Olivia Grasman

Research Project

The Online Perception of Women in Sports


My name is Olivia Grasman part of the Professional Communications graduating class of 2024. I have also minored in English and Communication Design. I have a strong interest in the entertainment industry, as shown through my history of several live music concerts per year. I am excited to share with everyone my and Alexzandra Mansueto’s Signify project, The Online Perception of Women in Sports, where we explored and analyzed social media comments and threads left on posts centred around female athletes and sports teams.

Research Summary

Negative comments dominate discussions about female athletes, while positive remarks often focus solely on their appearance rather than their skills. Despite recent progress in women’s sports, like the establishment of leagues such as the PWHL, female athletes still face disproportionate scrutiny and criticism on social media platforms compared to male athletes. Our study aims to understand the negative bias against women in sports by analyzing social media comments and conducting a literature review. We examined popular TikTok and Instagram posts, noting the prevalence of negative versus positive comments on posts about female athletes compared to male athletes. Additionally, we analyzed top Reddit threads related to women and men in sports to further understand public perception. These findings, combined with existing research on the portrayal of female athletes in media, offer insights into the challenges women face in the sports industry.

Research Poster

Lightning Talk

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