Boys to Men: Sports Media Messages About Masculinity, 1999

Sep 01, 1999

Download file: boys_to_men_sports_1999.pdf

Sports programming plays a significant role in the media messages that American boys receive today. According to a recent study conducted by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, 98% of U.S. boys ages 8 to 17 consume some form of sports-related media, 82% do so at least a couple of times a week, and 90% watch televised sports.

While a full range of American boys watch sports, the effects of their media consumption may differ depending on who they are and what messages are being sent. Do boys of color receive the same messages from these programs that White boys do? Do girls receive the same messages that boys do? What roles do men and women play in the games, on the sidelines or during the commercial breaks? Who are the coaches, the commentators, and the voices of authority on these sports shows? How are violence and aggression presented in sports programming? Above all, how does sports programming affect a boy’s sense of self and his potential?

By looking at the quality of a representative selection of sports programs and their accompanying commercials, Children Now begins to explore the many messages that sports programming—athletes, games, broadcast networks, commentators, promoters, commercials—presents to its audience.

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