Movement skills assessment tools - still gender biased?!
In 1997 Antony Okely and Jan Wright argued that fundamental movement skills test are gender biased and most assessment tools are strongly related to the skills integral to traditional male sports. From these test results it is deduced that girls are poorly skilled. How does it look today, 15 years later? Have girls’ results in movement skills assessments increased during the last decade? Have the assessment tools been revised in terms of adding skills which are essential to female activities e.g. balance and rhythm, which were proposed by Okely and Wright in 1997?
Several studies conducted in the last ten years have shown that the boys still are outperforming girls in movements skills tests (e.g. Barnett et al., 2008; Hands et. al., 2009; Okely et al., 2001ab; Reed et al., 2004; Robinson, 2010; Stodden et al., 2009). A few studies show some skillsto girls'advantage. Hands and colleges (2009) have shown that girls outperform boys in skills which include flexibility and Jaakkola and colleges (2009) indicate that girls perform better than boys in balance skill. In most of the studies boys still are assessed to perform better the girls in object control skills e.g. Barnett et al. (2010).
It is also discussed that boys perform better than girls in tests that use a quantity approach, results in terms of speed or distance, instead of a qualitative approach, focused on how the skill is performed. The qualitative approach has been suggested to provide a more accurate and gender neutral assessment of the skill level (Okely & Wright 1997).
The presentation will include discussions about how to provide assessment of movement skills in a gender-neutral way. Is it as possible as just adding some skills that usually girls are good at or is the question greater than that? Shouldn’t girls and boys develop the same skills? Is a test gender- neutral if it assesses a number of classic masculine or feminine skills?
International Association Of Physical Education And Sport For Girls And Women – 17th World Congress Report April 10th – 13th 2013, Havana, Cuba