Men generally love sports and that is one undeniable, indisputable and widely accepted fact. Men love playing games, doing sports, watching sports, talking about sports and of course betting on sports, especially as online betting has become so easy and convenient that they need only to tap on their mobile and browse through the complete list of online bookmakers on Allbets.TV. Simply enough, men just love doing anything that is related to sports.
What is it in sports that attracts so much the interest of men? Women are into sports as well, but it is a whole different thing when we are talking about men and sports. A longstanding perspective attributes this to the assumption that men are by nature more competitive, more aggressive and more physically strong and so they are more likely to play games and do any kind of athletic activity.
But this perspective is naive, short-sighted, old-fashioned and often culturally biased. And even if one accepts this, then what happens with spectatorship? Assuming that men like doing sports more than women because of their physical ability to do so, then why do they also like to watch sports more than women? And why is sports viewership a whole respectful ritual for men?
The question of the gender disparity when it comes to sports viewership has been the object of several research studies. Recent evidence suggests that the gender divide in that manner is an evolutionary as much as a socialization thing.
Common explanations failing to justify the gender disparity
There are many perspectives on why men are greater fans of sports and like to watch games more than women. One such perspective suggests that sports is primarily dominated by male-composed teams or feature male athletes and as such it is natural that they will be more appealing to men. But studies have shown that even female-dominated sports and games are viewed by more men than women.
Another perspective attributes the spectatorship gender difference on the assumption that women simply have no free time to watch sports. As they are labor active, they are the ‘homemakers’ of a household, they have family responsibilities and they often pursue a career of their own, they don’t get to have free time to spend on their couch watching a game. But if this is the case, then why do younger women or unmarried women with much less responsibilities and lots of free time, show minimal interest in watching sports?
If all solely socially-driven assumptions fail to fully explain the difference between men and women when it comes to watching sports, then what can account for the gender disparity in the specific behaviour? The answer may well lie in the evolutionary perspective according to some recent studies.
In fact, one very interesting finding, explaining men’s stronger preference over watching sports, is that men exhibit a “primal” behaviour that is mostly found in birds and mammals and which is called lek. Males get together to engage in competition, show their strength, exhibit their physical ability and sometimes they even get to fight for dominance. For males, this kind of social activity – just like sports – is a chance for gaining status, displaying their abilities, showing off and assessing others’ abilities. The remaining male members of the species are simple spectators of such a competition and they essentially watch closely in order to choose later on, who is their ally and who is their competitor and accordingly build broader groups. So, they have an innate interest and preference over such activities.
No matter how odd this may seem, researchers agree that it is a matter of evolution and it certainly justifies the innate behaviour of men towards sports, their genuine interest in sports and their strong desire for watching games.
But it is not only this innate behaviour that explains why men love to play and watch sports more than women. It can also be a learnt behaviour, which is conditioned by the cultural and social influences. Men love to watch sports as it gives them the opportunity to get together, bond and team with other men; to get away from their routine; to express emotions such as aggressiveness; to confirm their status and to socialize!