Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Caringella-MacDonald

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas VanValey

Third Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study examined whether or not professional football players, because of the violence and aggression associated with their sport, tended to have attitudes that condoned or were conducive to violence against women. The forty-six subjects in this study were active members on teams in the National Football League and/or the National Football League sponsored World League. Information was gathered through the sue of self-reporting, non-random, questionnaires and interviews.

The study also explored the dynamics of domestic violence, the linking of aggression with professional sports and the characteristics of sport in United States society, especially as it relates to masculinity and sexism. The findings of this study indicate that neither gender views, marital status, years of experience nor the presence of children had a significant impact on attitudes of violence toward women. Nonetheless, negative, sexist and otherwise disapproving attitudes on the part of football players toward women were found to exist. Recommendations to reduce these negative attitudes were discussed.