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Gender inequality in sport
Transcript of Gender inequality in sport
Coverage of women's sports lags far behind men's and focuses on female athletes' femininity and sexuality over their achievements on the court and field. While female athleticism challenges gender norms, women athletes continue to be depicted in traditional roles that reaffirm their femininity - as wives and mothers or sex objects. In comparison, male athletes are framed according to heroic masculine ideals that honor courage, strength, and endurance.
Positive and negative aspects
All these factors have had a detrimental effect on female participation in sport due to a lack of motivation and gender perceptions and stereotypes. For example, evidence suggests that gender stereotypes contribute to young women dropping out of sport participation because women in sport are often seen as being unfeminine women (usually labelled as lesbian, regardless of their own sexual identity). Due to this, the rate of female participation in sport has drastically decreased which has worrying consequences for the future health and wellbeing of the female sex.
There are little to no positive aspects of gender inequality in sport, however some may argue, that gender inequality makes athletes work harder in order to gain the recognition that they deserve.
Today, coverage of female sport contributes to 9% of all sports coverage on Australian television, whilst men occupy up to 88% of all sports coverage. Gender inequality can be defined as the unequal treatment or perceptions of individual based on their gender. In sport, this includes, male sports being televised and promoted more than female sport, males receiving more sponsorship deals than women and males receiving more funding compared to that of women.
Gender inequality in sport has been a corroding issue faced in Australia today as gender inequality in sport seems to be a neglected issue. Women today, are paid less in sport, receive less funding and sponsorship deals, have less sporting coverage and have stigmas associated with their femininity when involved in competitive sport.
The main reasons for gender inequality in sport include:
* preconceived ideas that female sport is not as engaging and at the same standard of male sport- thus decreasing sports coverage and pay for females
* ideas that women who participating in sport are unfeminine
"Male athletes are portrayed by the popular media in terms of their physicality, muscularity, and superiority, while female athletes are feminized and their achievements as athletes are often trivialized. The issue of difference is highlighted by the fact that in media coverage, girls and women may be athletes, but they are female first. The physical attractiveness of these athletes is often emphasized over their athletic abilities." (Buysse 68)
Another example includes an article written by an unknown author with differing views on gender inequality that argues that women in endurance sports, don’t work as hard, aren’t as popular, don’t have any competition and aren’t as fast enough, big enough or strong enough and therefore don’t appeal to sponsors or get any media coverage.
Our society needs to respond to gender inequality in sport, in support of diversity. Women today work equally as hard as men and therefore should be treated the same as men. We can all contribute to gender equality in sport by supporting foundations such as the women’s sports foundation, by encouraging females to participate in sport and by challenging stereotypes faced in women sports.
In conclusion, gender inequality in sport is a large issue faced in Australia that has many negative implications, specifically the decline of female participation in sport. However, there are several things that each and every one of us can do to contribute to gender equality in sport.
By Amanda Bello 10D