Youth sport experience provides opportunities for physical, personal, and social development in youngsters. Sport is a social system in which socially constructed gender differences and stereotypes are incorporated, and specific sport activities are often perceived as gender characterized. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between some salient physical and emotional self-perceptions and the type of sport practiced. A sample of 261 female athletes, aged 14–21 years (M
age = 15.59, SD = 2.00), practicing different sports, categorized as feminine (e.g., artistic and rhythmic gymnastics), masculine (e.g., soccer and rugby), or neutral (e.g., track and field and tennis), took part in a cross-sectional study. Significant differences were observed between aesthetic sports and other types of sports. Athletes involved in aesthetic sports reported the lowest values in their feelings of confidence and the highest values in feelings of worry related to competition. This may be attributed to the evaluation system of aesthetic sports, in which the athlete’s performance is evaluated by a jury. At the same time, they reported low values of dysfunctional psychobiosocial states associated with their general sport experience, likely because of their physical appearance close to the current body social standards for girls. Notwithstanding the differences by type of sport, athletes of all disciplines reported high mean values of functional psychobiosocial states, suggesting that their overall sporting experience was good.
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