Kane featured in Minnesota Alumni magazine article highlighting representation of female athletes
Professor Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, was featured in the Winter 2012 issue of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association magazine.
The article, "Athletes, Not Babes, Sell Tickets," discusses how Kane and her former Ph.D. student, Heather Maxwell (Kinesiology Ph.D., 2009), challenged the prevailing assumption that if women athletes are portrayed as sexy versus athletically competent, attendance at women's sporting events would increase and female athletes would get more media attention and corporate sponsorship. However, according to Kane's and Maxwell's findings, sexualized images of athletic females actually produced the opposite effect among focus groups, including 18- to 34-year-old women and 35- to 55-year-old men.
"We now have empirical data and it's very clear," says Kane. "Portraying women athletes as athletes is an effective marketing strategy for many consumer groups, while on the flip side, portraying women athletes as sex objects produces a significant backlash among most consumer groups. The bottom line of our research is that sex sells sex, not women's sports."
View the full article here.