Women and Sports in the United States

A Documentary Reader

Jaime Schultz, ed.; Jean O’Reilly, ed.; Susan K. Cahn, ed.

A spectacular transformation in women’s sports has occurred over the past century. The assimilation of feminist principles into the broader popular culture solidified the belief that sport plays a positive role in the lives of girls and women. Political activists for women’s rights codified this attitude with the passage of Title IX of the 1972 Federal Education Amendments, a law banning gender discrimination in educational settings, thus guaranteeing women’s legal right to an equitable share of athletic opportunities and resources. 

This updated, expanded second edition of Women and Sports in the United States brings together scholarly articles, journalism, political and legal documents, and first-person accounts that collectively explore women’s sports in America, with an emphasis on the new millennium.

Topics covered range from the many benefits of physical activity to the successes of aging women athletes, from hijabs on the playing field to the emergence of transgender athletes, from the sexism faced by female athletes to USA Gymnastics and the biggest sex abuse scandal in American history.

Cover Image of Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader
Paper: $40
ISBN-13: 9781512603200
Pages: 408 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: November 16, 2018


  • It is the sum of the various stories, essays, and articles presented in the text that afford readers an opportunity to contextualize and critically examine female sport experience.

    Journal of Sports History
  • An extraordinary historical anthology. . . . An absorbing and authoritative read for anyone interested in women’s journey toward sports equality.

    Pat Griffin
    professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

About the Author

JAIME SCHULTZ is an associate professor of kinesiology and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University. Her most recent book is Moments of Impact: Injury, Racialized Memory, and Reconciliation in College Football.

JEAN O’REILLY holds a PhD in English and American studies from the University of East Anglia in England. She co-edited, with Susan Cahn, the first edition of Women and Sports in the United States: A Documentary Reader. She is currently editorial manager for the scientific journal Addiction.

SUSAN K. CAHN is a professor of history at the University at Buffalo, specializing in U.S. women’s history. A second edition was recently released of her first book, Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Women’s Sport.

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