University of Minnesota

Conference Presenters

Females in Positions of Power in Sport Presentations

She Leads! (Dynamics Around the Low Levels of Women Engagement in Sport Leadership Zambia)
Matilda C. Lucas & Lombe A. Mwambwa, National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR in Zambia)

  • Influence and voice of women in sport is limited due to their low representation and participation in decision making structures. Examining the dynamics around the low levels of women's engagement in sport leadership is of interest as it helps us understand and develop interventions to address this in view of gender equality and women's participation agenda. The survey was quantitative and qualitative, examining the levels of participation in governance structures of sport in Zambia. The data was collected through interviews and demonstrates the low levels that do not guarantee influence or representations due to minority and weakness of voice. The presentation discusses the findings; limited participation of women in the governance of sport in Zambia. It seeks to highlight and recommend steps to overcome the cultural and bureaucratic factors that interact to present a systemic environment that limits women's access and participation. The presentation shares some steps NOWSPAR is facilitating to address this issue. The legacy project of the 5th International World Conference on Women and Sport, held in Sydney Australia in May 2010, is an advocacy tool and platform that collects and shares information on women participation in governance structures in National Sport Associations. This presentation shares findings of the survey conducted in Zambia, and published in part on the Sydney SCORE Board. The survey was conducted through interviews of institutional leaders and covered 22 National Sport Associations.

Challenges of Female Sport Management Faculty with Children and Suggestions for Change
Suzannah Mork Armentrout & Cindra S. Kamphoff, Minnesota State University, Mankato

  • Researchers have found that female faculty with children have slower career progress than males and that having children has a strong impact on tenure/promotion outcomes for women (Mason & Goulden, 2004). In male domains like sport management where the lack of female professors is a critical issue (Jones, et al., 2007), it is important to gain a better understanding of the challenges female faculty with children may experience in order to address these barriers. The research question was: what are the experiences and challenges female faculty with children have faced? In depth interviews were conducted with fifteen participants. Data was analyzed using thematic coding (Creswell, 2007). Findings revealed three key challenges: 1) university/departmental structural barriers (i.e. lack of paid maternity leave, work responsibilities while on leave), 2) department culture (i.e. no history of females with children, perceived lack of support), and 3) constraints and concerns over tenure (i.e. time, lack of balance). Suggestions for change include taking a proactive approach such as having paid maternity leave and providing affordable child care. Other recommendations include adopting a university/department culture that supports a broad definition of diversity by seeking female professors with children, allowing flexible schedules, and supporting work/life balance.

Women Who Coach Men: An Exploration of their Relationships with Men
Laura Dahlstrom & Larena Hoeber, University of Regina <

