Panels Discuss Issues Facing Women Athletes
The incomplete coverage of women's sports by the media and the physical effects of athletics on women were the topics of two panel discussions ending the "Radcliffe Centennial Sports Weekend" yesterday. Approximately 50 people attended the panels at the Cronkhite Graduate Center.
In the first panel, entitled "Women's Athletics and the Media," four panelists discussed whether newspapers and magazines should increase coverage of women's sports to generate greater public interest and support for women athletes.
Fashion Conscious Coverage
Coverage of women's sports is biased inaccurate, and extremely disproportionate in relation to coverage of men's sports. Ellen D. Seilder '79, co-captain of the women's field hockey team, said yesterday, adding, "Articles on women's sports are condescending. They talk about the competitors' clothes and make-up instead of concentrating on the event."
B.J. Phillips, sports editor of Time magazine, said newspapers and magazines should increase both the degree and quality of women's sports coverage. "Newspapers don't take the gamble to print not only what people want to read but also what they ought to read," she said.
Phillips said Time executives refused to let her run women's sports stories in two consecutive issues last spring. "We do stories on white men in sports 19 weeks in a row and nobody ever questions it," she added.
Vince Doria, sports editor of The Boston Globe, said, however, "It's not our job to create interest in women's sports," adding that the growing participation in sports by women "doesn't necessarily translate into reader interest."
Women's sports must struggle to gain attention just as a new sport does, Doria said. "The best thing you can do as women athletes is make a lot of noise--keep bothering us and you'll get more coverage," he added.
In the second panel, entitled "The Effects of Athletics on the Young Woman," three women physicians said weight loss and anxiety experienced by women athletes during training can lead to interruption of the menstrual cycle.
Dr. Rose E. Frisch, lecturer at the School of Public Health, and Dr. Janet W. McArthur, professor of Gynecology at the Medical School, said studies show, however, that normal menstruation resumes when intense training is discontinued.
Dorothy Harris, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, said many women athletes now take a male steroid to increase muscularity and improve their performance.
Harris said the male standard for judging athletic performance is the cause of the growing drug use among women athletes and added that women should compete under separate size and strength classifications