Today, TV channels provide man’s sport shows more than women’s sport shows, why? Should TV channels give equal time for women’s sport and men’s sport?
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Essay Type: 2 Part Question – Topic: GENDER
Keywords & Paraphrasing:
men’s sports & women’s sports = male & female sports
organised sports/ athletic activities/ competitive & non-competitive sports
deeply entrenched gender stereotypes / gender disparities / gender inequality/
male dominated (predominantly male) / largely male world of sports
women’s under-representation in sports / A lack of female representation (participation) in sports/
inherent gender differences
sports spectators/ the audience for/ the viewership/
fewer well-organised sports leagues for women/
close the gender gap /gender bias
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It is true that these days, there are far fewer TV programmes dedicated to women’s sports than to men’s. In my view, gender stereotypes are the primary reason for this and broadcasting companies should take initiatives to address gender bias in this area by airing TV shows in equal time for both men and women sport performances.
The underlying reason for the inadequate media coverage of women’s athletics on TV possibly lies in entrenched gender stereotypes. Obviously, contents and airtime of sports shows are largely determined by their target audience who are widely believed to be men. This field has consistently been a predominantly male world as women are commonly seen as less competitive and physically sturdy, and therefore less capable than men in sports, especially in directly competitive games such as football and basketball which are widely preferred by thrill-seeking viewers. Recent studies have shown that participation rate of men in organised athletic activities is significantly higher than that of women and male spectators also make up the majority of televised sports’ viewership. This is mainly because most women are probably too busy with the role of a caregiver to take part in any sports or watch them on TV.
I therefore advocate broadcasting male and female sports in equal airtime because this would help tackle ingrained gender biases and at the same time benefit television service providers. Firstly, increased coverage of female sports on TV will encourage more women and girls to participate in the field as they are likely to be empowered by outstanding role models consistently shown on the small screen. As a result, detrimental stereotypes of women’s sports capabilities could be eradicated when female representation in athletics has improved substantially. Most importantly, this can help raise men’s awareness of gender equality in sports when they have been frequently exposed to images of enthusiastic professional sportswomen on TV. They might even come to support women around them in getting involved in athletic activities. Finally, when both genders display growing interest in female sports, ratings of these programs would eventually surge, leading to enhanced reputation of the broadcasting firms.
In conclusion, the lack of women sports programs on TV appears to be linked to the widely-accepted belief that sport is for men. I strongly agree that TV stations should allocate the same amount of airtime to male and female sports shows in an effort to close the gender gap on screen.
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