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Sexism in Sports

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Abstract

More than 20 years ago. Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which provides in part that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”. Since this document was mandated into Federal policy, there are still many universities that have failed to comply with what was written within the document. Therefore, actions will soon take place. Sexism should be stopped in men’s and women’s sports. Women should have the same fairness in the media as men do.

Why is it that the media shows more men sports than women’s? Men have normally held power. Therefore, they have more control over the sports media. There are many examples of differences in perceived roles between men and women that have led to women being discriminated against. In 1972 a policy known as Title IX was written and mandated into Federal policy. Title IX states “no person…..shall, on the basis of sex….be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance” (Walters, p. 2).

Title IX bans gender discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds, including elementary and secondary schools, laboratories, museums, and colleges and universities. After more than 30 years since the beginning of Title IX, there is still no gender equality among men and women in sports. Sexism dwells on the surface of sports media. Sports have been said to be rather sexist when it comes down to women and men. Men usually get more publicity than women do. Women are usually sexually suggestive when they are publicized. Men’s sports take up a space in the media. With more men’s sports being shown on TV and such, there isn’t a lot of available media left for women sports.

Women feel that they aren’t being treated as fairly as men are when it comes down to sports in the media. They want equal media opportunities just as the men receive. Sports blogs of various types have become a viable alternative and competitor to mainstream sports web sites (Clavio, p. 5). Blogs span an extensive assortment of topics and formats. Studies of sport media to this point have primarily concentrated on traditional forms of media (Clavio, p. 6). The traditional forms of media are magazines, newspapers, and television. The internet has begun to get studied in recent studies. Although the internet has begun to get studied as the other traditional forms of media do, it is still not categorized as a traditional form of media.

Men’s sports have been broadcasted more in media. Women’s sports have been on the backburner for years. To this day, there are still not as many women’s sports being shown in the media. It is known that when women athletes are displayed in the media, it can be rather sexist. The difference in media coverage of men and women is thought of as more lopsided. In collegiate sports, there are more men’s events being shown in the media. Women sports might be shown if there is a spectacular athlete involved such as Baylor women’s basketball player Brittany Griner. More than likely a women’s event will not be televised.

NCAA statistics reveal that female athletes are, on average, significantly underrepresented in college athletics. Some institutions and their governing athletic organizations have taken a hands-on approach in embracing the cause of gender equity. They have begun to propose or establish plans designed to proportionately increase female participation in college athletics. Although Title IX was mandated into Federal policy over 30 years ago, some universities still fail to comply with the document. The Olympics is a compilation of men’s and women’s competitions. For many years, the competitions have been televised.

Men’s sports were mostly televised. For that reason, there were organizations made to fight the discrimination against female athletes. One organization was the International Olympic Committee or IOC. The IOC was the supreme authority of the Olympic movement. They released a report on the need to publicize a clear set of rules governing the inclusion of intersex athletes in time for the London Olympics. The IOC’s Executive Board met for two days in London to discuss the issue of the eligibility of female athletes with hyperandrogenism.

Hyperandrogenism is a condition where a woman has elevated androgen levels—typically involving increased amounts of testosterone. The IOC’s guidelines may be clear cut, but they have a discriminatory effect on female athletes. Another organization was the International Association of Athletics Federations or the IAAF for short. The IAAF attempted to regulate intersex athlete participation in the Olympic Games. The IAAF first started testing athletes to determine their sex in 1966.

Since then, there have been several different forms of test. Scholars have noticed that traditionally, sex testing within the realm of the Olympics has been justified on two grounds: (1) “sex exists in a binary” and (2) “fairness in sport requires a strict separation of the sexes” (Glazer, p. 546). These two organizations are working hard to stop sexism in the Olympic Games. Soon there won’t be a hint of sexism in the Olympic Games. Sexism is seen in all aspects of sports.

Men have generally had the upper hand, and they somewhat continue to keep it. It is not a subject that is too much brought up in an everyday discussion. For institutions that have been eluding the requirements of Title IX for more than 20 years, they will soon have their day. We can only expect the requirements of Title IX athletics trial to explode unless universities and their leading organizations take active steps toward gender equity. This includes providing women with equal opportunities to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Sexism in sports media still dwells on the surface to this very day.

Reference
Clavio, G., & Eagleman, A. N. (2011). Gender and Sexually Suggestive Images in Sports Blogs. Journal Of Sport Management, 25(4), 295-304.

Sports have been said to be rather sexist when it comes down to women and men. Men usually get more publicity than women do. Women are usually sexually suggestive when they are publicized. Men’s sports take up a space in the media. With more men’s sports being shown on TV and such, there isn’t a lot of available media left for women sports. Women feel that they aren’t being treated as fairly as men are when it comes down to sports in the media. They want equal media opportunities just as the men receive.

Blinde, E. M., Greendorfer, S.L., & Shanker, R. J. (1991). Differential Media Coverage of Men’s and Women’s Intercollegiate Basketball: Reflection of Gender Ideology. Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 15(2), 98-114.

Men’s sports have been broadcasted more in media. Women’s sports have been on the backburner for years. To this day, there are still not as many women’s sports being shown in the media. It is known that when women athletes are displayed in the media, it can be rather sexist. The difference in the media coverage of men and women is a more lopsided race.

Glazer, S. (2012). SPORTING CHANCE: LITIGATING SEXISM OUT OF THE OLYMPIC INTERSEX POLICY. Journal Of Law & Policy, 20(2), 545-580. The Olympics have been a trademark in the world for centuries. Sexism has never really been realized by the average human. There are more of the men’s sports shown. For this reason, there has been many different organizations put in place to help stop it.

Walters, J., & McNeely, C. L. (2010). Recasting Title IX: Addressing Gender Equity in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Professoriate. Review Of Policy Research, 27(3), 317-332. doi:10.1111/j.1541-1338.2010.00444.x Title IX paid the way for women to have an equal share in sports. Although it is highly regarded by some athletic directors, Title IX committee has begun to crack down on them. A stop will be put in place soon.

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