University of Minnesota

Archived Research

Playing Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete. "Playing Unfair" is the first video to critically examine the post-Title IX media landscape in terms of the representation of female athletes. Sports media scholars Mary Jo Kane (University of Minnesota), Pat Griffin (University of Massachusetts), and Michael Messner (University of Southern California) look at the persistence of heterosexism and homophobia in perpetuating gender stereotypes. They argue for new media images which fairly and accurately depict the strength and competence of female athletes. Using numerous media examples, "Playing Unfair" is sure to stimulate debate among women and men, athletes and non-athletes about the meaning of these images in world transformed by the presence of women in sport. [more information]

"Throw Like a Girl: A Revolution in Women's Sports" Videotape and Curriculum Guide. Thanks to generous funding and support from KARE 11 TV (NBC), the Medtronic Foundation, the Janet B. Watson Fund of the Minnesota Women's Foundation, and the Minnesota Lynx we distributed a videotape and curriculum guide package to every public middle school and public high school in Minnesota free of charge. [more information]

Image Is Everything: Equitable Treatment for Females. In the fall of 2002, we continued to expand the "Image Is Everything" project to schools in out-state Minnesota. Thanks to the generous support of the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Minnesota Women's Foundation, and the Nike Corporation, we were able to reach girls in 12 additional high schools for the next two years.

Tennis Plus. In the summer of 2001, we teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club of Minneapolis and the Joy of Sports Foundation (Washington, DC) to apply for funding to bring an exciting tennis/life skills program to adolescent females. The program, "Tennis Plus," was developed by the Joy of Sports Foundation to help children develop important life skills such as cooperation and imagination, while learning basic tennis strokes. Our goal was to provide girls with an enjoyable sport experience that helped them gain basic skills and enable them to see sports as a fun and valuable part of life. [online report]

CTS Research Project. In April, 1999, the Tucker Center completed a research project funded by the Center for Transportation Studies that investigated whether gender and participation in athletics are related to differences in driver accident involvement. The preliminary results of the study do not support the stereotype that males and females differ with respect to driving and braking performance. Results indicated that the higher performance of female athletes compared to non-athletes was wider than that for male athletes and non-athletes. [online report]

President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport Report. The report "Physical Activity & Sport in the Lives of Girls: Physical & Mental Health Dimensions from an Interdisciplinary Approach" was released on March 28, 1997. The report compiles research information from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and physiology. Emphasizing the importance of sport for growing girls, the report cites several studies demonstrating that girls' participation in sport enhances body image and self-esteem, increases confidence and scholastic performance, decreases school drop-out rates, and reduces the risk of many physiological and psychological conditions, such as obesity, osteoporosis, and depression. The report identifies barriers to girls' successful sport involvement including gender stereotyping and institutional barriers (e.g., lack of funding), as well as provides recommendations on how to improve girls' participation rates in athletics. APA 5th ed citation format: President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. (1997, May). Physical activity and sport in the lives of girls: Physical and mental health dimensions from an interdisciplinary approach. Washington, DC: Author.  [online report]