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The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of gender-biased or stereotypical coverage in the written and photographic newspaper reporting of interscholastic sports. Over a one-year timeframe, a total of 602 newspaper issues were randomly selected from Florida's 43 daily newspapers. These daily issues contained 1792 articles and 827 photographs that fit the criteria for inclusion. The results of the study were consistent with previous research on the media's stereotypical coverage of athletics. Both female and male athletics were over-represented in both written and photographic coverage of traditionally accepted "sex appropriate" sports. Male athletics were under-represented in both written and photographic coverage of "sex inappropriate" sports. Female athletics, when analyzing their participation in "sex inappropriate" sports, were under-represented in the photographic coverage but not in the written coverage. Overall, there existed hegemonic masculinity within the sports pages of the Florida pri nt media.
The media as an institution is a contributing force and a pervasive variable in the way in which a society comes to know and understand gender relations, gender role differentiation, socialization, attitude formation, and career development (Betterton, 1987; Buysse, 1992; Low & Sherrard, 1999). This is particularly true for an analysis of the media and their coverage of sportswomen (Boutilier & SanGiovanni, 1983). Numerous studies have examined both the quantity and content of the coverage allotted to sportswomen by the media. Most studies found the print and broadcast media under-represent, stereotype, or trivialize the women of sport. When coverage was provided sportswomen were portrayed in archaic notions of gender (i.e., feminine, objects of desire). An undue emphasis was also placed on female athletes who participated in sports that were traditionally viewed as acceptable or "sex-appropriate" sports (Blinde, Greendorfer & Sanker, 1991; Boutilier & SanGiovanni, 1983; Bryson, 1983; Daddario, 1997; Duncan, 1990; McKay & Rowe, 1987; Pirinen, 1997).
The media and sport are two of the most prominent and hegemonic social institutions in society today (Duncan & Brummett, 1993; Eitzen & Zinn, 1989; Sage, 1998). Gender bias is one of the most relevant hegemonic activities within sport and the media. Sport has been so dominated by males that athletics and masculinity have almost become synonymous (Kane, 1989). The media, through its coverage of men and women in sports, sanction the power and privilege given to men through hegemonic masculinity as it is found in sport (Daddario, 1994; Kane & Disch, 1993; Sage, 1998; Theberge, 1987). The manner in which the media portrays the views and behaviors of those associated with sport is an influence on the cultural values of their audiences. The resulting acceptance of those values leads to an acceptance, in whole or in part, as typical within American society. "The media thus help to integrate and homogenize American society" (Graber, 1997, p. 3). These actions by the media, the pervasive undervaluing of the contributi ons of sportswomen by the media's ignoring, marginalizing, and trivializing of female sports, support the ideological hegemony of masculine superiority (Kane & Greendorfer, 1994; Messner, 1988; Messner, Duncan & Wachs, 1996). Because nearly every institution, social process, group, or person is affected to some degree by the words and images that emanate from the print and broadcast media (Boutilier & SanGiovanni, 1983; Buysse, 1992; Creedon, 1994; Graber, 1997), scholars have proposed that the biased and unfair attention given to sportswomen works to hinder the advancement of females in sports at all levels, from grade school to professional sports (Bryant, 1980; Rintala & Birrell, 1984; Salwen & Wood, 1994).
Stereotypical Coverage of Sportswomen
The media often create and reflect traditionally defined roles for both men and women, which reinforces gender stereotyping. Stereotypical images of female athletes serve as another prevalent way in which the media marginalize female athletes. The media's biased coverage of sportswomen portrays them in traditional notions of gender by placing undue emphasis on the female athletes who participate in sports that have been traditionally viewed as acceptable sports or "sex-appropriate" sports (Matteo, 1986). The discriminatory coverage is based on the traditional classification of "sex-appropriate" and "sexinappropriate" sports for women. The classification of females into isex-appropriatei female individual sports and males into team sports or "sex-appropriate" male individual sports (McKay & Rowe, 1987) reinforces the notion of patriarchal relations and thus supports hegemonic masculinity.
Scholars have examined how sports involvement is considered either socially acceptable or unacceptable for sportswomen based on how each particular sport conforms to traditional images of appropriate feminine behavior (Duncan, 1990; Hilliard, 1984; Jones, Murrell & Jackson, 1999; Kane, 1988; Koivula, 1995; Matteo, 1986; Metheny, 1965; Rowe, 1998). Metheny (1965), in her sport typology, stated that a women's involvement in sport is socially sanctioned only when she participates in "feminine" or "sex appropriate" sports such as ice-skating, swimming, gymnastics, golf, and tennis (Daddario, 1997). Negative social sanctions are applied to female participation in more "masculine" or "sex-inappropriate" sports such as rugby. This sport typology is based on the notion that involvement in sex inappropriate" sports required that sportswomen challenge traditional beliefs about what is considered ladylike or appropriate behavior. An appropriate example would be basketball, which is a more physical, aggressive, or "masc uline" game than golf or tennis (Kane, 1988).
Matteo (1986) classified the sex typing of sports into three categories: male appropriate (sports such as basketball, football, soccer, and rugby), female appropriate (sports such as gymnastics, synchronized swimming, ballet, and figure skating), and neutral (sports such as golf, softball, volleyball, and tennis). This classification was made with the idea that traditionally female-appropriate sports, while working to discourage physicality, emphasize aesthetics and beauty. Traditionally male-appropriate sports, conversely, …