  • Previous research on women coaching male athletes tends to focus on the reasons why so few women coach men, gendered barriers and perceptions, and tokenism and marginalization within the coaching profession (Kane & Stangl, 1991; Kamphoff, Armentrout & Driska, 2010; Staurowsky, 1990; Theberge, 1993; Young, 2005). Few studies examine the experiences of female coaches with their athletes and male colleagues. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships female coaches have with their male athletes and colleagues. In this ongoing research project, interviews will be conducted with 5-10 female athletic and cross country coaches who have been coaching high performance male athletes for a minimum of 3 years. Participants are asked to discuss their experiences coaching male athletes and relationships with others in their sport. Content analysis is being used to analyze interview transcripts. Preliminary findings suggest female coaches face initial difficulties recruiting and gaining the trust of young male athletes. Once they establish a relationship with the athletes these challenges diminish. Although many female coaches have male mentors and good working relationships with men some of them still face challenges with some male colleagues. Strategies for female coaches, athletes and the sport system will be discussed.
Multi-phase Study of Females Coaching Males: How Can We Create Change?
Janna LaFountaine & Cindra Kamphoff, College of St. Benedict's/Minnesota State University Mankato
  • When examining females coaching boys at the high school level, Straurowsky (1990) found that female coaches met resistance, experienced discrimination, and had to work harder to appear competent than their male colleagues. To date, only three other studies have examined females coaching males. This study sought to better understand the experience of female coaches with male high school teams. In this multi-phase project, we surveyed and interviewed Minnesota high school athletic directors and female coaches of male high school teams via an on-line survey, followed by phone interviews. Women coaches are still marginalized and typically coach only boys' minor sports. The coaches believed they need to prove themselves worthy by being physically and intellectually skilled at their chosen sport. The athletic directors do not search for females to coach males, but generally reported having positive experiences, and overall felt comfortable hiring and supporting females in this role. This information can help athletic departments understand potential barriers female coaches face when coaching males. Athletic directors should be encouraged to recruit the most qualified coaches regardless of gender, and provide more support for females, creating a new gender norm in coaching.
Female College Athletes' Social Constructions of Leadership: A Gendered Examination
Vicki Schull, University of Minnesota
  • This qualitative study explored how female college athletes come to understand leadership in a context that is dominated not only quantitatively by men who hold the majority of leadership positions (Acosta & Carpenter, 2010), but also conceptually by certain forms of masculinities commonly associated with leadership (i.e. aggressive, authoritarian, heroic individualism) (Drago et al., 2005; Hovden, 2000; Shaw & Hoeber, 2003). Individual interviews were conducted with female college athletes participating in team sports at the NCAA Division I level. Drawing on social constructivism (Rogoff, 1995; Vygotsky, 1978), interviews explored how female college athletes' experiences and interpretations in sport inform their constructions of leadership. Additionally, a gendered social process framework (Acker, 1990, 1992; Ely & Meyerson, 2000) was utilized to examine if and in what ways female athletes' constructions of leadership are gendered. While findings indicate that heroic individual and gendered leadership conceptions persist in the context of female intercollegiate athletics, there is also some evidence of resistance to dominant masculine leadership ideals both in the ways that female athletes describe their own leadership and in their accounts of ideal leadership. This research can inform coach education and leadership development programs, particularly those aimed at increasing the number of female leaders in sport.
Black Female Athletes Perceptions of Power and Privilege
Akilah R. Carter-Francique & Khrystal Carter, Texas A&M University
  • The purpose of this paper is to understand the self-perceptions of power and privilege of Black female collegiate athletes' who participate in a culturally relevant co-curricular leadership program. According to researchers, Black women experience "multiple jeopardies", and are silenced and stereotyped in society and in the realm of sport. So how does athletic participation impact Black female collegiate athletes self-perception of power within a predominantly White institution of higher education (PWIHE)? Employing critical race theory and black feminist thought, this study sought to explicate the transformative dynamic and empowerment elements of a culturally relevant co-curricular leadership program while acknowledging how the Black female collegiate athletes' intersectionality (e.g., race, gender, class, athletic participation) impact their perspectives and experiences. Utilizing qualitative methods (i.e., observations, interviews, documents) to capture the experiences and voices of Black female collegiate athletes provided insight on their sociocultural and psychosocial development. While the findings are not generalizable, they revealed Black female collegiate athletes have limited experiences and role models to self-assess and employ power within and outside the context of the PWIHE. Thus, creating opportunities and safe spaces in which Black female collegiate athletes can learn, discuss, and receive support when asserting power may be beneficial in and out of the PWIHE context.

