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J. Vincent, Charles Imwold, J. T. Johnson and Dwayne Massey

This study was a comparison of how selected newspapers from Canada, Great Britain, and the United States reported on female athletes competing in four “gender-appropriate” sports with female athletes competing in four “gender-inappropriate” sports at the Centennial Olympic Games. The liberal feminist theoretical framework underpinning this study views equality of opportunity and individual liberty as an inevitable by-product of political, legal, and educational reform juxtaposed with a gradual social acceptance. Content Analysis was used to examine all the articles and photographs from the front pages and the sports sections of the newspapers. Based upon the data, female athletes competing in the “gender-appropriate” sports of swimming, gymnastics, tennis, and diving received more newspaper coverage than female athletes competing in the “gender-inappropriate” sports of soccer, softball, field hockey, and volleyball in terms of the average number of words per article and the average number of paragraphs per article. In addition, the “gender-appropriate” athletes were over-represented in the average number of photographs, the average number of photographs on the first page, and the average number of photographs on the top of the pages. Qualitative analyses of articles and photographs revealed a subtle but discernable amount of culturally stereotyped coverage.