Brazilian women in the sports press: A case study


  • Jorge D. Knijnik University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • Juliana Sturmer Soares de Souza Mackenzie Presbiterian University, Brazil



Brazilian Sport Press, Female Athletes, Gender Inequalities


The media is a powerful tool in creating sports legends. However, international studies have proved that the media tends to favor male athletes and their feats and neglects female sports players. The main purpose of this paper is to determine how many articles one of the most important daily newspapers in Brazil published about male and female athletes. The data was gathered over a number of months at the beginning of this decade. The analysis demonstrated that men usually are mentioned much more frequently than women, that journalists tend to write more about the appearance of female athletes than about their real talents for sport. The findings lead to the conclusion that gender inequality in sport in Brazil is common and that the media, instead of contributing to the decrease in levels of gender inequality, is contributing to this inequality in wider society.


Download data is not yet available.


Alonso, L. Woman, body and sport myths [in Portuguese]. Mulher, corpo e mitos no esporte. In: Simões AC. (Ed.). Woman and Sport: myths and truths [in Portuguese]. A Mulher e esporte: mitos e verdades. São Paulo: Manole; 2003. Pp. 35-47.

Antúnez, M. Reflections about what the woman represents for the sport and the true meaning of the sport for the woman [in Spanish]. Reflexiones acerca de lo que la mujer representa para el deporte y el verdadero significado del deporte para la mujer. Efdeportes. 2001; 7(42).

Capranica, L., Aversa, F. Italian television sport coverage during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 2002; 37(3-4):337-49.

Castellani Filho, L. Sport and women [in Portuguese]. Esporte e Mulher. In: Tambucci P, Oliveira J, Coelho Sobrinho J. (Eds.). Sport and Journalism [in Portuguese]. Esporte e Jornalismo. São Paulo: CEPEUSP/ECA-USP; 1997. Pp. 91-100.

Coakley, J. Sports and the media: could they survive without each other? In: Sport in society: issues and controversies. (7 Ed.). New York: Mc Graw Hill Higher Education; 2001. Pp. 350-84.

Costa, M., Guthrie, S. Feminist Perspectives: Intersections with women and sport. In: Costa M, Guthrie S. (Eds.). Women and Sports: interdisciplinary perspectives. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1994. Pp. 235-52.

Duncan, M., Messner, M., Williams, L., Jensen, K. Media, sport and gender. In: Birrel S, Cole C. (Eds.). Women, Sport and Culture. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1994. Pp. 245-72.

Dunning, E., Maguire, J. Process-sociological notes on sport, gender relations and violence control. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 1996; 31(3):296-321.

Fink, J. Female Athletes and the Media: Strides and Stalemates. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1998; 69(6):37-40.

Gill, D. A feminist perspective on sport psychology practice. Sport Psychol. 1994; 8:411-26.

Gonçalves, E. Thinking the gender as category of analysis [in Portuguese]. Pensando o gênero como categoria de análise. In: Amaral A, et al. (Eds.). Studies of gender [in Portuguese]. Estudos de Gênero. Brazil: Universidade Católica de Goiás; 1998. Pp. 41-60.

Knijnik, J., Vasconcellos, E. Without impediment: the opened heart of the women who wear stockings in Brazil [in Portuguese]. Sem impedimento: o coração aberto das mulheres que calçam chuteiras no Brasil. In: Cozac J. (Ed.). With the head on the top of stockings: attempt about the psychology of the sport [in Portuguese]. Com a cabeça na ponta da chuteira: ensaios sobre a psicologia do esporte. São Paulo: Annablume. 2005; 1:295-308.

Koivula, N. Gender stereotyping in televised media sport coverage. Sex Roles. 1999; 41(7-8):589-604.

Kolnes, L.J. Heterosexuality as an organizing principle in women's sport. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 1995; 30(1):61-77.

Kuivula, N. Ratings of gender appropriateness of sport participation: Effects of gender-based schematic processing. Sex Roles. 1995; 33(7/8):543-57.

Lenskyj, H. "Inside sport" or "On the margins"? Australian women and the sport media. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 1998; 33(1):19-32.

Lima, A. The eugenics of the Brazilian race by the female body: the defense from the Physical Education for women [in Portuguese]. A eugenização da raça brasileira pelo corpo feminino: a defesa da Educação Física para mulher. Efdeportes. 2001; 7:40.

Lobo, R. The ethics of Fernandinho Beira-Mar [in Portuguese]. A ética de Fernandinho Beira-Mar. In: 4th meeting of the Brazilian Psychoanalitical Association. 2003.

Louro, G. In the nets of the concept of gender [in Portuguese]. Nas redes do conceito de gênero. In: Lopes MJ, Meyer D, Waldow V. (Eds.). Gender and health [in Portuguese]. Gênero e Saúde. Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas; 1996. Pp. 12-9.

Mourão, L. Exclusion and insertion from the Brazilian woman in sporting and physical activities [in Portuguese]. Exclusão e inserção da mulher brasileira em atividades físicas e esportivas. In: Simões AC. (Ed.). Women and sports: myths and truths [in Portuguese]. Mulher e esporte: mitos e verdades. São Paulo: Manole; 2003. Pp. 123-54.

Mourão, L. Social representation from the Brazilian woman in the physical-sporting activities: from thesegregation to the democratization [in Portuguese]. Representação social da mulher brasileira nas atividades físico-desportivas: da segregação à democratização. Movimento. 2001; VII (13):5-18.

Richardson, R.J. Qualitative and quantitative approaches [in Portuguese]. Métodos quantitativos e qualitativos. In: Social researches: approaches and techniques [in Portuguese]. Pesquisa social: métodos e técnicas. (3 Ed.). São Paulo: Atlas; 1999. Pp. 70-89.

Rubio, K., Simões, A. Of spectators to protagonists: the conquest of the sporting space by women [in Portuguese]. De espectadoras a protagonistas: a conquista do espaço esportivo pelas mulheres. Movimento. 1999; V (11):50-6.

Simões, A. The woman in search of her limits in the modern sport [in Portuguese]. A mulher em busca de seus limites no esporte moderno. In: Woman and sports: myths and truths [in Portuguese]. Mulher e esporte: mitos e verdades. São Paulo: Manole; 2003. Pp. 1-34.

Struna, N.L. The recreational experiences of early American women. In: Costa M, Guthrie S, (Eds.). Women and sport: interdisciplinary perspectives. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1994. Pp. 45-62.

Toohey, K. Australian television, gender and the Olympic Games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 1997; 32(1):19-29.

Urquhart, J., Crossman, J. The globe and mail coverage of the winter Olympic Games: a cold place for women athletes. Journal of Sport & Social Issues. 1999; 23(2):193-202.

Vargas, A.L. Sporting and TV: the winner of audience [in Portuguese]. Desporto e TV: a recordista de audiência. In: Sporting: social phenomenon [in Portuguese]. Desporto: fenômeno social. Rio de Janeiro: Sprint; 1999. Pp. 71-6.

Vincent, J., Imwold, C., Masemann, V., Johnson, J. A comparison of selected serious and popular British, Canadian, and United States newspaper coverage of female and male athletes competing in the centennial Olympic games. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 2002; 37(3-4):319-35.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Knijnik, J. D., & Soares de Souza, J. S. (2011). Brazilian women in the sports press: A case study. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 6(1), 12–26.



Olympic Section