Date of Publication

Spring 2012

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Emily Dane-Staples


American society has created separate and unequal gender roles for men and women. It logically follows that male and female athletes also receive unequal treatment. This inequity has been shown in the quantity of media coverage each receives as well as the consumption patterns of the general public. Using a survey method, this study sought to uncover responses of consumers when presented with four different types of images of athletes. Results indicated that for image conditions of athletic competence and sexy, male and female respondents showed distinct behavioral differences. Adjective descriptors of athlete images also revealed significant insights into how the general public attends to variations in athlete portrayal. These findings matter because they have direct implications for those who manage, market, and promote women's sports.