In the late eighteenth century, golf emerged as a men's game. Since then, women have striven to play, yet without success. A ratio of around 80 percent of male players against 20 percent female proves that women are far from being accepted in golf. This study, supported by qualitative analyses of women golfers' life stories, attempts to evaluate to what extent this prejudice exists.
The ecological system theory, the causal historical wave model, the intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural factors, and the constraints/facilitators paradigm were first used to support the theoretical model that was defined based on the literature. Second, the model was revisited according to textual data collected from 25 narratives of women in the nineteenth century. The present research applies this model throughout a set of six life stories of contemporary Portuguese women who excelled in golf, attempting to test the persistence of this discrimination.
The results highlight that structural and interpersonal factors persist across time. Some aspects of women's lifestyle did not change much since some cultural values are difficult to overcome. The research highlights that the exclusion of women, more than explicit discrimination, is a cultural factor engrained in their daily lives, meaning that women exclude themselves, tacitly accepting this discrimination.
The research focuses only on Portuguese women. Further studies should evaluate the pertinence of these factors amongst other nationalities and cultures.
The low participation of women in golf is acknowledged by golf stakeholders in Portugal, but this has not been the object of research; thus, to the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper about this subject in Portugal.
Received 16 December 2011. Revised 6 June 2012. Accepted 2 July 2012. The authors would like to thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the earlier version of the manuscript.
Reis, H. and Correia, A. (2013), "Gender inequalities in golf: a consented exclusion?", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 324-339. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-12-2011-0005Download as .RIS
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