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Fandom Survey: How Gender Affects Who We Root For

Originally published at: https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2022/12/29/fandom-survey-how-gender-affects-who-we-root-for/

Kristin Tattar (center), Missy Gannon (left), and Ohn Scoggins (right), the 2022 DGPT Championship podium finishers. Photo: DGPT

This article is part of a series intended to provide insights into disc golf fandom. These insights will come through analyzing a rich data set produced by the first-ever Ultiworld/StatMando fandom survey. If you wish to learn more about the survey and the demographics of the survey respondents, please read this accompanying article. To see which pros the respondents root for and against, please read this article. We have also released this article and this one on the respondent’s relationship with disc golf and how they see the sport.

This article will investigate how gender affects who we root for. The gender breakdown of the survey respondents was as follows: 1351 males, 60 females, and 12 non-binary respondents. The graph below shows the difference in average fandom score between female and male respondents. The players in blue with positive numbers received higher scores from female respondents, while players with an orange bar with negative numbers are the players that male respondents gave higher average scores to.

  • On average, female respondents gave female players higher fandom scores than male respondents gave to those same female players. The same is true in reverse, with male respondents, on average, giving male players higher scores than female respondents.
  • Scoggins had the largest gap with female preference. She averaged a fandom score of 8.77 with female respondents and 7.59 with male respondents. Salonen similarly had a gap > 1.
  • Drew Gibson has the largest gap for male preference with an average fandom score of 5.70 for male fans and 4.15 for female fans. Smith and Williams also had a gap > 1.
  • There were a few male players that were slightly preferred by female respondents: Gilbert, Lizotte, McBeth, Wysocki, Koling, Leiviska, and Klein.
  • There were only two female players that were slightly preferred by male respondents: Panis and Korver.
  • I wondered if men or women gave higher fandom scores overall for all players. Surprisingly, they have nearly the exact same overall average fandom score; 6.49 given by female respondents and 6.50 given by male respondents.

We were also interested in understanding how closely respondents follow the FPO and MPO divisions. We asked respondents “How closely do you follow MPO disc golf?” on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being “Barely at All” and 10 being “Obsessed”. The first graph shows how closely individuals who identify as women, men, or non-binary follow MPO. The second graph shows how closely respondents follow FPO. We grouped the scores of 1 to 3 into “Minimally”, 4 to 7 into “Moderately” and 8 to 10 into “Very Closely.”

  • Men follow MPO more closely than women or non-binary respondents.
  • 85% of male respondents follow MPO disc golf very closely. Only half as many male respondents (42%) follow FPO very closely. Very few male (0.45%) respondents follow MPO disc golf minimally, but 10% of men follow FPO minimally.
  • Women follow MPO and FPO at nearly the same rate. 76% of female respondents follow MPO very closely while 78% follow FPO very closely. None of the women who completed the survey responded as following FPO minimally.
  • We only had a small sample of people who identified as non-binary, and therefore the results are even less representative than the sample of women.

95% of survey respondents were men. Men not following FPO as closely as they follow MPO likely has the effect of skewing FPO players’ fandom scores toward 5 because they are less likely to have opinions on these players. To understand what FPO fandom scores could look like if all respondents followed the FPO division very closely, we calculated the gaps between different intensity fan segments.

  • The purpose of this chart is to show how closely a respondent follows the FPO division affects fandom scoring. The blue bars show the difference in average fandom scores of respondents who follow FPO disc golf “Very Closely” and respondents who follow the division “Minimally.” The orange bars show the difference between the average fandom scores of respondents who follow FPO disc golf “Very Closely” and respondents who follow the division “Moderately.” In some cases, the gap will be negative, which means that respondents who follow FPO less closely gave those players a higher average fandom score than respondents who follow FPO more closely.
  • The player who gets the largest boost when comparing the fandom scores of people who follow FPO very closely (8.25) compared to minimally (6.08) is Scoggins, who earlier in this article was revealed to have received the biggest boost from female fans over male fans.
  • On average there was a 1.45 score fandom boost for FPO players from fans who follow FPO very closely compared to minimally and a 0.57 average gain from respondents who follow FPO very closely compared to moderately.
  • There were no women who received lower average fandom scores from respondents who follow FPO very closely compared to minimally or moderately.

I was left wondering whether there was a difference between the scores of female respondents and male respondents that follow FPO very closely. The next graph shows the gaps between all male respondents and all female respondents as well as the gap between male respondents that follow FPO very closely and female respondents that follow FPO very closely.

  • A positive gap indicates that, on average, female respondents from this fan segment prefer a player to male respondents from this segment. A negative number indicates male respondents from this segment prefer the player compared to female respondents from this segment.
  • Female respondents that follow FPO closely gave FPO players higher fandom scores, on average, than male respondents that follow FPO closely. This suggests that the gap between how much men root for women players cannot be accounted for just by the fact that men, in general, don’t follow FPO as closely as women do.
  • There were a few FPO players that male respondents that follow FPO very closely gave higher scores than female respondents: Korver, J Allen, V Mandujano, Ryan, Mertch, King, and Panis.
  • • Korver had the largest gap at 0.66, which can probably be accounted for by the fact that respondents who followed professional disc golf when she was at her peak were all male. Korver won her last world championship in 2003 – the earliest a female survey respondent started following pro disc golf was 2009.
My thanks to Karl Lamothe for his assistance in editing this piece as well as the rest of the StatMando team with data analysis and preparation. If you are reading this article and finding any flaws in our methods our analysis, I would love your feedback. You could also be part of the team that builds the 2023 survey and write the accompanying articles! Please send your feedback and suggestions to jesseweisz@gmail.com. Keep an eye out for more articles to come in this series.