Sexualization in Sport: Analyzing the Female Collegiate Athlete

Sexualization in Sport: Analyzing the Female Collegiate Athlete



Kara Joyce Shunnarah


Presentation: 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., St. Joseph's Hall 025



Sport has historically been a male dominated area. Since the passage of Title XI in 1972, the opportunity for females to participate in sport has expanded. However, despite efforts towards inclusion within the sporting context, stereotypes and social expectations have remained present for female athletes. The present research study analyzes the experiences of collegiate female athletes with specific focus on female athlete sexualization through media representation and uniform dress. The study exhibits how sexualization in sport can affect the female athlete's athletic performance and perception of media coverage. Focus groups were conducted with female athletes at the University of Dayton. Qualitative results explore how female athletes balance the identity of being both a female and an athlete. Findings provide a deeper insight into the realities of a collegiate level female athlete, revealing both the changing and the stagnant socially constructed experiences within sport.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Capstone Project

Primary Advisor

Anya M. Galli Robertson, Leslie H. Picca

Primary Advisor's Department

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Gender Equality

Sexualization in Sport: Analyzing the Female Collegiate Athlete