Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Miriam Coleman

Second Advisor

Kelley O'Reilly


Throughout history, women have often been referred to as the “weaker sex”. This stereotype continues today, especially in the realm of sports, as women athletes are often undermined for their ability, talent, and success. The media continues to diminish women’s athletic accomplishments while focusing more on their looks, marital status, and traditional sexual stereotyping in stark contrast with media coverage of male athletes which focuses on male skills, performance, and athletic ability.

Male and female athletes are treated differently due to long-held sexual stereotyping and gender bias. This bias is reflected in the media’s continual undermining of female athletic ability, discrediting their success and accomplishments coupled with long-term sexual stereotyping. These actions result in negative perceptions and leave many female athletes sometime confused and often discouraged.

This paper examines the history of gender bias in women’s sports through print media, sports coverage, and the continuous female stereotyping.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted