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Women's consumption of men's professional sport in Canada: Evidence of the ‘feminization’ of sports fandom and women as omnivorous sports consumers?

Gemar, A. and Pope, S. (2022) 'Women's consumption of men's professional sport in Canada: Evidence of the ‘feminization’ of sports fandom and women as omnivorous sports consumers?', International review for the sociology of sport., 57 (4). pp. 552-574.

Abstract

Women sports fans have been substantially understudied compared to their male counterparts. While a growing number of studies seek to redress this, there remains a stark absence of quantitative approaches that would allow investigations regarding patterns of women’s sporting consumption and historical trends in the potential growth of this fandom. Using large-scale survey data from Canada from 1990 through to 2015, and employing quantitative methods of latent class and regression analysis, this study seeks to redress these issues by testing the ‘feminization’ thesis of increased women’s sporting fandom over the past three decades. In addition, we consider whether women’s fandom has become increasingly ‘omnivorous’ over this time period and the nature of this consumption today. Results show support for the feminization thesis. These findings are significant as through the use of quantitative methodologies we evidence the narrowing gender gaps in professional sports following between men and women, and women’s increasingly omnivorous consumption of sports. However, we find substantial gender gaps and inequalities in omnivorism by which the evidence suggests increased socio-economic and cultural barriers to omnivorous consumption of sport for women. We suggest that these women omnivores may be able to utilize their sporting knowledge in an instrumental way for benefits in various social settings, especially workplaces. It is hoped that this article will pave the way for further quantitative studies on women sports fans across different contexts.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1177%2F10126902211026472
Publisher statement:Gemar, A. and Pope, S., Women's consumption of men's professional sport in Canada: Evidence of the ‘feminization’ of sports fandom and women as omnivorous sports consumers? , International Review for the Sociology of Sport (57:4) pp. 552-574. Copyright © 2021 (Copyright Holder). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F10126902211026472.
Date accepted:02 June 2021
Date deposited:16 June 2021
Date of first online publication:30 September 2021
Date first made open access:16 June 2021

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