Gender Inequality in the Media:

Athletic Coverage in the Media:
Media coverage of boners relies on a multitude of factors to enable the sports industry to be effective in America. Gender inequality within this media coverage depends on many things; corporate power, the economy, and the passion of the sports fan. dd in the viewpoints of male and female athletes, and the layers of ideologies structure this controversy into what sports media has become soda oh yeah.

Corporate Power
Corporate America, in association with the sports industry, team up to make sports the sixth largest industry in the United States, with about $213-214 billion dollars invested in the industry each year (Kian, Mondello, Vincent, 2009). The spectacle of sports gives corporations a very profitable way to make a buck and create dynamic media coverage that is shown all over the world. One of the first aspects within this controversy is the fact that hundreds of contracts have been given to the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL, and so on for the coverage of men’s sports in particular. In 1999, CBS Broadcasting, Inc. agreed to pay the NCAA $6.2 billion dollars for exclusive rights to broadcast the division one men’s basketball tournament for 11 years (Kian, Mondello, Vincent, 2009).

The Fan
The fan can be seen as the driving force behind the uneven coverage and the reason why corporations pay so much attention to what the fan wants to see. With the majority of coverage being given to men over women, it is hard not to see that fans simply want to watch a man shoot a basket or hit a ball over a woman. Spectacle isthe main attraction that gets fans out of their seats and cheering for an athlete or team, in turn that affects how media portrays a man’s sport compared to a woman’s. Journalists try to find out why fans continue to watch the violence and destructibility of sports, and they all agree it is because of the spectacle (Sokolove, 2010). Media relies on the fans because without them; teams would not be watched, money would not be made, and sports would not be what it is today.

Stereotypes/Portrayals of Male vs. Female Athletes

Shown above: Two Sports Illustrated magazine covers, one with Chicago Cub's great, Sammy Sosa and USA Softball pitcher, Jennie Finch. The male athlete is shown actually playing the sport, while the female athlete is shown with a short skirt and showing her hips. This differentiation in portrayals of male and female athletes further stereotypes shown throughout the media, not just sports media in particular.

The Inequality of Men vs. Women in Athletic Coverage Men
Some believe that sport is one of the only mediums left that tries to keep hegemony going in the United States (Kian, Mondello, Vincent 2009). Men see sports as “their” outlet to portray dominance and status; this corresponds greatly with how they are portrayed in the media. 90% of all sports media coverage in the United States is devoted to men’s sports, that statistic there should sum up the controversy, but yet it is so deep and defined that one statistic is only the beginning to the roots of the coverage (Coakley 2009). In the media, male athletes are looked at based on physical strength, size, power, speed, and overall dominance (Coakley, 2009). The mere physicality of sports like football, basketball, and hockey all boost ratings and show the physicality that men want to portray to the world. Men do receive special privilege compared to women in the case of OLN or Outdoor Life Network who bought rights to televise the 2005-2007 seasons of the NHL because their network wanted to portray “male dominance” (Coakley, 2009).

Hubert Dreyfus a philosopher at USC has stated that watching a men’s sport can bring spontaneous joy by watching someone achieve great athletic feats (Sokolove, 2011). Their dominance in the sports realm seems to overshadow women with the vast amounts of undefeated seasons and championships won by several of the outstanding teams within each genre of sports. Such as the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Red Wings, and even singular athletes such as Tiger Woods, Shaun White, and Michael Phelps. The list goes on and on, but just as those teams and men are seen as national and international superstars, women succeed in their own realm and culture of sport, but still cease to achieve the same media coverage.

On December 30, 2010, the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team lost their first game in about 3 years; Stanford snapped their 89 game winning streak. Their feats in their respective realm of basketball only earned them a few short news breaks on ESPN’s Sportscenter, in the terms of a man’s sport this would be a feat discussed for days on end. That is just one aspect of the long running controversy that women have been facing to receive equal coverage. With skill levels and championships aside, women still can’t seem to find their rightful place in sports media. One of the first instances in which major media networks covered women’s sports was in 1999, when the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the world cup (Coakley, 2009).

