PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs’ series, “No Labels Attached,” is tackling the question of how stereotypes are impacting young people. On this Superbowl Sunday, we're taking a look at what youth around the country are saying about misconceptions and stereotypes of gender in sports.
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On this Super Bowl Sunday, we're taking a look at what youth around the country are saying about misconceptions and stereotypes of gender in sports. It's part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab series, "No Labels attached."
There's a stereotype about female athletes because women and girls always get underestimated.
Many people think that it's a man's sport, but I'm showing them it's not.
I was like, oh, snap. You get to hit people! (Laughs) Like, I'm on the line. We're doing hand-to-hand combat, in the trenches.
I think people have stereotypes for female wrestlers that they just wrestle for attention or they're not fully committed to the sport.
Billy Young, wrestling coach: She's a wrestler. She, we treat her like everybody else. She wrestles the boys, there's no different.
So I started boxing when I was 9 years old. I was one of the few girls at the gym, but I really didn't feel intimidated. I felt more, I felt special in a way. Stereotypes sometimes can be helpful as motivation to show the world what you can do and who you are.
I first started cheerleading because I wanted to learn how to tumble. And I came to one of those open practices and I just fell in love with it. Once or twice they probably called me gay, or they'd probably be like, 'Oh, he's so femboy,' but really, that's not how it is on the competition floor. Being the only male on the team. It doesn't make me insecure about my spot or anything like that.
Jazmin Sims, cheerleading coach: I feel like he's gotten the girls, I don't know, excited about the season. The dynamic of the teams definitely increased, I feel like in a positive way.
Billy Young, wrestling coach: It doesn't matter of your male or female. If you put in the work, you'll be successful. And we always say that, to be the best, you gotta work harder than everybody else.