Sociology professor to speak about changing gender roles, athletics

The change in gender roles since the enactment of Title IX is the focus of a free lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Assistant Professor Helena Alden of the Sociology Department will talk about “Competitive Athletics and Changing Gender Roles” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 19, as part of the year-long “Access to Opportunity” lecture series at UW-Stevens Point. Held in the Laird Room at the Dreyfus University Center on campus, the lecture is open to the public.

The series marks UW-Stevens Point’s hosting of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Final Four in March 2014, and centers on the access to opportunity Title IX gave young women playing scholastic sports.

Alden will discuss Title IX’s effects for women, starting with high school and collegiate sports. For instance, high school girls’ athletic participation in 1972 was only 1 in 27, and by 2011 it had grown to nearly 1 in 3. An even wider ripple effect resulted, she said. 

“Title IX had made a difference in college attendance for women and even in the job market,” said Alden. “Its effects are far reaching.” 

Alden has taught at UW-Stevens Point since 2007 and has won an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Sociology Department. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, Society for the Study of Social Problems, National Women’s Studies Association and the Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Kappa Delta and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies.

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