Beyond Figure Skating and Hockey: How U.S. Audiences Gender Type Winter Olympic Sports

By Jennifer D. Greer and Amy H. Jones.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Few studies have examined gender typing of winter sports beyond hockey (typed as masculine) and figure skating (typed as feminine). This study helps fill that gap by examining audience attitudes toward 12 Winter Olympic sports, including newer extreme sports. A nationwide survey of 718 U.S. television viewers conducted after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games revealed that while hockey and figure skating represent the extremes in gender-typed sports, audiences distinctly type all sports. Further, male and female audiences type some sports differently. Viewing time was significantly related to gender typing across all sports. Watching men compete in a sport was linked to viewers rating the sport as more masculine, while watching women compete was linked to feminine gender typing. Mediated sports coverage, therefore, may include gendered markers that influence attitudes.

Keywords: Audience Attitudes, Gender, Sports, Media Coverage, Social Learning Theory

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.129-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 326.570KB).

Dr. Jennifer D. Greer

Department Chair, Journalism, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

Dr. Greer is a Professor of Journalism and Interim Dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama, USA. Before joining Alabama’s faculty in 2007, Greer was an Associate Professor of Journalism and Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Florida, a Master of Arts at the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Missouri. She has worked as a newspaper reporter for The Kansas City Star and other publications and was the managing editor of the first online edition of The Gainesville Sun (Fla.). Her research focuses on media effects and audience attitudes. Her recent work has focused on media credibility and emerging delivery forms as well as gender and sport. She is on the editorial boards of Mass Communication & Society; Journalism & Mass Communication Monographs, and Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

Amy H. Jones

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Speech, Department of Languages and Literature, University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama, USA

Amy Head Jones is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Speech in the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of West Alabama, Livingston, USA. Jones received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of New Orleans (UNO) in 2004. During this time, Jones gained experience in the media and sport industries while working in public relations for the New Orleans Superdome and New Orleans Arena. This experience led her to pursue additional graduate education in these areas. She received her Master of Science degree in Sport Administration from the University of Louisville in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Alabama in May 2011. Jones is in her sixth year at the University of West Alabama, where she is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Speech. Her research interests include the media’s portrayal of gender diversity in sport, and audience perceptions of diverse mediated messages.