually lead to Oesteoporosis among women athletes:
- Insufficient calcium in diet: The main cause of Oesteoporosis is intake of insufficient amount of calcium in diet. In fact, 100mg calcium should be taken in daily by a woman athlete.
- Amenorrhoea: Women suffering from menstrual dysfunction or amenorrhoea for more than six months are likely to face Oesteoporosis because the secretion of the hormone called ‘oestrogen’ is decreased in those women. This hormone is necessary for absorption of calcium in our body.
- Eating disorders: Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia etc. may also cause Oesteoporosis because there can be less amount of calcium intake. In fact, not getting sufficient amount of calcium can also have a lasting effect on how strong a woman’s bones are in later part of life.
- Bad eating habits: Various research studies indicate that intake of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or smoking etc. may also lead to Oesteoporosis. Indeed these products have negative effect on the bone density.
Amenorrhoea is a menstrual disorder in females in which females of 18 years and above either never began menstruating or there is an absence of menstruation for three months or more than that in females with a history of normal menstrual cycle. Amenorrhoea can also be defined as the cessation of woman’s menstrual cycle more than three months or more.
Types of Amenorrhoea
There are two types of amenorrhoea:
- Primary Amenorrhoea: Primary amenorrhoea is characterized by delayed menarche which is the onset of first period during puberty.
- Secondary Amenorrhoea: A women having her natural menstrual cycle at specific time and then stops menstruating for three months or more is said to have secondary amenorrhoea.
There are various factors which may enhance the chances of amenorrhoea. These factors are Hormonal changes, intensive exercises and intake of less calories.
Keeping in view of the Indian Ideology, critically analyze the sociological aspect of women Athletes in sports participation. [Delhi Outside 2016]
Role of Family
Family is a significant social factor which is said to be generally responsible for early sports socialization. Some research studies indicate that the socialising process at home for both sexes is different. Males usually get more support and encouragement to get involved in sport activities. They are furthermore provided with role models who encourage and support participation in sports and games.
Role of School
Some schools there is still discrepancy as to which gender (male/female) should participate in which game. As a matter of fact, a lot of schools do not have girls, soccer, basketball and volleyball teams as these are labelled as males sport. It depends upon school whether females are encouraged to participate in sports or not. On the other hand, in some schools it is compulsory to play at least one sport for males as well as females.
Role of Culture
Cultural beliefs have a great impact on the involvement of females in sports. “A women’s place is in the kitchen” is still a common saying and many cultures still firmly believe in it. Participation in sports masculinises females and is therefore viewed negatively. The above sentence confirms the fact that masculine and feminine behaviours are culture bound.
Prejudice of society
Prejudices of society play significant role in sports participation. Some females avoid certain sports for fear of being perceived masculine. Due to such attitude and prejudices of society regarding sexuality inhibit females to participate.