Date of Award
This thesis examines whether alternative conceptualizations of sexism impact attitudes towards women in professional sports. Specifically, this thesis focuses on the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT), who sued their governing body in 2018 on the bases of unequal treatment and pay. The choice to focus on this particular team is because these women generate more revenue and outperform the United States Men’s National Soccer Team; two factors that are normally used to justify why female athletes should not be paid equally. To measure sexist attitudes, a survey of 74 questions was administered through Lucid and served as the primary data source for this thesis. 808 respondents ages 18 and up answered questions about their demographics, partisanship, and political participation to gather background information and classify the responses by these factors. Additionally, questions to measure respondents’ attitudes among four sexism scales (hostile, benevolent, external and internal motivation to respond), as well as several questions related to gender equality, athletes making political statements, and the possibility of a White House boycott by the United States Women’s National Soccer Team were included. The results of this survey found that hostile sexism is the most consistent in terms of influencing attitudes about the USWNT. Benevolent sexism attitudes are important, yet display a different pattern than hostile sexism attitudes. External motivation to respond without sexism attitudes were generally not significant in the analysis, and internal motivation to respond without sexism attitudes were positive towards the USWNT. Ultimately, this thesis has determined that three out of these four types of sexist attitudes were influential toward women in professional sports, specifically the USWNT.
Wigod, Kate, ""You Play Like A Girl": How Alternative Conceptualizations Of Sexism Impact Attitudes Toward Women In Professional Sports" (2020). Honors Theses. 1357.
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