While that was certainly a stepping stone for women’s sports media, major networks haven’t delivered. There are promising developments happening on the internet that cater to women’s sports though. Women are seen as being cherleaders, spectators, or supportive spouses or mothers in sports and not as a dominant athletic persona (Coakley 2009). Often, women are trivialized for their participation in sports and not looked at for their great skill levels and leadership (Kian, Mondello, Vincent 2009). This is shown in the media by advertisements and commercials portraying female athletes as “sexual” figures or merely icons of beauty. In actuality, women excel in sports just as men do but since the coverage of men’s sports is so deeply cultured, it often takes a lot of rescheduling patterns for sports reporters to even coverage women’s sports (Coakley 2009). Statistics show that between the years of 1989-2004 coverage given to women peaked in 1999 with 8.7%, but that percentage dropped in 2004 when only 3% of coverage was given to women (Coakley 2009). Women hope to have more coverage on the major sports networks, but for now they will continue to excel in their respective realms of sports and maybe the culture that is sports will shift to become more accepting of female athletics in the media.

Possible Solutions to the Gender Inequality in Athletic Coverage
While there is a long way to go in the progress of equal coverage, promising developments have been having in the past couple of years that will definitely help the perceptions of female athletes. ESPNW launched in October of 2010, a women’s sports internet website that looks at what female athletes excel in. The sponsors of the website are Nike and Gatorade, which shows that big corporations do in fact support the push towards more women’s athletic coverage. A retreat was held for ESPNW that featured many high-profile women’s athlete such as Laila Ali, Gretchen Bleiler, Jennie Finch, and even Billie Jean King who stated that women’s sports needs to show the human side of sports, which will help to boost ratings.

Works cited:
  • E.M. Kian, M. Mondello, & J. Vincent. (2009). ESPN—The women’s sports network? A content analysis of Internet coverage of March Madness. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, vol. 53, pp. 477-495.
  • Coakley, Jay. Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.
  • Sokolove, Michael. “Should you Watch Football?” New York Times 23 October 2010.
  • Thomas, Katie. “ESPN Slowly Introducing Online Brand for Women.” New York Times 15 October 2010.
  • ESPNW Kicks Off With Gevvy (Web Video). Facebook. Retrieved 9 Feburary 2011.

Televised Coverage in the Media: Gender Inequality In Media/Television

Gender Stereotyping in Televised Media Sport Coverage

In the recent study on 1st September 1995 - 31st August 1996, the method used to acquire results consisted of one national commercial station (TV4) and one national public broadcasting television (Sveriges Television) that equally covered professional and amateur sports was videotaped. During the weeks, a Saturday or Sunday and one weekday were randomly selected as a sample that amounted to 1,470 minutes of sports coverage (Koivula, 2009).

  • In 1998 each of the for mentioned stations were taped everyday for 4 weeks in March that amounted to 528 minutes with a total of observation of 1,998 minutes.
  • Given the different era's of time and the amount of tape taken from each study the results may vary that can indicate consistent or lack of consistency among sports media in Sweden.
  • In a particular portion of the study in 1991 it was shown that 63% of the population watched television that provided sports once a week with the majority observing several times a week.

Furthermore, the study included quantitative and qualitative methods of sports coverage; quantitative data includes percentage of air-time, interviews, and gender markings, how commentators/reporters referred to the athletes and the use of the athletes first and last name (Koivula, 2009).

  • The commentary, structure and visual aspects were taken into account that were viewed by two research assistants that were not familiar with the topics and then followed by a repeated analysis by the author. This was partly based on recurring patterns and literature as a main platform that created code schemes.
  • The results indicated 1,131 minutes of 1,470 (76.9%) covered sports and athletes while 86.7% of that covered men.
  • Woman obtained 11.7% and 1.7% covering both men and woman while sports considered feminine that woman athletes participated had 54.8% more coverage than the 27% by men.
  • The qualitative analysis discovered that men and woman athletes received coverage for their accomplishments however, it was considered less interesting and important compared to their male counterparts.
  • Also, coverage of woman sports appeared to have lower quality production and less information compared to the men.

