Search Results

You are looking at 21 - 30 of 92 items for :

  • "women athletes" x
Clear All
Restricted access

James Riordan

Never have women athletes made such rapid progress in a wide range of events in such a short time — some two or three years — or improved world records by such remarkable margins. The reasons for the progress of Chinese women athletes are examined in this article. One of the reasons is an absence in China of a number of deep-seated prejudices in regard to sexuality that have been common in western historical develoment — prejudices centred on the notion that sport was a ‘male preserve’.

The major factors that have facilitated Chinese women’s progress in sport have to be sought in various elements intrinsic to Chinese society and shaped by historically-conditioned attitudes to sport and women that differ markedly from those that have formed the dominant values of sport in western society, at least since the time of Ancient Greece.

Insosfar as world-wide women’s sporting attainments are reflecting, reinforcing and sometimes even precipitating processes of social change in the role and status of women, the Chinese women’s example offers exciting prospects for the future of women in all societies, particularly the modernising communities of Asia and Africa.

Restricted access

Gregory A. Cranmer, Maria Brann and Nicholas D. Bowman

Previous studies have suggested that media reify frames that subtly enforce sex differences in a manner that detracts from women athletes’ athleticism. This phenomenon is referred to as ambivalence. To analyze ambivalence, this study introduces a theoretically and empirically supported coding scheme that was used to conduct a quantitative frame analysis of 157 images featured in ESPN’s The Body Issue. These images were coded for frames that de-emphasize athleticism, sexualize athletes, or deny a sporting context. Results suggest that athlete sex is associated with de-emphasized athleticism and sexualized frames, and sport gender is associated with context frames. Results also support longitudinal trends in The Body Issue series, which suggest that the series has become more sexualized and removed from a sports context but has decreased the use of frames that de-emphasize athleticism. In general, The Body Issue continues to reinforce established media trends that trivialize female athletes, despite claiming to do the opposite.

Restricted access

Adam Cohen, E. Nicole Melton and Jon Welty Peachey

The genuine sport of quidditch, based off the Harry Potter franchise, offers an alternative to traditional sport that has grown immensely in terms of popularity and participation. Due to the scarcity of research on coed sports, and the innovative nature of quidditch, the purpose of this research was to use an exploratory qualitative approach to examine impact of the sport on its participants, and to determine how its structure influenced participants’ attitudes toward the opposite gender. Findings revealed the coed structure of the sport led to a positive coed experience for women and men, which in turn developed an increased desire for inclusivity and equality. In addition, both genders reported stereotype reduction due to participation in the sport, and women also reported feeling increased levels of self-confidence and pride. Despite these shifts in attitude, underlying prejudice toward women athletes was still apparent among men who participated in the sport.

Restricted access

Fred Mason and Geneviève Rail

Newspaper photographs of athletes at the 1999 Pan-American Games from five Canadian newspapers were analyzed for sexual differences in amount and content. Improvements in media coverage were noted over earlier studies. The percentage of photographs of women athletes was very close to that of men, and bettered their participation rate. There was also little difference in the camera angles used or in the activity level of the athletes pictured. However, sexual differences were still created in very subtle ways. Photographs of men were more likely to appear in prominent locations in the newspaper. Women in some stereotypically “male-appropriate” sports received coverage that brought them back into line with feminine ideals and mitigated their “gender transgressions.” Results suggest that women in the sports media are receiving greater amount of coverage, but the media still maintains practices that subtly create and naturalize sexual differences and set particular sports off as appropriate only for men.

Restricted access

Stephan R. Walk

Recent work has suggested that masculinist sport subcultures (e.g., Young & White, 1995) and “conspiratorial” sports organizations (Nixon, 1992a) foster the acceptance of pain and injury by athletes. Using semistructured interviews, this study examined the experiences and beliefs of 22 student athletic trainers at a large university. The study found that student athletic trainers had conflicting alliances to student athletes and to staff trainers, held competing beliefs about athlete pain and injury, and struggled with athletes who did not properly use health care services and advice. It is recommended that future studies focus upon processes of negotiation and conflict, that more attention be directed to medical treatment of injured women athletes, and that recommendations to change medical services for athletes await further research.

