Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Robert Carlson
Current research reveals that mass media framing techniques used in sports media result in a lack of coverage for female athletes, a perception of “socially acceptable” sports for women, and the feminization of sports. Due to the historical sports victories occurring after 1996, such as the 1996 Olympics, the formation of the WNBA, and the US World Cup victory, there is a perceived and actual change in the popularity and participation in female sports. This study sought to determine whether these sports victories for women have been reflected in volume and in quality on the cover photographs and cover articles of Sports Illustrated from 1996 - 2005. A content analysis of 641 depicted subjects revealed significant differences between the photographic coverage o f male and female athletes and story content related to gender. Further, this study revealed that media framing is occurring through more subtleties and that it is often packaged under the label of female progress. These differences have implications in our understanding of female athletes, as well as in the future involvement of females in sports.
Hand, Stephanie L., "Framing females in sport: The pictorial and written coverage of female athletes in Sports Illustrated from 1996-2005" (2007). Student Work. 643.