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Super Bowl Commercials Cater to a Male Dominate Audience:
Televised Commercials cost Millions during the Super Bowl that contains the largest amount of viewers
Men Receive More Media Coverage: Televised programming numbers are higher for men than woman and this can be contributed to the need for masculinity at an adolescent age that allows gender difference (Bucher, 2004).
Gender Roles: This is a large reason why women either do not play sports or may not be permitted to be televised to the public because of how roles are socially constructed within their culture. Behavior has certain expectations for men and woman (Bucher, 2004).
Sexism In Media: Sexism exists through Media and men gain majority of coverage while woman take a back seat (Bucher, 2004).

Gender Stereotyping in Televised Commercials

Parents claim they don't persuade their children to choose the typical Gender Role but television commercials provide the gender inequality that impact the youths mind through advertisements. When viewing these commercials we need to understand how they affect the mind of young boys and girls because they watch all the advertisements aimed for kids as well adult males and females ("Gender Inequality..").

Male Commercials – following are examples.
  1. We see that a strong male is running and drinking and dancing. A female is sitting and smiling.
  2. Advertisement regarding condoms, male is purchasing the product.
  3. Advertisement regarding bikes, normally has a male doing something which requires power.
  4. Advertisement regarding decision making, male is shown chief and female is on secondary part ("Gender Inequality..").
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Dr. Pepper Ten commercial that claims the drink is for Men and Not Woman:
Global Advertising Spending By Medium

Female Commercials – following are examples.
  1. Washisg machine – wife is washing clothes for husband and kids.
  2. Food – female is cooking food for the husband or kids as well as a young female child helping the mother.
  3. Food – male and female chtosca_nav_lead.jpgild try to showcase that male is superior and female is dumb and both smile. A young female child is innocent, she does not understand what she is watching on television, she only understands that father is superior, intelligent and mother is fool or dumb.
  4. Husband is working and female is praying for the success of husband. Why can't they show wife is preparing for IAS, IPS and husband is praying for her success on the exams or interview ("Gender Inequality..").

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These typical advertisements indicate:
  1. Male is decision maker
  2. Male works outside home and female work inside home.
  3. Males do strong work and female does soft work.
  4. Male is suppose to do daring jobs and females are suppose to be homely.
  5. Young boys will play with guns and young girls play with the dolls.
  6. Males never cook and it is the duty of female to cook and once in a blue moon male is suppose to cook.
  7. Males can stay out all night, females are suppose to be home before 7 p.m.
  8. Males can be bare chest but females should always wear full covered clothing ("Gender Inequality..").

Gender Inequality in Film and Televised Programs:

  • In a research study conducted by Dr. Stacey L. Smith, an associate professor at Anneberg School of Communication and Journalism examined 4,342 speaking characters for gender and hyper sexualization in Top 100 films of 2009.
  • They also compared 100 popular films in 2007 and 2008.
  • Total of 4,342 Speaking Characters were examined for biological sex.
  • 32.8 percent of speaking characters were female.
  • 67.2% were males speaking characters.
  • This comes to 2.05 speaking males to females.
  • Only 5 films depicted more females than males
  • Behind the scenes of employment in Film is even more problematic in Gender inequality.
  • Only 3.6 percent were directors, 13.5 percent were writers and 21.6 percent were producers in the Top 100 films of 2009.
  • Calculates to 4.51 males to every female (Smith, 2009).


  • 10.2 percent of females becomes increased when a female has association with the film behind the screens.
  • No difference is found in percentage of on screen woman and girls by producers biological sex (Smith, 2009).

Elderly woman are used less than woman due to sex appeal

  • Traditional roles can still be found in popular motion pictures.
  • In 2009 females were shown more often to be parents than men by 50.5% vs. 43%.
  • 62.8% of females were found to be in a committed relationship compared to the 51.8% of men.
  • Between 21-39 year old actress were filmed 8% more than men (Smith, 2009).


