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Transcript of Sport Sexploitation
An illusory image is the fifth report in a longitudinal study of women’s sports coverage. The others were conducted every four years in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992.
An illusory image looked at the media over two-week period in 1996 from Monday 24 June to Sunday 7 July.
An illusory image surveyed 23 metropolitan and regional newspapers including dailies and weekend editions, two sports-specific magazines, all national television broadcasters and two Sydney-based radio stations.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that in 1995–96, 44.6 per cent of players in organised sport were women.
Television coverage of women’s sport in 1996 was 2 per cent. Commercial network television coverage of women’s sport was 0.2 per cent. Non-commercial coverage was 20 per cent.
In 1980, newspaper coverage of women’s sports was 2 per cent. In 1992 it was 4.5 per cent. It doubled from 1992 to 1996 to come in at 10.7 per cent and from 1980 to 1996 this represents a 500 per cent increase in women’s sports coverage. However, with men’s sport registering 79.1 per cent in 1996, this still means six times more newspaper space is devoted to men’s sport than to women’s sport.
Radio coverage of women’s sport was also surveyed for the first time and showed a figure of 1.4 per cent of total sports air time. Commercial coverage registered at 0.4 per cent, while non-commercial coverage registered at 3.4 per cent.
In 1996, sports magazines were surveyed for the first time. Women’s sport registered 6.8 per cent of sports coverage. Sexploitation
Sexploitation is a term used to describe
any form of marketing or attempt
to gain media attention that focuses
on the sexual attributes and physical
attractiveness of athletes.
Although sexploitation can affect
both male and female athletes, it is
more often seen in the marketing of
female athletes. Both sexploitation and
a need for sponsorship are not limited
to female athletes.
However, the issue
is less contentious for men’s sport as
it has far greater media coverage and
sponsorship, and society in general still
views sportsmen in a different light from
sportswomen. How is it done? One method of sexploitation is to use body-hugging and revealing sports uniforms. However, many sports require closely-fitted uniforms. For example, in athletics, tracks and field athletes of both sexes wear
body-hugging outfits of lightweight material. Revealing uniforms are not the only method used to sexualise women in sport, and sexploitation is not simply a matter of skimpy uniforms on female bodies.
It is also the inappropriate portrayal of athletes on and off the sports eld.Photographs of athletes posing in swimwear are common
in many ‘sports’ magazines. For example, Inside Sport and Sports illustrated feature a female model in swimwear on the cover of each issue.
These cover models are usually not athletes and are simply used to promote the magazine and increase sales to its predominantly male readers. The covers of such magazines re ect the driving force behind sexploitation. Okay, so hows that a barrier? Bibliography Evidence of its Existence One major Structural barrier keeping women from participating in triathlons is the economic cost. Triathlons are a costly sport. The athlete is required to pay for membership fee, pool fee (for annual training), a good bicycle, togs, goggles, helmet, runners. In order to for female athletes to afford this, is by getting sponsorships from various different businesses. Young girls in school undergo so much pressure and insecurity, as they feel like they have to look pretty and fit in with peers. They are very consious of their bodies and weight. Participating in a triathlon could be very humiliating and embarrasing for many school girls.
One possible solution to help girls overcome their insecurity could be to invite someone like Layne Beachley to come support schools in an all girls triathlon event. By gaining access to such role models, young girls will really listen and want to participate. The event would be advertised as a fun TRY-athlon. Young girls in a schooling community are often very social, and therefore would feel more confident and comfortable participating with friends. Therefore, it could possibly even be a team event. Girls could complete the triathlon in teams. This would create a more fun, friendly and less intmidating environment. Also, girls will feel less paranoid about the way they look, as no boys would be invited to view or be involved. Another way to decrease girls negative self esteem and increase participation in triathlons could be to have Layne Beachley (or another role model) wear and promote a fairly modest and practical swimsuit during the event. Hopefully young girls will follow their lead and wear more practical swimwear, as there are no guys in the event to impress. Then young girls who are self conscious about their body image will feel more comfortable to participate, as they are not the only ones without a skimpy bikini. http://www.oup.com.au/titles/secondary/health__and__physical_education/physical_education/queensland/9780195573862/10_RUS_QSPE_3pp.pdf