University Study Finds Women’s Sports Are Ignored on Television Sports News

cookyCheryl Cooky, an associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has co-authored a study with two colleagues from the University of Southern California on how mainstream media outlets ignore women’s sports.

Dr. Cooky says that “there are spaces within sports, participation for example, where girls and women have made tremendous strides in terms of social change, however, we see a disconnect between what is happening in our culture and what is reflected in mainstream news media.”

The study of news coverage over a 25-year period found that coverage of women’s sports has declined over this period of time and now constitutes 2 percent to 3 percent of television sports broadcast news coverage. When women’s sports are covered at all, the study found 81.6 percent of coverage is focused on basketball.

“With this research, we are trying to get women’s sports on the radar not only for fans, but for generations of girls and boys,” said Dr. Cooky. “Seeing women’s sports through the same lens as we see men’s would go a long way in shifting the cultural perceptions of gender roles and expectations.”

Dr. Cooky joined the faculty at Purdue University in 2009. Previously, she taught at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Cooky is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She holds a master’s degree from Miami University and a second master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Southern California.

The study, “It’s Dude Time!”: A Quarter Century of Excluding Women’s Sports in Televised News and Highlight Shows,” was published on the website of the journal Communication & Sport. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


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