Cheerleading shown on ESPN is an extreme example of the athleticism. While most squads aren't competitive (i.e., co-ed partner stunts, gymnastics, etc.), more work goes into a good squad than just looking cute and sleeping around. (For bad squads, see shit.)
However, it seems a high percentage of perky, pretty girls fall under the category of slut. Unfortunate for the cheerleading world. Quite a good deal for the guys.
In defense of cheerleaders, though, there are cool ones out there with real personalities and real goals in life. Don't let the stereotypes fool you.
Our male cheerleaders are some of the strongest guys I've ever met. And also some of the most horribly perverted and straight guys at that. Think about it, though. Girls in tight clothing and skirts, and you get to touch them. Now that's a contact sport.
Can you believe that our class valedictorian was a cheerleader? And that her parents' combined income is only $34,000? I don't even know.