Title IX and counting: Equal Advertisement for Female Athletes

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My name is Emily, and I am a student-athlete at the University of Colorado. While participating in collegiate athletics, I have witnessed and personally experienced many harmful gender stereotypes that are used to promote my sport.

Athletics and sports are a huge part of U.S. culture, media, and identity. More people are discussing how athletes are treated within our society and are represented. How often do you see a commercial, poster, or other advertisements for NCAA men’s athletics? Now compare that to how often men’s intercollegiate sports are promoted to women's intercollegiate sports. Since Title IX has passed there has been a major increase of female participants in athletics. Research shows that “40 percent of all sports participants are female”, yet women’s sports receive only 4 percent of all sports media coverage.

There are many successful female student-athletes competing today, and not all of them are being promoted. When these athletes and sports are being promoted, it often encompasses gendered stereotypes and negative labels that can be detrimental to one's mental health. About 30 percent of female student-athletes show signs of depression, compared to just 18 percent of their male counterparts. No one wants their daughter, sister or friend to be negatively impacted by the media to the point where it affects their mental health and ultimately their ability to perform in their sport.

When the female athletes are promoted by either the NCAA or the university directly, they often face negative gender stereotypes unconsciously perpetuated by the media. These stereotypes lead to different levels of inequality for female student-athletes in particular.

Step one: Promote female intercollegiate athletics. The more female athletics are promoted, the more popular they will be

Step two: Stop sexualizing this promotion of female athletes because it can lead to mental health issues

Step three: Speak up and take action when you see gender stereotyping in collegiate athletics

Please join me to support female student-athletes by signing this petition!