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Why Do Girls Drop Out Of Sports At A Rate Six Times Higher Than Boys?


This Ultimate Sports Parent Radio podcast, hosted by parenting writer and sports mom Lisa Cohn, features PCA trainer Samantha Salvia and PCA Portland Executive Director Ben Dudley discussing why girls drop out of sports at a higher rate than boys.

Highlights of the podcast include:

  • Discussion of the factors contributing to the higher drop out rate for girls, including: lack of role models, cost, access, media coverage, lack of parental support, and societal messages about gender and sports.
  • How the youth sports pay-to-play culture disproportionately impacts girls.
  • About 15% of youth coaches are women. How the lack of female role models and female coaches may contribute to the higher drop out rate for girls.
  • Challenges for women in coaching and how one AYSO in Santa Monica helped combat gender stereotypes about female coaches by printing coaching shirts that read “This is what a coach looks like!”
  • Exploring gender stereotypes about coaching boys and girls and how they can be detrimental to both boys and girls.
  • 80-90% of media coverage is mens’ sports; when women are covered it’s often highly sexualized. What parents can do to counter the lack of media coverage of female athletes and society’s messages about female athletes
  • For further consideration, jump to the discussion of gender stereotypes in coaching at 22:52.

To listen and download the podcast, click below.

Listen And Download


Lisa Cohn is the host of the Ultimate Sports Parent Radio podcast.  She is an award-winning parenting writer and author whose stories have appeared in the Huffington Post, Mothering, the Christian Science Monitor, Parenting and other publications. Lisa is a sports mom to three young athletes and is a former youth sports coach.

Samantha Salvia is a world champion Ultimate Frisbee player, Rhodes Scholar, water resources engineer, and mother of two. Her coaching experience spans recreational youth programs to elite adult club teams. She leads Positive Coaching Alliance workshops for coaches, athletes, and sports parents around the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about the power of sports to shape lives and the importance of keeping all kids in the game! 

Ben Dudley is the Executive Director for the Portland Chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance.  Ben is happily married and the father of two boys, a musician, a cyclist, a fly fisherman, and the chaplain for the Portland Timbers. Ben has dedicated his life to serving people and believes that sport is a very powerful way to help make a difference.

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