Generation Y’s Perceptions of Women’s Sport in the Media

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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The purpose of this study was to gain insight into Generation Y’s perceptions of women’s sport in the media. Twenty-four participants were recruited and organized into 4 gender-specific focus groups. Participants identified televised sport as a primary and preferred method of sport consumption. Women’s sports were linked with inaccessibility and perceived as inferior to men’s sport in terms of athletic skill and general atmosphere. An underrepresentation of women’s sport in the media was held responsible for the limited awareness surrounding women’s sport. Societal expectations instilled during early socialization processes and limited female opportunity in sport also emerged as critical barriers. Most participants regarded the inequality in women’s sport with indifference and were satisfied as sport enthusiasts with the opportunities for consumption available in men’s sport. This conservative approach to women’s sport suggests that Generation Y’s perceptions wield noteworthy influence on their sport consumption behaviors.

The authors are with the School of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 3K7. Lebel is a master’s student, and Danylchuk, her academic advisor.

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