Gender, Academics and Interscholastic Sports Participation at the School Level: A Gender-specific Analysis of the Relationship between Interscholastic Sports Participation and AP Enrollment

Sociol Focus. 2014 Jan 1;47(2):101-120. doi: 10.1080/00380237.2014.883849.


While literature demonstrates that interscholastic sports participation is associated with positive academic outcomes, this relationship is rarely analyzed at a macro-level (the school-level). To date, there is no research examining whether increases in schools' female and male interscholastic sports participation rates is associated with increases in female and male AP enrollment rates. Using a national sample of 4,644 public high schools during the 2009-2010 school year, we test several gender-specific hypotheses linked with the association between schools' sport participation rates and advanced placement enrollment rates (AP math, AP science, AP foreign language, and overall AP enrollment). The findings reveal that schools' female and male sports participation rates have a positive association with schools' female and male AP math, AP science, AP foreign language, and overall AP enrollment rates. Moreover, the findings suggest that females benefit more than males in regard to the positive relationship between interscholastic sports and AP enrollment.