This research study was designed to empirically examine whether children perceived the proposed Atlanta Committee on the Olympic Games pictograms in gendered or "universal interpretations of human" terms.
In July 1994, the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games (ACOG) introduced the official pictograms for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. These black-on-white silhouettes of 31 athletic events were said to represent both women and men performers. The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) received numerous calls expressing concern that the pictograms did not represent both genders, and further, portrayed virtually all male figures. An informal survey of 28 former women Olympians and 28 other national caliber athletes was done and 98% (N=56) felt the pictures were mostly men/ The WSF shared these concerns with ACOG and several artistic revisions were subsequently made in order to ensure that the final pictograms would be “viewed as universal interpretations of the human form.”