Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

A Content Analysis of Micro Aggressions in News Stories about Female Athletes Participating in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics


Allen K and Frisby CM

According to research on the use of micro aggressions on female athletes in the United States, women are expected to fit a traditional feminine mold even when participating in physical competition. The purpose of this study is to determine how often and in what context micro aggressions were used in reporting on female Olympic athletes during the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Data obtained in the analysis show that, currently, many instances of sexism, racism, second class citizenship and restrictive gender roles are present in coverage of these elite female athletes. Micro aggressions were found in articles covering masculine and feminine sports, black and white athletes and features stories outside of results from the Games. Implications as well as future research directions are discussed.


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