Gender Norms In Sports

There are gender norms today that exist in athletics. One gender norm that shows in athletics is women sports are inferior to men sports. Women are not as physical as men. Women sports are more feminine and more sexualized than men. Their sports are not as popular. Unlike in male sports, they are more physical and more popular than women sports. In women sports, there is less competition. ESPN only shows women sports if it’s a big game or a championship game. Unlike for men, basically every game is televised.

The National Women’s Law Center explains Title IX as “the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal funding — including in their athletics program.” In today society in general equal rights and women’s rights are important and they are politically very hot topics. In sports, women rights have gradually increased over time because of Title IX.


ESPN seems to be more promoting the gender norms than the gender equality. ESPN does not show many games of women sports. According to Women’s Sport Foundation, in 2004 6.3 percent of TV airtime was dedicated to women sports. In 2009, it dropped to 1.6 percent of TV airtime. I have personally seen ESPN Sportscenter rather talk about superstition in sports and playoff beards and the food at stadiums. I personally do not see why ESPN does not take this time to report on women sports

When I do see ESPN report on women sports its only because it’s a championship game or playoff game. ESPN reinforces gender norms when they do talk about women sports by sexualizing them. I personally have seen ESPN report on cheerleaders shooting a calendar or for a magazine. I believe that ESPN should focus more on the sport than sexualizing women.