Sexist Olympic coverage

Jan 20, 2010

Pirkko Markula says when it comes to the Olympics, media coverage rarely gives women equal treatment.

Markula, a professor of socio-cultural studies of sport and leisure in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, says that instead of focusing on sporting achievements, often focuses on women's appearance and the shape of their bodies. She says it will be interesting to see how are perceived during the upcoming Vancouver Olympics as women are fully dressed during the winter games.

Markula contributed to a new book called Olympic Women and the Media: International Perspectives. It discusses the results compiled by a team of researchers who analyzed international newspaper coverage before and during the in Athens in 2004.

In media coverage of athletes before the Olympics, received five per cent of the coverage, whereas male got most of the attention with 87.6 per cent of the coverage. During the Olympics, females received 25.2 per cent of media coverage, where male coverage was at 40.2 per cent.

An example provided in Markula's book is about Chinese gold-medalist diver Guo Jingling, who was publicized for her appearance rather than her skill. The Chinese media described her as the "Beautiful Goddess of the Springboard," while also calling her "ordinary" and "shy" and fabricating a romantic involvement with a male diver.

Markula hopes the information provided in this book will bring attention to the fact that women typically get little sport coverage. She says the Olympics should be a time to celebrate the achievements of both men and women.

Explore further: Why plants in the office make us more productive

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Ballplayers use different tactics to repair images

Sep 26, 2008

As steroid-use scandals have threatened the reputations of Major League Baseball’s most prominent players during the past several years, those players have used a variety of strategies to repair their images, a new study ...

Recommended for you

Modern population boom traced to pre-industrial roots

2 hours ago

The foundation of the human population explosion, commonly attributed to a sudden surge in industrialization and public health during the 18th and 19th centuries, was actually laid as far back as 2,000 years ...

Researcher looks at the future of higher education

2 hours ago

Most forecasts about the future of higher education have focused on how the institutions themselves will be affected – including the possibility of less demand for classes on campus and fewer tenured faculty members as ...

Now we know why it's so hard to deceive children

3 hours ago

Daily interactions require bargaining, be it for food, money or even making plans. These situations inevitably lead to a conflict of interest as both parties seek to maximise their gains. To deal with them, ...

User comments : 0