Editor’s Note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. Read her other columns and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter @kellywallacetv.
By age 17, most girls (51%) will have quit sports, according to a new survey
Survey: 7 out of 10 girls who quit sports after puberty didn't feel like they belonged
Sixty-one percent of female executives said sports contributed to their career success
When I ask my girls, ages 8 and 10, what they want to be when they grow up, my younger daughter says a professional athlete (she’s not sure which sport just yet!) and my older daughter says an Olympian in track and field. With those goals, I simply cannot imagine they won’t be playing sports throughout middle and high school and beyond.
But the numbers tell a different story.
By the age of 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
And by age 17, after most girls have gone through puberty, more than half of girls – 51% – will have quit sports, according to a survey sponsored by Always, a maker of sanitary pads.
Seven out of the 10 girls who quit sports during puberty said they didn’t feel like they belonged in sports, according to the survey of more than 1,000 girls ages 16 to 24. Nearly the same number (67%) said they felt that society doesn’t encourage girls to play sports.
Hoping to change those numbers and keep more girls in the game, Always has come out with the latest installment in its viral #LikeAGirl campaign (the first #LikeAGirl video has been viewed nearly 100 million times around the world.)
The newest video, titled “Keep Playing,” features girls from around the world sharing the messages they’ve received about playing sports.