Sexualized Representation of Female Athletes in the Media: How Does It Affect Female College Athletes’ Body Perceptions?

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the sexualized representation of female athletes in the media on the body perceptions of collegiate female athletes. The intention of the research was to examine whether such effects varied depending on college year rank and ethnicity as interrelated factors. Data were collected using questionnaires that consisted of questions addressing aspects (i.e., body shame, consequences of body shame, and goal of appearance) of selfobjectification. Overall, the results indicated that grade level and ethnicity do not play a significant role on the effects of the media on body perceptions. In conclusion, this study can be helpful to develop prevention and intervention programs for age groups and ethnicities most greatly affected by media’s objectification of female athletes.

Riebock is a former graduate student, and Bae, her advisor, in the Kinesiology Dept., William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ. Riebock is now working as an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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