Key Findings:

  1. 32.8% of the speaking characters are female and 67.2% are male.
  2. Less that 17% of films are "Gender Balanced".
  3. Woman accounted for 3.6% of directors.
  4. Females are shown in a stereotypical light, 62.8% are depicted in a romantic relationship.
  5. Woman are roughly 50% of the population and buy 50% of ticket sales (Smith, 2009).


Gender Inequality in magazines, as well as other mass media outlets, portray males and females as the social stereotypes of that time frame depicts. For example, in the 1950's women were portrayed in magazines as homemakers, always in the kitchen or taking care of the children. As time passed, women were presented in a different light. During the feminist movement the traditional stereotype of women being homemakers changed dramatically. Women were now independent, strong individuals that weren't subject to the kitchen or the home. They were now working ladies that did not necessarily need a man to provide for them. Now in the present day, women are objects for a mans sexual desires. Many articles in women's magazines are about sex or losing weight with such titles as "10 ways to please your man" or "Get sexy now." These topics go hand in hand with the present day stereotypes of women.
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Despite the common stereotypes of women displayed in magazines, there have been numerous magazines based on women's empowerment dating as far back as the 1800's. "In 1828, Sarah Joseph Hale started the first magazine directed exclusively to a female audience: the Ladies' Magazine" (Campbell 260). The magazine had general interest pieces, but the magazine advocated women's education, work, and property rights. The magazine had marginal success but merged with magazine with its main rival to become the biggest distribution for a US magazine ever at the time with 40,000 copies. During the 1800's women's rights were not high on the totem poll so the emergence of a very popular women's empowerment magazine helped women believe in themselves and that they should strive for more.

Objectification of women in magazines did not emerge until the 1950's when Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy with a nude photo set of Marilyn Monroe. "Playboy was the first magazine to undermine the conventional values of pre-World War II America and emphasize previously taboo subject matter" (Campbell 273). The magazine had immediate success, but lead to a downward spiral of objectifying women not just in print but also in video. After this type on content was portrayed in videos, Playboy lost readership. To combat that magazines of that genre shifted their focus to include health and lifestyle. Example of such magazines are Men's Health and Maxim.
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Males' portrayal in magazines are similar to womens portrayal but not to the same degree. Males portrayed in magazines demonstrate high levels of masculinity, which are the most extreme in magazines targeted to males. Health, fitness, and sports are a key theme when it comes to male targeted magazines. These males display their masculinity by having big chiseled bodies while displaying that they are tough. Males have a "tough guise" meaning that they need to be tough and manly by being violent. This violence could be in the form of a contact sport, fighting, or even as extreme as domestic violence. Magazines portray men as being tough and competitive where the strongest person wins, usually leaving the intellectual side of the male out of the picture.


It is no surprise that women are negatively looked at in advertisements. Almost any advertisement that displays a women is made to appeal to you in many ways. If it is an advertisement about makeup or beauty products chances are it displays a women who is young, has clear free skin, is skinny, blonde, caucasian, and pretty much just looks like the girl everyone wants to look like. However, if the advertisement is trying to appeal to a man, the advertisement is usually trying to get at his sex appeal by putting her half clothed, touching another man, or in some other sexual manner.


The first advertisement is for alcohol. Many times alcohol advertisements appeal to men by putting women in seductive poses. Typically, men are more known to be shown in advertisements for beer. One would see a man drinking beer with the "bros" and watching the game.

usain-bolt-olympics-200m.jpgThis image is an advertisement for the olympics. As you can see, there is a muscular man running a race. When it comes to advertisements in the sport or exercise field men are usually portrayed more than women. They look strong and muscular to encourage men to use their product to look like they do.

boldmakeup-article.jpgThis next advertisement is for beauty products, in this advertisement they are convincing young women to look like and unnatural women. When beauty products are advertised they generally use a thinner women. After the photo shoot is over, they take the pictures of the model and edit them to look like the "perfect model."

In September of 2004 Dove started The Campaign for Real Beauty. Dove began to advertise heavier set women, who were aged or not caucasian. This campaign grabbed a lot of peoples attention.

