Sports and Gender Discrimination Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3548 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The reasons for the gender testing are applicable but it is suggested to complete the procedure of the athletes before they enter the competition in order to minimize the burden and unfair publicity.

Cultural And Social Assessment

Feminist theory states that women will be given equal rights in sports and media however this equality doesn't exist and there exist a problem for women's full exposure in media. Masculine homogeny also fails to be maintained through media and sports.

According to Gramsci's (1971) concept of hegemony was examined with social classes. Hegemonic masculinity supports hierarchical male dominance which places women below men. Sports is considered as a primary force that cultivates hegemonic muscularity in the western societies along with negative ideals and differences of women who do not adhere to the conventional definition of feminism within sports (Kian, Mondello, and Vincent, 2009). Collins (1990) developed Gramisci's theory and argued about the dominant groups that control social institutions like schools, media or conventional culture and produce images that are prevailed to stereotypes about marginalized groups. Therefore, after bunch of studies conducted, it is confirmed that sports' media generally expose gender difference and favors men over women. It focuses on the masculine domain in sports (e.g Kian and Clavio, 2011; Hardin et al., 2005; Vincent and Crossman, 2008; Daddario and Wigley, 2007; Cooky et al., 2010).

Moving towards the 20th century, sports became a contested base for working class women and men of all colors and races offering with equal rights of participation (Dworkin and Messner, 2002). This positive approach towards gender equality caused improved legislations and thus increased the rate of women participation this field (Furman, 2007). Ignoring these dominant improvements, media still framed sports as a male dominant area and covered sporting events of men only. (Hardin and Shain, 2005). And for instance, if the media covers female athletes, it still portrays female as a sex object rather than exposing their performance. And also constantly makes unfair comparisons with men (Messner et al., 2003).

Femininity has been a socially formulated standard for women's outlook, attraction and values which is bounded with many historical contexts and varies with time (Krane et al. 2004). For the women as well as girls who actively participate in sports, the masculine sports culture has conflict with western standards of femininity (Mosewich et al., 2009). Thus, female athletes stay confuse between two cultures, i.e. The sports culture and the social norms which eventually influence many aspects of their lives including body image, self-esteem and self-presentation (Krane et al. 2004). With the help of this process, feminist sports guides advice that sport is a field which reproduces and cultivates gender-based forms of social inequality (Cooky et al. 2012).

As we make an approach towards gender equality for women in sports and media, it is also important to make notice about testing policies for women. Gender testing is one of the procedures which leads to inequality in sports and reaffirms the belief of categorical discrimination and weaknesses in women over men (Dworkin and Cooky, 2012). Karkazis et al., (2012) made an argument on the basis of within-sex variations between men and women. Moreover, the high level athletes which go through this procedure of gender-testing face humiliating scrutiny by media, which causes inequality for the high level professional athletes.

It's a fact that there are efforts being made in order to get rid of gender inequality but there still remain some problematic areas which hinder the full involvement of women. There has been social and cultural change in the recent years exclusively for women but still hegemonic masculinity largely dominates through the media. It is the social responsibility of public health authorities to address this area and minimize the social conceptions of female inadequacy.

News Story Analysis and Personal Reflections

The cultural artifact highlights media coverage of women athletes which is still scarce in the extreme and difficult area for women to get full involved. Artifact remains limited because of the restricted coverage by media on women's athletes and more focused on their feminism rather than their abilities. This is one of the other disadvantages for women in this field of sports and within media. Just like Soundarajan who was supposed to celebrate her silver medal and go ahead with her career as a female athlete instead got scrutinize by the media on her performance after failing the gender test. This humiliation also badly traumatized this athlete and she made a suicide attempt (India Times, 2007.)

I found this humiliating act by media very much offensive and I am strictly against it. Reporters are unaware of the major negative influence and trauma occurred to the athlete and the discrimination showcased by media is also consistent in female sports broadcasting. Although there has been gender equality and improved rights for women in the recent years, still media discriminates between men and women as concluded though researches.

This assessment clearly points out that there is a need of a wider lens to evaluate the gender discrimination which exists in present day. Despite of all the improvements, there are several areas which need development and improvements in order to totally eradicate the discrimination and bring more women to participate in sports while provided with equal rights and benefits.

References

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Balaguer, I., Atienza, F.L., & Duda, J.L. (2012). Self-perceptions, self-worth and sport participation in adolescents. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15(2), 624.

Ballantyne, K.N., Kayser, M., & Grootegoed, J.A. (2012). Sex and gender issues in competitive sports: Investigation of a historical case leads to a new viewpoint. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(8), 614-617.

Bishop, R. (2003). Missing in action: Feature coverage of women's sports in Sports Illustrated. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 27, 184 -- 194.

Boyle, L. (2005). Flexing the tensions of female muscularity: How female bodybuilders negotiate normative femininity in competitive bodybuilding. Women's Studies Quarterly, 33, 134 -- 149.

Buysse, J.A.M., & Embser-Herbert, M.S. (2004). Constructions of gender in sport: An analysis of intercollegiate media guide cover photographs. Gender & Society,18(1), 66-81.

Collins, P.H. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.

Cooky, C., Dycus, R., & Dworkin, S.L. (2012). What makes a woman?" versus "our first lady of sport": A comparative analysis of the United States and the south African media coverage of Caster Semenya. Journal of Sport & Social Issues

Cooky, C., Wachs, F.L., Messner, M.A., & Dworkin, S.L. (2010). It's not about the game: Don Imus, race, class, gender and sexuality in contemporary media. Sociology of Sport Journal, 27, 139-159.

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Dworkin, S.L., & Cooky, C. (2012). Sport, sex segregation, and sex testing: Critical reflections on this unjust marriage. The American Journal of Bioethics: AJOB, 12(7), 21.

Dworkin, S.L., & Messner, M.A. (2002, ). Gender relations in sport. Sociological Perspectives, pp. 347-352.

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Furman, B.J. (2007). Gender equality in high school sports: Why there is a contact sports exemption to title IX, eliminating it, and a proposal for the future. Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal, 17(4), 1169.

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Grabe, S., Ward, L.M., & Hyde, J.S. (2008). The role of the media in body image concerns among women: A meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 460 --… [END OF PREVIEW]

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