Media Presentations

Athlete or Sex Symbol: What Boys Think of Media Representations of Female Athletes
Elizabeth Daniels, University of Oregon
  • Little research has investigated males' reactions to non-objectified media images of women, including those that depict women in instrumental activities like playing a sport. Using a survey methodology, this study examined U.S. adolescent boys' open-ended responses to images of performance athletes, sexualized athletes, and sexualized models. Participants were 104 adolescent boys from California (ages 12-17, primarily European-American). They remarked on the performance athletes' physical competence and focused on the athletic context depicted in the photograph. In contrast, participants focused on the physical appearance and attractiveness of the sexualized athletes and sexualized models. Overall, findings suggest that performance images of women evoke instrumental evaluations of women from male viewers, while sexualized images induce objectified appraisals.
Taking Control: Self-created Images, College Sport Marketing, and Equitable Representations of Female Athletes
Katie Barak, Sally Ross, Vikki Krane, Courtney Robinson, & Cathryn Lucas-Carr, Bowling Green State University
  • Often marketing of women's college sport presents visual images of female athletes that emphasize their beauty, femininity, and sexuality (Buysse & Embser-Herbert, 2004). Given their broad reach in the community, college athletics departments should be held to a high standard and be expected to conscientiously interact in socially responsible ways when promoting female college athletes (Martin, Ross, & Irwin, under review). In our research we created an opportunity for female college athletes to control their visual representation; they selected their attire, the location, and their poses. We then showed these images to adolescent girl athletes during focus group interviews where they discussed which images they liked and disliked and why. Our findings have important implications for marketing of college female athletes; both college athletes and younger athletes wanted authentic images of competitive, competent sportswomen. Presenting women athletes in ways that emphasize competence and athleticism, rather than appearance, should be an ethical responsibility. Marketing staff should consider the broad audience of women's sport in their outreach as well as remain consistent with goals of gender equitable treatment within institutions of higher education.
Sport Media Meets the New Millennium: Making Sense of Women's Sport in News Blogs
John Lisec, University of Minnesota
  • While numerous themes surrounding gender and sport have emerged within traditional media, sport media scholars must strive to understand the changing dynamics that occur within new media resources such as sport news blogs. By utilizing the frameworks of Hall's (1980) Encoding-Decoding Model, Jhally's (1989) Sport-Media Complex, and new media scholarship, relationships of producers, readers, and media text are examined according to traditional media themes of women's sport. Emerging from an analysis of Deadspin, Women Talk Sports, and Women's Hoops Blog, sport news blogs suggest a complex site for competing narratives surrounding women's sport. Despite occurring within an online environment that often perpetuates sexist and homophobic ideologies, sport news blogs provide a unique opportunity for women's sport fans to provide counter-narratives that challenge and negotiate meaning surrounding gender and sport.
Pedal Pushers in Urban Spaces: How Online Technology Works to Get Women on Bicycles
Melody Hoffmann, University of Minnesota
  • This presentation is a critical media study of a feminist bicycle group, Pedal Pushers Society (PPS), and the feminist politics that inform the group's existence. PPS originates in Milwaukee, home to a vibrant, urban, underground bicycle community. This community encompasses those who would understand the bicycle to be an impactful part of their daily lives. Simultaneously, the women of PPS survive within a bicycle culture that is dominated by men and a city that is not friendly to cyclists. Acting within and outside of the bicycle community, PPS utilizes various online media coverage and productions to promote its cause and gain exposure for the group. I argue that the PPS website, DIY music videos, and media coverage are teaching devices for women bicyclists that promote confidence and knowledge necessary to continue riding in a marginalized space. Understanding how PPS uniquely teaches women about bicycling serves as a model for approaching female athletes differently than they have been. PPS serves to empower women in a non-mainstream athletic space partially through its use of online media and by creating unique spaces for the women bicyclists to interact. Understanding how and why PPS has succeeded in bringing together women cyclists can inform other athletic projects attempting to empower women and girls.
Skirtboarders' Blogging: "Just Skateboarders"
Steph MacKay & Christine Dallaire, University of Ottawa
  • The Internet allows women to create their own sportmedia texts. These projects of web self-(re)presentation become sites where sportswomen negotiate and reinvent, in fluid and conflicting ways, discourses of femininities as producers rather than consumers. Through in-depth qualitative interviews with eight members of the Skirtboarders – a crew of female skateboarders based in Montreal who produce and manage a skateboarding blog – we examine how and why the Skirtboarders' offer alternative discourses to those deployed in mainstream media (re)presentations of sportswomen. They created their blog to showcase their sporting activities to others (especially other young women) for fun and because they felt the quantity of female skateboarders' coverage is limited. While they did not intentionally set out to produce feminist or distinct coverage, they recognize that their blog is, indeed, distinct in many ways. For example, the blog intentionally includes no advertisers and the Skirtboarders neither downplay femininity nor promote it, which contrasts with mainstream media's focus on the gender of female skateboarders. In short, the Skirtboarders use the Internet as a vehicle to consciously (re)present themselves as "just skateboarders" but, interestingly enough, not as a project to "talk back" to mainstream media's usual coverage of sportswomen.

