Why women are less supportive of the WNBA

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post in which I explained that that I was going to focus on the above topic: why women are less supportive of the WNBA for my current affairs class. I am now done the majority of the research and I thought I would share the following with you. I contacted at least 9 professors and unfortunately NONE of them either had the time OR knew too much about the topic. So, unfortunately I do not have a video interview uploaded. It was rather interesting the research I found. I think some of you might be surprised.

  • "People tend to believe that women have the same opportunities as men, but the infrastructures available to women are very precarious, and the schedules are not conducive to the practice of sport."
  • Average salary of the WNBA(Women's National Basketball Association is only 2 percent of the NBA(National Basketball Association)(
  • The coverage ratio as of 2004 between male and female professional sports was 9 to 1 in the US in Television and 20 to 1 in US print media.(Ms, summer 2004)
  • "Women's sports is much less visible then men's sport. Women could play a key part in decision making and ensure that more women participate in sports by improving their conditions."
  • The more women take on positive, leading roles such as athletes, trainers, journalists and decision makers, more women will see that gender inequalities can be overcome.
  • Woman's point of view - "Why didn't I assume that the WNBA would put athletic talent on the basketball court?"
  • "Influenced by stereotypical thinking that I had never any reason to challenge or change."
  • "Wasn't paying attention."
  • "Didn't make the connection between what I know intellectually and what I wold discover "in person" until I watched a game."
  • Laura Weisskopf who a writes a woman's sports column every Monday for the Fort Worth Star Telegram in Texas, confirms that some of her counterparts see woman's sports as a second string assignment. "I know some women journalists who won't cover woman's sports because they feel it's a stopping block in their careers."
  • "In fact, except for a few sports - like tennis, gymnastics and figure skating - the typical person watching female athletes is a man. The audience for this year's championship game in woman's college basketball was 57 percent male, according to Nielson Media Research. Annika Sorenstam's appearance in the Colonial golf tournament last month may have been a giant leap for women, but 65 percent of the witnesses were men."
  • "The bigger problem for women's sports leagues is that fans of both sexes prefer watching men. Even the XFL, the short lived football league that became a national joke two years ago because of its minuscule audiences, drew viewers from more than three million households on average - more than triple the size of the typical audience for a WNBA game, and 30 times the the number for professional women's soccer games.
  • "I'm bored out of my skull at women's basketball games", said Stacey Pressman, a columnist for the website of the sports network. She generally watches men's sports. "I prefer a few women's sports, like tennis, but I refuse to be politically correct about basketball," she said. "I'm sorry but 40 minutes of underhanded layups is not entertaining."
  • "As Lobo sums it up, "all we're asking for is an oppurtunity to play." Just give women an equal oppurtunity to get the ball and forget all of that nonsense about special favours, affirmative action and similar efforts which only to serve to perpetuate women's social inequality."
  • "While the WNBA basketball is a relatively new sport experience for spectators and it's impact on society, as a gendered activity, has not been empirically tested., previous research suggests a plausible cause for assuming individuals with traditional gender role attitudes will believe its unacceptable for women to participate in a traditionally male - dominated activity such as professional basketball."
  • "This is particularly noteworthy because the primary target for the WNBA includes women, children and families. Given's the league's desire to grow and maintain their fan base to assure long term success, it may prove more effective to identify consumer segments based on their psychological gender traits and gender role attitudes, as opposed to just their biological sex."
  • Survey three years ago by New York baesd Scarborough Research showed that three times as many women were loyal followers of the NBA than they were in the WNBA.
  • "The leagues are struggling because no mass sisterhood is watching the games on television."
  • Women's professional basketball games draw only a third as many viewers as men's games and half as those WNBA viewers are men. Men make up more than a half of the tiny television audiences for women's soccer.

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"Women in Sports: How Level is the Playing Field?" World of Work Magazine. Apr. 2006. Communication and Public Information. International Labour Organization. Web. Jan - Feb. 2011. <>.

Dotson, Michael J., and Eva M. Hyatt. "AN INVESTIGATION OF GENDER ROLES AND SPORTS-RELATED CONSUMPTION." n. pag. Web. 16 Feb 2011. <>.

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Tierney, John. "Ideas & Trends; Why Don't Women Watch Women's Sports?." New York Times 15/06/2003, Print.

Carnell, Elisabeth. "Future of Feminism Display in WNBA." EquityFeminism. 14/04/2000. Web. 16 Feb 2011. <>.