The Influence of Occupational Status and Sex of Decision Maker on Media Representations in Intercollegiate Sports

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport University of Minnesota
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This study employed a decision making corollary to Kanter’s homologous reproduction theory (1977ab) to examine the intersections of occupational position of decision maker, sex of decision maker and media representations within intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. Data were gathered from Bowl Championship Series schools across 12 selected sports that published a media guide for the 2003-04 season. Data included two components: 1) 528 total media guides (252 for men; 276 for women) and; 2) corresponding data (n = 528) pertaining to who made the decision regarding how athletes were portrayed on the media guide covers. Descriptive analysis revealed two trends: 1) women were under represented (i.e., “tokens”) as sole decision makers within men’s sports, but not for women’s sports and; 2) a majority of decisions were not made alone, but by a decision-making dyad with both men’s and women’s sports. Logistic regression analysis revealed which factors significantly influenced media portrayals in men’s and women’s sports. Results are framed using mechanisms of gendered social control exercised in sport organisations–homophobia, homologous reproduction, and hegemony. Implications for application and future research are suggested.

Jo Ann Buysse School of Kinesiology Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport 208 Cooke Hall University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55455 Email: Phone: (612) 625-5331 Fax: (000) 000-000