Inclusion Presentations

Xclusion: Raising the Intersex Debate in Sports (with Examples from India)
Dr. Payoshni Mitra, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
  • While Caster Semenya's case received unparalleled attention in the media and the debate about sex test remains unresolved, certain athletes in India continue to suffer for being born different. I will refer to two such India athletes whose bodies have been publicly discussed, their sexual anatomy scrutinized, and their identity questioned. With the help of their stories, I will raise the question of inclusion in sport, the politics behind the sex test and the plight of intersex athletes in developing nations like India. I will begin my presentation by showcasing a video clip of their interviews. Using the screening, I will discuss how intersex as a condition is looked at as a problem, an anomaly or a disorder – in India and in the rest of the world and its implications on the concerned athletes. Society needs to be more inclusive and so does the discipline of sport. I will argue that by strictly dividing sport into male and female sports and by re-iterating the importance of 'gender-verification test' in sport, sport governing bodies are suggesting that there is no place for intersex bodies in sport. This entails a need to question the very idea of dividing sport into male and female categories and the concept of 'competitive advantage'. I will finally suggest an alternative approach based on other physical attributes like height, weight, etc. This is crucial in order to resist marginalization of intersex athletes in sport and help them live a secured life.
Barely Visible: The Representation and Participation of Women in the International and U.S. Paralympic Organizations, 2008-2010
Maureen Smith & Alison Wrynn, Cal State Sacremento, Long Beach
  • At first glance, the summer and winter Olympic Games appear to be a setting where female athletes have nearly reached parity with men. However, it is evident that women have only recently been given increased opportunities in events and as participants in summer and winter Olympic sporting events. Even more troubling is the fact that women have far more limited participation opportunities than men have in the Paralympic Games. Only 37.1% of the 2004 Paralympians were female. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, the participation of female athletes had dropped to 34.5%. Female Paralympians in the Winter Games have not fared nearly as well as their Olympic counterparts, representing only 24.1% of the 2010 Paralympic participants. This paper analyzes the representation and participation of women in the international and U.S. Paralympic organizations. In addition it examines the types and extent of opportunities that are provided for women in administrative and leadership roles within these structures and the chances women have to compete in the Games themselves. This paper also assesses the extent that the IOC, IPC and USOC are fulfilling their stated missions with respect to fairness and gender equity and whether or not legal statutes are being upheld.
Social Justice and Inclusiveness in Women's Flat Track Roller Derby
Jennifer J. Waldron & Ruth A. Chananie-Hill, University of Northern Iowa
  • A third-wave feminist model of sport that reflects a mix of contradictory third-wave social justice and (post)feminist ideologies, including individualistic dynamics of gendered and sexual expression, inclusiveness, concern for social justice, commercialization, spectacle, and stealth feminism. Using a qualitative content analysis of eight Women's Flat Track Derby Association league websites, we investigate how and to what extent the new derby reflects our model. Our analysis yields four interrelated themes; however, the current presentation will focus only on the theme of social justice and inclusiveness. WFTDA leagues fundraise and volunteer for social causes in their communities, many of which are feminist or queer in nature. In terms of inclusiveness, derby welcomes women of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds; however, there appears to be an understated inclusiveness of sexual orientation and socio-economic status. With its focus on social justice and inclusiveness, women's flat track roller derby is transforming sport and empowering women. As derby gains popularity and commercialization, we hope the association will be able to maintain and sustain these core tenets.
Health, Fitness, and Physical Activity among College-aged Muslim Women: Identifying Attitudes and Promoting Action
Jennifer Bhalla, Ayah Fannoun, & Chelsey Thul, University of Minnesota
  • There is significant lack of research done on the topic of the health and physical activity among immigrant populations in the United States. Language barriers, religious observances, and many other issues can prevent immigrants from benefiting from participation in physical activity. The purpose of this project was to gain insight into the experiences of Muslim women of immigrant backgrounds related to their ideas about health and physical activity. Using a qualitative research design, 20 college-aged Muslim women participated in individual interviews about their attitudes and beliefs toward physical activity, level of activity participation, and suggestions they may have for culturally or religiously sensitive programs that would promote physical activity within their community. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using axial coding. Themes emerged related to gender differences, generational issues, and the importance of maintaining religious ideals. Information about how future programs and services should be provided to create promising initiatives that could be implemented in the community was also provided. Understanding the effects of cultural and religious perspectives on the health and physical activity of immigrant populations can lead to changes in approaches to promoting physical activity and help make opportunities more accessible for Americans from diverse backgrounds.
Gender and Sport in Montenegro
Cheryl Cooky, Marko Begovic, Don Sabo, Carole Ogelsby, & Marj Snyder
  • This project represents a collaborative effort between researchers and women's sports advocates in the United States and Montenegro to assess gender and sport in Montenegro. Using mixed methodologies (quantitative assessment of demographic trends and qualitative focus group interviews) we identified who plays sport in Montenegro and examined in depth the factors (examples: family, education, economic, religious, cultural stereotypes) that contribute to, or that limit, girls and women's participation in sport. Unlike the United States, Montenegro does not have specific government legislation that prohibits sex discrimination in sport. Findings from the demographic assessment illustrated overall gender disparities in girls and women's sport participation in the 7 most popular sports; the majority of athletes, coaches, managers and decision-makers, medical staff, referees and sport delegates were men. We found the greatest gender imbalance in soccer and basketball, which were overwhelmingly male-dominated, and the greatest gender parity in handball and volleyball. Overall trends in sport participation across the different geographical regions were similar. However, there were differences in the types of sports men and women played in the different regions. Preliminary findings from focus groups reveal that family, physical education instructors and coaches play an important role in facilitating girls and women's participation in sport; barriers to women's sport participation in Montenegro include societal gender stereotypes, traditional gender roles, and the lack of media coverage.

