Penn State Researcher Finds Lack of Coverage for Women's Sports

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STATE COLLEGE, PA

Some newspapers aren't giving adequate coverage to women's sports in part because editors believe women are less athletic and less interested in sports than men, a Penn State University researcher says.

In a survey of 285 newspapers, nearly 25 percent of editors agreed with the statement, "Women are naturally less athletic than are men," according to a study by Penn State journalism professor Dr. Marie Hardin.

Roughly half of the editors said that Title IX has hurt men's sports. The 1972 law, best known for promoting women's athletics, bars sex discrimination in any educational program receiving federal funds.

The views may influence coverage at a time when there is growing participation and interest in women's sports, Hardin says.

"Sports sections that fail to keep pace with progress for women in sports cannot expect to gain readers, and they may well lose readers who turn elsewhere for more equitable coverage," Hardin wrote.

The findings come from a study published in the spring issue of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. …