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.
- eye tracking
- sports broadcasting