Guest columnists Carrie Baker, Emma Seymour and Andy Zimbalist: The media’s role in diminishing girls’s sports

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Title IX of the Civil Rights Act spurred a revolution in the participation of women in interscholastic and intercollegiate sports activities within the United States.
In 1972, while Title IX became law, the best seven percentage of high school athletes have been women; closing year 43 percentage of excessive college athletes were women. In 1972, on the university level, 15 percent of athletes were ladies, final yr that proportion became 44 percent.
Participation in aggressive sport yields many essential advantages to lady student-athletes: it allows to hold more healthy and stronger bodies, it teaches teamwork and management talents, it helps time management, it builds tenacity, and it reduces the probabilities for addictive conduct, undesirable being pregnant, smoking and melancholy.
The revolution is incomplete. We are reminded of this every day. As we write, the country is inside the grips of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball match.
On the men’s side of the tournament, whenever a group wins a game, it is worth over $1 — five million to the team’s convention, courtesy of the NCAA reward device. On the girls’ aspect, each win is well worth exactly, not anything. Thousands of human beings attend the women’s match video games, millions watch their games on television and corporations spend tens of millions of greenbacks on marketing.
How does the NCAA realize that the girls’ games have no cost?
Last month, the ladies at the U.S. Country extensive football team sued the United States Soccer Federation beneath the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Despite having won four Olympic gold medals and three World Cups, and being the No. 1-ranked ladies’ group inside the global, the ladies are paid at a rate just over one-1/3 of what the guys are paid.
The men’s team has received no gold medals and no World Cups. Not best are they paid at a rate almost three times better than the girls; the guys travel on jet charters most of the time even as the women journey on industrial aircraft, the guys live in nicer resorts, get larger in line with diems and play on grass fields. The girls are regularly pressured to play on artificial turf fields, which sell a faster-paced game that is a whole lot greater dangerous and conducive to damage.
One of the essential motives of why women are nonetheless overlooked and economically exploited in sport is the media. Whether on television, radio, or the print media, girls’ sports activities are mostly unnoticed. Various studies attest to this fact. According to one survey of sports tv insurance in southern California, women account for over forty percent of athletes, yet they get hold of much less than four percent of the coverage on information indicates.
Despite being one of the most progressive groups in the usa, our local personal paper in Northampton, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, tilts coverage to choose guys over ladies’ sports activities. We surveyed the gender coverage of the sports section within the Gazette from Feb. 19 through March 2. Here’s what we determined. There have been: 93 stories on men’s sports and 32 on ladies; fifty-seven pictures of male sports, 15 of women; 95 the first web page paragraphs on men, 29 on women; and, 42 front web page testimonies on men, 16 on girls.
We were in particular disheartened at how little attention the Smith College women’s basketball team obtained. The Smith group came in 2nd vicinity out of 11 groups in its NEWMAC conference with 22 wins towards seven losses, completing simply one sport out of first. Smith then competed for each within the NEWMAC playoffs and in the countrywide Division III NCAA event.
Smith received its first game towards the Merchant Marine Academy within the countrywide match. It then took on the second one ranked team inside the united states and maintained a lead into the fourth zone before dropping a close sport. The Smith crew’s roster covered Lauren Bondi, selected as a national All-Academic and All-American athlete. Bondi, in conjunction with Kennedy Guest-Pritchett, everyone scored over 1,000 factors in their Smith careers.
How could anyone out of doors the Smith community understand approximately this thrilling team and its accomplishments? During our sample period, which encompassed the quit of the everyday season, the NEWMAC playoffs and the countrywide event, the Gazette ran precisely one brief, 3-sentence information item about the crew, that specialize in Smith’s victory over the Merchant Marine Academy.
That become it; just one returned web page information item, three sentences, no headlines, no container score, no snap shots.
In striking comparison, at some point of this identical period, the Gazette assiduously blanketed the UMass guys’ basketball group, as though they were a top 10-ranked group nationally — when in fact they’d be a horrible season. Front web page memories and big pics ran earlier than and after almost every UMass sport. The Minutemen had eleven wins in opposition to 21 losses and completed 12th out of 14 faculties of their convention.

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