Accepted Poster Session

Poster Session Participants

NGWSD Event Planning
Emily Dane, St. John Fisher College

Regulating Exclusion: An Analysis of Problematic Language Contained in Sports Rulebooks and Charters
Sarah Teetzel, University of Manitoba

Promoting Physical Activity to Newcomer Girls & Young Women
Karima Dorney, CAAWS

Gender and Equestrian Sport
Michelle Gilbert, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

NCAA Rowing: Women's Resistance & Empowerment
Krystina Sarff, University of Florida

Soccer Girls Rule
Jeanette Hibbs & Elizabeth McSpiritt, Starfinder Foundation

Behind the Stripes: An Exploration of Being a Female Official in a Male Sport
Heidi Nordstrom, University of New Mexico

The Progressive Body: Yoga and the Politics of Conscious Activism
Kerrie Kauer, California State University, Long Beach

Positive Developmental Experiences Through Sports Participation for Adolescent Girls
Kamla D. Modi, Girl Scout Research Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA

Adolescent Girls' Participation in Organized Sport
Joanna L. Morrissey, Kristin J. Boulter, Elena M. Letuchy, Steven M. Levy, & Kathleen F. Janz, University of Iowa

The Impact of No Pass/No Play Sanctions on High School Athletes: Implications for Youth and Policy
Jennifer Oliphant, University of Minnesota

