Comparison Essay: Female Versus Male Athletes

1143 words - 5 pages

Why do female athletes receive less media coverage than male athletes? Male athletes dominate professional sport that airs on television. The media easily overlooks female athletes except during occasion like the Winter Olympics. The articles Media Coverage of Women’s Sports is Important (Lopiano, 2008) and Take Back the Sports Page? (Sommers, 2010) acknowledge factors that determine the amount of media coverage female athletes receive. [Lopiano and Sommers address this issue in regards to media coverage on female athletes differently. Lopiano focuses on the general message the media broadcasts and Sommers uses statistics to show the difference between female and male media. Lopiano and Sommers agree that the media considers female sports less valid. Both focus on different aspects such as problem and solutions and the different consequences of unequal media coverage]. The authors discover similar as well as different factors that contribute to the inequality media coverage of both female and male athletes obtain.

Lopiano and Sommers agree that the amount of media coverage female athletes receive compared to male athletes indicates that female athletes are less valid. Lopiano and Sommers both point out that the media tends to highlight female athletes in action only during major events. Fortunately, for the male athletes, the tendency is different because no matter what time of the year it is, male events are always airing on the television. The media only decides to highlight events such as the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s basketball Final Four, Olympics, and World Cup soccer. Since the Olympic games and World Cup occurs every four years, the Final Four also known as the semi-final round are the rare events that gain the media’s attention every year (Lopiano, 2008). Lopiano (2008) mentions “televised WNBA games are played during a shortened summer season by players making 10-20 times less than their male counterparts”. When female athletes receive media coverage, it does not measure up to the amount male athletes receive. Sommers (2010) mentions “in the year 2009, the NBA receives 92.3 percent of the total attendance for pro basketball, while the WNBA got only 7.7 percent total attendance”. Sommers similarly agrees that female athletes are overlooked because the media do not consider female sports as equally valid as male. Lopiano and Sommers determine that female athletes do earn less than male athletes as well as receive fewer spectators. These issues cause the disparity between female and male athletes because the media do not air female sports as much as male sports.

In addition, Lopiano and Sommers focus differently on aspects of the problem on of how to involve female athletes more in the media. Lopiano (2008) focuses more on the problem. Lopiano states, “ the media shapes the public’s perception of the accomplishments of women playing sports and whether women in general can be strong, confident, and highly...

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