Most people watch some form of sports, whether it be the Olympics or the highlights on ESPN. The NBA and NHL playoffs are underway and theyit seems to be the only news on ESPN. There is almost no coverage of the WNBA playoffs or any female athletics. Tennis isone of the only big sports on ESPN for women. While during the Olympics the coverage seems to be non-stop and close to equal. Women’s participation in sport is at an all-time high and has almost become equal with men’s, however,. sSports media does notfails to show this equality and skews the way we look at these athletes. Through the disciplines of sociology and gender studies, it can be seen that despite the many gains of women in sports since the enactment of Title IX,
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In other words, gender studies examines the differences between men and women, but analyzes what the differences mean in a social and cultural context. This is studied because there are few areas of life that are not impacted by gender (“Gender Studies and Social Analysis.” P1). Gender impacts everyday life such as families, health, identities, and fashion choices (P1). In sports media, gender influences the way sports commentators and sports broadcasters depict a specific gender. Gender also impacts the amount of coverage in sports media that the gender gets.
Masculinity and Femininity is the description of a man or women’s gender identity. It is “traditional” for a man to be masculine and a female to be feminine (Stets and Burke 1). The notions of masculinity and femininity are not based on the natural differences between sexes, but by the social and cultural circumstances a person is born in (3). These social and cultural circumstances have been engrained in the lives of most people because of the way people have been taught for generations and generations. Society has decided what being male (masculine) and female (feminine) means; for example, they can be described as dominant or passive and brave or emotional, respectively (1). The descriptions of masculinity and femininity can be perceived in sports media coverage .