A recent Reason-Rupe poll indicates that 57% of Americans think that only winning players should receive trophies.
Countering that argument are the 40% of Americans who say that all children on a sports team should receive a trophy for their participation, regardless of whether they won or not.
Interestingly, 66% of Republicans said that only the children who win should receive trophies, while 31% of Republicans said that all children on the team should receive a trophy.
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As Reason reports, “support for participation trophies declines with income, education and age.”
A majority – 55% - of those making less than $30,000 a year want all kids to get trophies. In contrast, 72% of those making an annual salary of $90,000 or more want only the winners to receive trophies.
An overwhelming majority of college graduates (67%) support the idea of only winners being rewarded with trophies.
A decrease in support for the idea of all children getting trophies can also be witnessed across an age spectrum: in groups of 18-24-year-olds, 25-34-year-olds, 35-54-year-olds and seniors, 51%, 43%, 39% and 29% of survey participants think all kids should get a trophy, respectively.
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As for differences in the opinion chosen by each gender, women were slightly more likely than men to respond that all kids should get a trophy; this was the belief held by 44% of women and 35% of men.
More significant differences can be witnessed among race/ethnic groups. Caucasians were the most likely (63%) to say that only the winning players should get trophies. Compare that to the 42% of African-Americans and Hispanics who held the same belief.
The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll was executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, and surveyed 1000 adults via live interviews on cell phones and landlines between August 6-10, 2014.