Sharrow studies the politics of sex and gender in the United States, and the history and consequences of equity policy. She has several active lines of research, including: 1) work on the history of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the development of sex segregated athletics, 2) work on the politics of fatherhood and its relationship to policy opinions, voting behavior, and elite networks, and 3) work on the politics of sport at both the professional and collegiate levels. As a former NCAA Division I college coach, Sharrow has long been active in women’s sports advocacy organizations. She served on the board of the Melpomene Institute in St. Paul, MN, and worked as a grant reviewer for the Women’s Sports Foundation.
In the News
Explores the relationships among gender, fatherhood, and vote choice in the 2016 election. Asks were men who fathered daughters (or fathered daughters as their first child) more likely to support, and vote for, Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election than were those who fathered sons (or fathered sons as their first child)?
Studies attitudes of college student-athletes on gender equity issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and related financial challenges impacting college sports. Finds that male student-athletes and those with sexist attitudes exhibit alarmingly low levels of support for ensuring the maintenance of equality and sexual harassment policy under Title IX during the pandemic. Mentions that the results accentuate the vulnerability of certain populations during crises and the importance of maintaining strong institutional policy support during such times.
Studies the impact of the release of the Access Hollywood tape during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Finds consistent evidence that the release of the tape modestly, though significantly, reduced support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Traces the unlikely development of fathers as policy advocates for their daughters in the history of Title IX.
Examines whether fathering a daughter influences male legislators' (a) roll call and cosponsorship support for women's issues in the 110th to 114th Congresses and (b) cosponsorship of bills introduced by female legislators in the 110th Congress. Finds that once party affiliation is taken into account, having a daughter neither predicts support for women's issues nor cosponsorship of bills sponsored by women. Suggests that there are limits to the direct effects of parenting daughters on men's political behavior, and that scholars should remain attentive to institutional and partisan contexts.
Places policy in conversation with scholarly debate over how best to tackle persistent sex and gender inequalities, illustrating that the athletic policy sphere both addresses and reproduces sexist practices. Examines the under-appreciated complexity of sex equity politics and suggests the need to question how well public policy addresses inequalities. Argues that we are losing ground in the struggle to end gendered oppression —despite all that it may appear we have gained— because of Title IX's divergent implementation strategy which integrates women and men in classrooms and segregates them in sports.
Studies the beliefs of a core constituency of one of the most celebrated sex non-discrimination policies in U.S. history: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Finds strong support for the spirit of the policy, with the vast majority of respondents reporting the opinion that there "should" be equity. Reveals "positive policy feedback" among policy beneficiaries of Title IX who mobilize to seek equity in athletics.
Finds that exposure only to a message from Costas on this issue leads respondents to more strongly support a team name change to more clearly view the term "Redskins" as offensive. Aims to (1) further the scholarship on public opinion concerning Native American mascots, (2) suggest the conditions under which the barriers to change in sporting institutions may continue to evolve, and (3) speak to the limits of political elite influence.
Analyzes the policy history of Title IX in the 1970s and shows that sex segregated sports were a political decision, not a natural order. Argues that Title IX constituted the political identity of the “female athlete,” with complicated results for the politics of sex, race, sexuality, and class.
Shows divergence in opinions towards feminist issues among party delegates at the 2008 national conventions.