Restricted access

Michela Musto and P.J. McGann

The apologetic strategies women employ to manage the cultural tension between athleticism and hegemonic femininity are well documented. Existing research, however, tends to be small-scale. The cumulative symbolic implications of female athlete appearance on cultural ideals remain under-theorized as a result. Our quantitative content analysis of a stratified, random sample of 4,799 collegiate women athletes’ roster photos examined whether sport, school type, and geographical location are related to gendered appearance. Despite important contextual variation, we found overwhelming homogeneity across settings. Our results suggest that the normalization of women’s athleticism is limited and depends on subordinated femininities. Thus, despite some positive changes, team sport still helps stabilize and naturalize the gender order.

Restricted access

Nicolas Apostolis and Audrey R. Giles

This research note examines Golf Digest’s depictions of gender through the publication’s portrayals of women in its 2008 issues. Through the use of intersectional theory and critical discourse analysis of the contents within Golf Digest, we found that despite its emerging use of women columnists and content concerning women in articles or advertisements, the magazine mainly reproduced dominant images about white, wealthy, heterosexual women athletes. In particular, we argue that the magazine often reinforces exclusionary attitudes toward women golfers by maintaining systems of privilege and oppression that benefit wealthy, white, heterosexual males. As such, we focus on gender as the most visible intersectional identity with white males, and discuss how including mainly white, wealthy, heterosexual women also conveys messages about other women’s involvement in golf.

Restricted access

Jenny Lind Withycombe

Stereotypes have the power to dynamically structure African American female athletes’ oppression (Buysse & Embser-Herbert, 2004; Kane, 1996), for example, by trivializing their athletic efforts (Douglas, 2002). The purpose of this paper was to examine how African American women athletes experience such stereotypes. Drawing from Collins (1990) and Crenshaw’s (1991) work on intersectionality, data were gathered from eight African American female athletes regarding their sport experiences. Qualitative analyses revealed two major themes: Gendered Stereotypes and Racial Stereotypes. Findings suggested that complex intersections of these stereotypes significantly impacted African American female athletes’ sport experiences. It is concluded that future research should explore in greater depth the sexist, racist, and classist incidences of African American female athletes’ experiences at all levels of sport participation.

Restricted access

Meghan S. Ingstrup, Amber D. Mosewich and Nicholas L. Holt

The purpose of this study was to explore factors that contributed to the development of self-compassion among highly self-compassionate women varsity athletes. More specifically, the research question was: how did women varsity athletes with high self-compassion perceive they became self-compassionate? To purposefully sample participants, 114 women varsity athletes completed the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003b). Ten athletes with high self-compassion scores then participated in individual interviews and a follow-up second interview. Data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Analysis produced three main themes that contributed to the development of self-compassion: (a) role of parents (seeking and receiving help from parents, parents teaching self-kindness, parents putting experiences in perspective); (b) gaining self-awareness; and (c) learning from others (peers, siblings, coaches, sport psychologists). These findings provide insights into the ways in which self-compassion can be learned and taught, and have implications for practitioners who work with women athletes.

Restricted access

Trisha Leahy and Rachel Harrigan

Narrative therapy is a form of therapeutic intervention underpinned by a philosophy of language proposing that meaning is socially constructed through language. Power relations and social and personal contexts are understood as central to the construction of meaning. Narrative therapy represents an approach to therapeutic practice that assumes that people experience problems in their lives when the dominant stories, which they or others have constructed of their lives, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. In this article we provide an exposition of narrative therapy, its philosophical influences and key processes. We demonstrate key tenets in action via a psychoeducational intervention attempting to facilitate positive body image with a team of 15 elite young women athletes. Anonymous, written, evaluative feedback of the seven-session program suggests a generally positive outcome. Narrative therapy can be a useful addition to the repertoire of clinical skills of sport psychologists.