Talk Isn't Cheap: Using the Words of Young Girl Athletes to Improve Their Sport Experiences
Courtney Robinson, Katie Barak, Sally Ross, Vikki Krane, & Cathryn Lucas-Carr, Bowling Green State University

Let's Move It! An Overview of a Personal and Social Responsibility Model Program for Girls
E. Missy Wright & Ramona Cox, Michigan State University

Picture This: New Directions for Marketing Women's Sport
Katie Barak, Courtney Robinson, Cathryn Lucas-Carr, Sally Ross, & Vikki Krane, Bowling Green State University, University of Iowa, University of Memphis

Serving up Change? The UNESCO-WTA Partnership for Global Gender Equality
Courtney Szto, University of Toronto

A Content Analysis of Gender Portrayal in Advertisements Aired During the Men's and Women's 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Final Four Games
Michelle D. Haarhues, Candan Duran-Aydintug, Leigh Ingram, & Angela G. Brega, University of Colorado, Denver

Making Strides in Television Broadcasts of Women's Sports
Heather A. Muir, Bowling Green State University

The Myth of Empowerment: Analysis of Women Athletes and Sexual Objectification
Charlene Weaving, St. Francis Xavier University

Framing Gender and Disability: A Cross-cultural Analysis of Photographs from the 2008 Paralympic Games
Jo Ann Buysse & Bria Borcherding, University of Minnesota

Mediated Images of Physical Activity and Sport: Girls Gone Wild?
Sarah Wolter, University of Minnesota

Taking Charge: Social Media and Women's Sport
Toni Bruce, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Using Campus Newspapers to Engage Students in Research and Writing
Maura B. Rosenthal, Bridgewater State

Exercise Benefits, Barriers, and Patterns Perceived by Working Mothers
Tami Klenke, Cindra S. Kamphoff, Suzannah M. Armentrout, & Theresa Mackey, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Disappearing Women Head Coaches: Reversing the Trend
Jeffrey Gerson, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Gender Verification/Gender Stereotyping
Sandy Wells, Division of Medical Education, Dalhousie University

"Hope Solo Saves the World From Ugly": The Sexualization of Female Athletes on YouTube
Julie Maier, Harvard Project Zero

Picturing Martina Navratilova: A Genealogy of Gendered Embodiment
Kristi Tredway, University of Maryland

Pictures of Progress: Media Guide Images of Female Student Athletes at the NCAA Division-II, NCAA Division-III, & NAIA Levels
Heather Van Mullem, Linda Sterling, & A. Peck, Lewis-Clark State College, Northwest Missouri State University

Standing Out to Fit In: "Fastinistas" Hit the Road
Claire M. Williams, St. Mary's College of California

"I'd rather swim nude": Older Women and Their Primary Frustration with Aquatic Exercise
Sonja Lilenthal, San José State University

Global-Local Empowerment Policies and their Impact on Women in sports in Kenya
Janet Musimbi M'mbaha & Rose Chepyator-Thomson, The University of Georgia

Barriers and Supports for Female Coaches: An Ecological Model
Julia Dutove & Nicole M. LaVoi, University of Minnesota

Adolescent Girls and the Martial Arts: Potentials for Strength, Power, and Agency
Kim Rybacki, The City University of New York

Examining Online Intercollegiate Head Coaches' Biographies: Reproducing or Challenging Heteronormativity and Heterosexism?
Austin Stair Calhoun, University of Minnesota

Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to Explore the Complex Relationship Between Playing Position and Leadership in DI Women's Basketball
Sonja Nicole Robinson, University of New Mexico

Alliance of Women Coaches
Judy Sweet & Celia Slater, Alliance of Women Coaches

Developing Physically Active Girls: An Evidence-based Model
The Tucker Center, University of Minnesota

Mother-Coach Generated Strategies for Increasing Female Coaches in Youth Sport
Nicole LaVoi & Sarah Leberman, The Tucker Center