Women in Sports
This semester I am also taking a Feminist Debates class and recently we discussed women in sports. We talked about the way women athletes are portrayed in the media and I thought it pertained to this class, but we haven't really covered this topic. According to a 2003 study done by the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 40% of all professional athletes are women, but only 6-8% of media coverage is focused on women athletes. This same study showed that on Sports News and ESPN SportsCenter 96.7% of airtime was dedicated to men's sports. I decided to check out ESPN's website and it seemed to fit this percentage. All of the major "headlines" at the top of the site were about men's sports and every single photograph (even the advertisements) on the site were men. The only mention of women was under the women's basketball link under the "Columns and Features" category near the bottom of site. I believe one reason for this might be that the creators and producers of the sports news programs believe that they have an all or mostly male audience, and are afraid to upset or lose their male viewers by showing too much coverage of women's sports. This creates a cycle; women's sports are not shown in the media so there is not as much interest in them as the highly publicized men's sports. Because of this, producers of sports programs believe there is no interest in women's sports and do not cover it. I jus tthought that this was an interesting aspect of women in the media that we did not cover, but still applies to the class.
Link to ESPN's website: ESPN Site