Essay on Aggression and Women in Sport

Submitted By Jojo-Hancock
Words: 1407
Pages: 6

“Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting,” is the opinion on sport of which the well-known author, George Orwell, seems to take. Many may also share the same opinion as Mr Orwell, however does his opinion also cover gender equality within sport? Women are disadvantaged in terms of money, sponsorship, labels, and media coverage within sport in comparison to the income and air time that professional male sports such as rugby receive.
Numerous women today are playing sport, whether leisurely or at a professional level. However the amount of media exposure and the money and sponsorship going into sports such as women’s rugby, are not as high as that of the men’s. Australian women playing at a professional level for sports such as LFL (Legends Football League) amongst many other professional sports, don’t actually receive a salary for playing, as well as having full responsibility to pay and look after their own insurance and clothing (L. Williams, January 2014). Whereas the top 25 Australian men’s ruby league player’s salary is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, earning approximately $5.5 million a year. This could then lead to the motivation of women eager to partake in sport to dwindle, as they get no recompense or salutation of their accomplishments within their chosen sport, especially compared to that of the men.
Also the appellations that women who participate within sport are being labelled as may also be a turn off to most, whether just being belligerent or having a stab at their sexuality. This leads to women having to defend their reputation and this may disturb the quantity and quality of professional training they perform. The media coverage of the sports played by women such as netball, basketball and rugby are also very poor. According to NSW Sport and Recreation’s article on the Media Coverage of Women in Sport, the amount of air time that women’s sports get compared to that of men’s is outrageous. Statistics show that whilst men’s sport gets approximately 95.1% of coverage through television, women are on the other end of the scale, getting an inferior 1.4% of air time, with radio and newspaper coverage statistics looking symmetrical to these figures (Refer to Appendix 1). The advertising of sportswear as well as articles on sport found in newspapers consist of head shots and posed images of women rather than action shots, whereas they do in men’s coverage (NSW Sports and Recreation) (Refer to Appendix 2). This could be suggesting that women’s sports are less active or interesting as it isn’t showing their true potential and ability and this issue could potentially lead to a dispute between the genders.
Aggression within sport has always been an element ever since the beginning of time, as you can envision, Paleolithic men were quite aggressive individuals. Gladiatorial fighting was used for entertainment in the middle ages due to the adrenaline rush that is emitted and passed throughout the audience, just from watching the excessive amounts of violence and aggression. This is replicated within sports such as rugby and other contact sports and can be added into the reasons as to why it is such a popular sport throughout Australia. However aggressiveness can have its positive and negative influences throughout the sporting world in all aspects, from the players on the field, to the hyperactive fans and audience, to parents of those who participate. Aggression can be defined as, “any form of behaviour directed toward the goal of harming of injuring another lived being who is motivated to avoid such treatment,” (Baron & Richardson, 1994). Aggression is viewed as a negative psychological characteristic by the most part of the general public; however some psychologists do agree that it can in fact improve performance (Widmeyer &