Unnecessary Roughness? School Sports, Peer Networks and Male Adolescent Violence

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American Sociological Review

High school males in contact sports such as football and wrestling are at heightened risk of participating in serious fights, this study finds, contradicting the theory that all athletic participation inhibits the perpetration of male violence. Researchers found that participation in non-contact sports such as tennis significantly decreased the risk of fighting, while participation in low-contact sports, such as basketball and baseball, had little effect on risks of violent behavior. The study breaks down data by sport, race and family background. It was based on surveys completed by more than 75,000 youth from 80 schools nationwide. Free, 24 pages. (202) 383-9005, http://www.asanet.org/galleries/default-file/Oct07ASRFeature.pdf.