He's a Laker; She's a “Looker”: The Consequences of Gender-Stereotypical Portrayals of Male and Female Athletes by the Print Media

He's a Laker; She's a “Looker”: The Consequences of Gender-Stereotypical Portrayals of Male... Although an extensive qualitative literature shows that coverage of women's sport often focuses on female athletes' attractiveness (to the exclusion of their athleticism), there is a dearth of quantitative research examining exactly what effect this coverage has on people's perceptions of athletes. As part of a 2 (Gender of the Athlete: Female or Male) × 2 (Gender of the Participant: Female or Male) × 2 (Focus of the Article: Physical Attractiveness or Athleticism) between-subjects design, 92 predominantly White undergraduates (40 men, 52 women) read a fictitious newspaper profile about an Olympic athlete in which the article focused on the athlete's attractiveness (as coverage of female athletes often does) or on the athlete's athleticism (as coverage of male athletes often does). Interestingly, participants neither had favorable impressions of nor liked articles about female and male athletes when attractiveness was the main focus of an article. These findings suggest that the media should be cognizant of the harmful and erroneous impressions that can result from portraying athletes in terms of their personal attributes rather than their athletic accomplishments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

He's a Laker; She's a “Looker”: The Consequences of Gender-Stereotypical Portrayals of Male and Female Athletes by the Print Media

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1013553811620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although an extensive qualitative literature shows that coverage of women's sport often focuses on female athletes' attractiveness (to the exclusion of their athleticism), there is a dearth of quantitative research examining exactly what effect this coverage has on people's perceptions of athletes. As part of a 2 (Gender of the Athlete: Female or Male) × 2 (Gender of the Participant: Female or Male) × 2 (Focus of the Article: Physical Attractiveness or Athleticism) between-subjects design, 92 predominantly White undergraduates (40 men, 52 women) read a fictitious newspaper profile about an Olympic athlete in which the article focused on the athlete's attractiveness (as coverage of female athletes often does) or on the athlete's athleticism (as coverage of male athletes often does). Interestingly, participants neither had favorable impressions of nor liked articles about female and male athletes when attractiveness was the main focus of an article. These findings suggest that the media should be cognizant of the harmful and erroneous impressions that can result from portraying athletes in terms of their personal attributes rather than their athletic accomplishments.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2004

References

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