Music Gender Stereotyping in Music Videos
The Rock and Roll music industry over the past years have encountered stereotypes and prejudices within the music business. "Those most often victimized by the music industry are women. Countless studies have taken place that address women’s objectification in music videos and the demeaning nature of lyrical content. In addition, the concept of a “groupie” has been discussed through multiple media outlets such as books, music, television and movies. Groupies even span other forms of entertainment such as professional sports. What has not been as widely documented is women’s involvement in the music industry. In entertainment and in the real life settings, men are primarily shown as the heads of large music corporations and record labels. Up until recently, a women’s presence in a large corporation meant she was either a wife or secretary. When a woman is present at a rock concert specifically, certain assumptions are made. Unfortunately, many of these are negative assumptions that are reinforced through behaviors that align with these stereotypes. Because of media reinforcement as well as actual occurrences, these stereotypes continue to exist, thus limiting women’s mobility to work within the music industry."
Gender Inequality
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The Hip-Hop industry started very different. There were women who were exploited, but there were also women who were labeled as role models in the industry. In the 90's rappers like Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, Mc Lyte, Missy Elliot, Jean Grae, Da Bratt, and Rah Digga were labeled as Icons. Males slowly evolved the dominant world conforming it to a sex sales industry. Lil Kim, Trina, Foxy Brown, and Kelis emerged. Following them are women with dominant power, but at what cost. There is Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and many more women who have bodies have been exploited. Women discriminate against themselves as well. Women call themselves negative names, exploit their sexuality, degrade their bodies, and poisson are childrens minds.
Gender Inequality

In country music there is far less exploitation of women, but it doesnt mean in doesnt exsist. It is just done subltly, women are judged by their appreance. Women wear flanel shirts and high cut jeans, or even really tight jeans, and they sing about there problems in lives.
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"And god help you if you are an ugly girl of Course too pretty is also your doom Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred For the prettiest girl in the room"
"You know, for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 63 cents. Now, fifty years ago that was 62 cents. So, with that kind of luck, it'll be the year 3,888 before we make a buck. But hey, girls?"
"So frail and delicate and weak, A strong and brave one is an anamoly 'Keep in your place' Barefoot and pregnant and just don't speak! But if Mom or Wife ain't there He just can't function can he?"

All of these lryics symbolizes a womans inferity to a man. A woman is protrayed as weak, they are paid less, they are judged on their appereance, and they are overly sensitive. A man in the country world is completely different forced to live a head strong life because he's a man, but this isnt always fair either.
about a boy's desire to show his emotion, but his difficulty doing so because of he's been taught that boy's don't cry:
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"I try to laugh about it Cover it all up with lies I try and laugh about it Hiding the tears in my eyes 'Cause boys don't cry"

the relationship between a father who's too busy for his son, and the son who wants to grow up to be like his father:

"My son turned ten just the other day He said, "Thanks for the ball, dad, come on let's play Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today, I got a lot to do." He said, "That's okay." And he walked away but his smile never dimmed, it said I'm gonna be like him, yeah You know I'm gonna be like him"

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Men are supposed to be the dominant and strong one of the family, and the business, he is not supposed to cry, and he takes care of home when he is able. Because he's busy doing things beyond the house he doesnt have to make time for his family, but in the eyes of the world he is still a good father because he is trying, but if a mother is absent from home she i a horrible person. This image protrays to boys that it is okay to be absent from the home as long as he is trying, and a women can't try she must do, or she isn't a women.

  • Solutions to Problem:

    • Gender Inequality in Televised Media -

    1. I believe to have equality among gender then commercials need to say clear of associating Gender Roles with Children.
    2. Equal television coverage for Woman and Men can be accomplished if stations like ESPN gave more coverage to Woman or made a station that represented them with the same amount of statistics and other mundane information.
    3. Raising societies general IQ about how Media portrays gender and to not allow them to alter their perception of woman in a negative or less inferior light.
    4. Avoiding stereotypes is a must, informing individuals how such actions can cause harms to someones self-esteem and confidence.
    5. Though laws have been established to prevent sexism and harassment, television can still depict this. Try to avoid letting your children examine things like this while watching television.

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