Stacey Nicely

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Merrill Morris - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Arla Bernstein

Third Advisor

Dr. Jaynette Atkinson


In order to determine how female athletes and women’s sports are framed in sports magazines, a textual analysis was conducted on three popular sports magazines (ESPN Magazine, Sporting News, and Sports Illustrated). The researcher analyzed the texts within these three magazines and found four emergent themes commonly applied to women in sports: mental weakness, male reference, motherhood and sisterhood, and celebrity. The research found both consistencies and inconsistencies in the thematic framing utilized among the three publications. The textual analysis also revealed a tendency for the sports media to reference individual sports more than team sports. Knowing the exact frames utilized in these magazines, allows the researcher to suggest solutions that may alleviate the negative portrayals of female athletes and women's sports in sports magazines. The results from this study also provide a foundation for those who wish to further explore and raise awareness on this issue.


Included in

Communication Commons