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Karen H. Weiller and Catriona T. Higgs

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Karen H. Weiller and Catriona T. Higgs

The increase of women workers in industry during World War II coincided with an increase in sport participation and competition. From 1943 to 1954, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) allowed talented women athletes a chance to play professional baseball. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of women’s professional baseball and its connection with the social, cultural, and economic roles for women in society. An open-ended questionnaire allowed former players to respond to the social and cultural forces that impacted on women in society and sport during this era. The players of the AAGPBL were respected and admired professional women athletes in a male-dominated sport.

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Karen H. Weiller and Catriona T. Higgs

Patriarchal ideology and subsequent gender differences are reproduced in various cultural practices, with organized sport being one of the most important and critical arenas for perpetuating this ideology. Conventions for representing gender in mass media have come under increasing scrutiny during the last 25 years (Boutilier & San Giovanni, 1983; Higgs & Weiller, 1994; Weiller & Higgs, 1993). In this study we endeavored to increase current understanding of how gender is represented in the production and content of televised coverage of four professional golf tournaments. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to analyze the content of gender images in televised coverage of womenis and men’s professional golf tournaments. Based upon the results, gender marking/comparisons were consistently present throughout the two women’s events examined, and differentials existed with respect to time allocations in story focus for male and female golfers. Noticeable differentials were found in commentators’ descriptions of strength, as well as type of personal information provided.With this study, an extention of previous research, we demonstraed that what is occurring in media representation of female athletes is mirrored in the professional world. In addition we advance the coverage by previous researchers and highlight the inequities that exist in one of the few areas of professional sports open to women.

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Karen H. Weiller, Catriona T. Higgs and Scott B. Martin

Sports are omnipresent in American society; available for viewing 24 hours a day and can constitute much of everyday life and conversation. Researchers have indicated that men and women relate to sport differently (Gantz & Wenner, 1991). Evidence shows males outnumber females in sport viewership, and in the past much of the sport programming to which we are exposed caters specifically to men. The purpose of the present study was to explore issues related to audience perception of the 1996 Olympic Games. Participants (125 males and 92 females) ranging from 18 to 40 years of age were administered a gender specific version of the Audience Perception Questionnaires (APQ) following viewing video segments of men’s and women’s competitions (i.e., basketball, gymnastics, swimming and diving, and volleyball). The two versions of the APQ were developed from current literature, and by employing a delphi technique to validate the APQ. Factor analyses resulted in four underlying media perception dimensions: Commentary Coverage, Gender Marking and Stereotyping, Hierarchy of Naming, and Verbal Descriptors. Results revealed perceptions of male and female athletes by the public are influenced to a great degree by gender.

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Karen H. Weiller, Allen W. Jackson and Rhonda D. Meyer

Previous research has reported that Hispanic youth were significantly higher in skinfolds and body mass index (BMI) when contrasted to national reference data or comparison groups of white youth. The present study sought to determine the passing percentage for a sample of Hispanic youth for the BMI and the 1-mile run (OMR) using the Fitnessgram standards. The sample included 722 children, ages 7 to 14 years. The Hispanic youth’s passing percentages for the OMR compare favorably with the National Children and Youth Fitness Studies. The BMI results indicate the passing percentages are lower for the Hispanic, which is in agreement with past reports on body composition in Hispanic youth. Using the Fitnessgram standards, these data indicate the cardiovascular endurance of Hispanic youth may be similar to or better than the general population of children in the U.S. A higher rate of unhealthy body composition may be present, which would warrant targeted interventions for Hispanic children.

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Scott B. Martin, Peggy A. Richardson, Karen H. Weiller and Allen W. Jackson

During the past decade females have had more opportunities to participate in sports at various levels than ever before. These opportunities and the recognition received due to their success may have changed peoples’ views regarding same-sex role models, perceived parental encouragement, and expectations of success. Thus, the purpose of the study was to explore role models, perceived encouragement to participate in youth sport from parents, and sport expectations of adolescent athletes and their parents living in the United States of America. A questionnaire was administered to 426 adolescent athletes who competed in youth sport leagues and to one parent within each family unit (n=426). Chi square analysis indicated significant relationships between athletes’ gender and the gender of their role model and between parents’ gender and the gender of their role model (p = .0001). DM MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate difference for adolescent athletes and their parents on the questions concerning expectations for future athletic success. Post hoc analyses indicated that the athletes were more likely than their parents to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, or professional levels. In addition, boys were more likely than girls to believe that they could play at the college, Olympic, and professional levels.