Language in Olympics Degrading to Women?

kim kardashian

As the female athletes continue to fight to close the wage gap, some new research may be able to help them prove their point. CNN  is reporting that the way men and women are referred to in sports was examined in a detailed study done by the UK’s Cambridge University Press. The research provided some interesting data.

160 million words were reviewed in decades worth of news articles, scholarly writings, and magazine articles. The data found by researchers showed that men are 3x more likely to be mentioned in a sports-related article than women. Marital status, age, and looks of female athletes were also found more frequently than that of male athletes in this study. Sarah Grieves, a researcher on the project, sat down with CNN to explain the study in a little more detail.

“The research is merely descriptive— and does not aim to provide answers to larger questions— but it does bring to the fore things people maybe aren’t consciously aware of when they’re speaking about different sports. “

Research like this will prove to be useful to female athletes in the future. Many female Olympians and other female professional athletes are noticing the huge disparities between the pay they get for the same quality of work. Many of these women are trying to close the wage gap between them and their male counterparts today. One notable example of this is the US Women’s soccer team. These athletes are unsatisfied with their pay and are also very unhappy about the quality of their practice facilities. Hope Solo has been very vocal about this on her twitter account.

While an agreement has been made by the women to continue to perform, there are many who still debate the differences and whether or not the women’s team generates as much money as the men’s team or has the potential. While this disparity exists in the soccer world, there are sports in which women have either equaled or  outperformed and generate more than their male counterparts in every way and still struggle with wage disparities like figure skating and tennis.

This research is simply the tip of the iceberg and more needs to be completed to fully examine how the sporting world can make their female colleagues more comfortable. Changing the language used while describing them is a great start. As more sporting organizations and more professional athletes analyze their pay, their supporters, and their performances, one can only hope that all athletes are paid what they deserve in the future.

 

About Dana Matthews

Naturally curious and an advocate of social change. Lifelong theater goer. Lover of good books, good food, and good friends.

Have a tip we should know? tips@rhd.news

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