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New University of Delaware research finds differences between commentating on male, female athletes

In a new study by the University of Delaware, researchers examined past television coverage of the Olympic Games and noticed that sports commentators talk about male and female athletes differently.

Most notably, they found that after studying NBC’s remarks during prior Olympics, most of the commentators made “sexist” remarks. For instance, when female athletes did well, commentators discussed their luck as opposed to their physical ability. Additionally, when female athletes did poorly, commentators focused on their physical capabilities and lack of dedication.

In contrast, when male athletes performed well, commentators commended their skill and dedication to their sport. When male athletes failed, commentators noted that their defeat was not because of their deficiency, but because their competitor thrived.

Sexist comments like these often deter women from playing their sport and reaching their potential. During the Title IX 40th anniversary year, help the Women’s Sports Foundation expand opportunities for girls to participate and reach their full potential. In the past 40 years there have been significant improvements in the equality women in sports, but we are not done. Together, with your support we can keep more girls in the game.