A recent poll by Reason-Rupe found that 57% of Americans feel that only children who win should receive a trophy, instead of everyone receiving one for participating. 40% felt that every child should receive one.

Gender, race and ethic differences also come to light with an “every child gets a trophy” mindset. Women are more likely than men to say all kids should get an award (44 to 35 percent). 63% of Caucasians say only winning players should get a trophy, while 34% say all kids. However, 56% of African-Americans and Hispanics say all kids should get a trophy.

There are socioeconomic factors as well. Awarding kids for participation declines with income, education and age. 55% of those making less than $30,000 a year want all kids to get a trophy while 42% want only the winners to receive one. In sharp contrast, 72% of those making more than $90,000 a year or more only want the winners to receive while 26% favor participation trophies.

Some find the “everyone is a winner” mentality toxic. Instead of telling children “you are a winner too!” after losing, many feel we should be telling children that it’s okay to lose, and that it’s not the end of the world. It can also tarnish the competitive spirit and willingness to play any sort of sports at a competitive level when kids realize that everyone receives and equal ribbon or trophy, and that their efforts don’t stand out.

What do you feel about everyone receiving an award? Should it be for the winners only? Or should kids be encouraged equally?