Gender Representation in Sports Illustrated for Kids

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Virginia Tech


Sport media has been a known producer of traditional gender images that reflect inequality between sexes. Sport media has been studied endlessly, but one aspect that has not fostered as much attention is sport media, advertising, and children. Sports Illustrated for Kids is the only sport media print magazine for children, with a readership age of 8-15 years old. Images and gender stereotypes have been used continuously by advertising companies to sell products to consumers. Children in particular cannot accurately determine between content that is meant to inform and content that is meant to sell. This study examined whether editorial and advertising images in Sports Illustrated for Kids reflects actual participation rates of athletic activities based on gender in issues from the past decade. Utilizing past research, this study looked at overall numbers and stereotypes by examining factors such as state of dress, photo angle, and motion in photograph. Findings show that females are still under and misrepresented in SIK. Even so, findings of this study suggest representation of women in team neutral sport such as soccer and basketball is on the rise. Findings could have implications for SIK's young readership as well as highlight a need for more education about advertising and editorial practices being implemented.



Social cognitive theory, gender representation, Sports Illustrated for Kids, content analysis, quantitative methodology