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Susan Lynn, Marie Hardin, and Kristie Walsdorf

This study examines the presentation of women in advertising photographs published in four women’s sports and fitness magazines in order to ascertain the presence of sexual difference and differentiate between advertising messages in the magazines. Researchers found strong support for sexual difference in advertisements contained in fitness-oriented magazines, and, at the other end of the spectrum, rejection of sexual difference in magazines that emphasized competitive sport. The advertising images generally provided mixed messages in regard to sexual difference. The authors suggest that the continued use of sexual difference in sport advertising images is a function of commodity feminism, which serves the capitalist hegemony. The authors discuss the need for visual representations that are truly feminist.

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Susan Lynn, Kristie Walsdorf, Marie Hardin, and Brent Hardin

The purpose of this study is to ascertain how, if at all, advertising images in Sports Illustrated for Kids (SIK) changed following the 1996 Olympic Games, from late 1996 through 1999. Advertising photographs in 36 issues of SIK, from July 1996 to June 1999 were examined using content analysis methodology. A recording instrument was generated to analyze SIK advertising photographs. SPSS Statistical Package 9.0 was used to analyze the nominal data. Simple descriptive statistics, crosstabs, and frequency distributions were used for determining the presence of an association between gender and the remaining variables. Findings from this content analysis of SIK advertising were comparable with those of Cuneen and Sidwell’s (1998) analysis of SIK advertisement photographs. A clear pattern of differential photographic treatment of gender was noted throughout the analysis. Although there have been some improvements, a majority of the stereotypical relationships between gender and sport that the previous researchers found have continued in SIK photographs, even when cultural acceptance and expectations of women in sport have evolved toward equity.