If you have a vagina and you say you like sports because sports are fun to watch, you're lying. At least, according to a new study that purports to show that sports are just another thing that women endure because their husbands like it. Sports are kind of like anal sex in that way.
According to the research, published in the journal Communication, Culture and Critique, women who watch televised sports are only trying to get some quality time in with their grunting, ball scratching husbands. Women don't really care for long, drawn out events like football or basketball games; rather, they're more interested in quicker, less drawn out activities like gymnastics and figure skating and Olympic swimming (Ryan Lochte). It's all one big ploy to get the boys to like us!
Not so fast, says The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett. The study used an itty bitty sample size — only 19 women. The vast majority of them had children, all but two were white, and all of them were straight. Hardly a basis from which to make sweeping generalizations about an entire gender and their motivations for watching sports on TV.
Further, other research has shown that women make up an increasing segment of sports fans, husbands or not. A 2011 survey found that 42% of the NFL's fan base are women. Almost half of major league soccer fans are female, 46% of Major League Baseball fans are women, and 37% of NBA fans are ladies. And don't even get me started on women who went to football-intensive colleges — almost every one of my female college classmates is still rabidly devoted to my alma mater's football team (I've given up, but that's another story) and have you ever tried to hang out with a girl friend who went to an SEC school during a Saturday in the fall? Can't be done.
Anyone who would conclude that every single female sports fan was faking it for spousal approval has a vastly inflated idea the importance of husbands' feelings to a woman's mental well-being. Faking orgasms is one thing. But faking fandom? That would take some pretty convincing shrieks and way too much effort.