Where Are The Ladies?: The Social and Cultural Reasons Why Women Still Shy Away From Weights in 2018




Lowery, Kiara

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This study sought to determine gym usage, specifically the use of weight training equipment and experience, sociocultural factors that have impacted fitness practices, ideas of femininity and muscularity, and any specific reasons that kept women from weight training during the era of fourth wave feminism and “strong is the new sexy”. Participants included female college students and female members of a private, strength-athlete focused gym. Participants were recruited via flyers posted in a private gym, in various buildings on Baylor University’s campus, through Canvas notifications posted by professors of the principal investigator, and Facebook. Three hundred and sixteen surveys were included in this study and responses were interpreted with Stata 15.1 Statistical Software and Qualtrics to determine significance with the assistance of Dr. Kevin Dougherty. Responses revealed that the gym and various fitness spaces are microcosms of how traditional feminine ideals influence women’s fitness practices.