“Elevator Eyes” in Sports Broadcasting: Visual Objectification of Male and Female Sports Reporters

R. Glenn Cummins, Monica Ortiz, Andrea Rankine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite considerable research exploring female objectification in sports, researchers have not explored differences in how they are actually watched by audiences in terms of distribution of visual attention. Such differences can provide objective evidence of objectification by demonstrating a gender bias in terms of visual attention to female reporters’ bodies. This experiment (N = 66) employs eye tracking to measure how much attention viewers allocated to male and female reporters’ bodies versus their faces, as well as differences in perceived credibility as a function of reporter gender. Results revealed a greater ratio of time on female reporters’ bodies to their faces relative to male reporters. This effect was most evident among viewers with reduced interest in sports. Furthermore, visual attention to reporters’ bodies—a passive measure of objectification—was largely unrelated to perceived credibility. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to female objectification in sports and how this might inform program production personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-810
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication and Sport
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • attention
  • credibility
  • eye tracking
  • gender
  • objectification
  • sports broadcasting

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