Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sex and Sports

Two recent news stories point to the ways sexualized images influence coverage of men's and women's sports. The first: coverage of a female high school pole vaulter who has been the object of unwanted attention since a picture of her has made the rounds on the Internet. In a Sunday column, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell discusses the Post's decision to identify the girl after several readers complained.
AJC ombudsman Angela Tuck's Saturday column addressed a column the paper ran in which it asked a woman who had run a prostitution ring out of her home to rate the "Top Five Sexiest Athletes." Readers had (rightly)complained to the newspaper about its editorial choices.
Images of sex and sports have always been closely aligned -- often in ways that denigrate women. As athletes in the spotlight get younger and younger, the issues involved in the sexualization of sports will increasingly become more complex.

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