A Content Analysis of Sports Entertainment: Why the WWF Stands for Why We Wound Females

JoAnne Ardovini-Brooker, Sam Houston State University

ABSTRACT
The professional wrestler has become a cultural icon in the United States over the past few years and is often romanticized in the media, the public imagination, and by children. Professional wrestling, once viewed as low-income entertainment, has perforated popular culture and has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The target audience of this form of sports entertainment, televised over fifteen hours per week, is pre-teen and teenage males, who account for approximately fifteen million viewers. Particular focus is placed upon the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the more popular of the wrestling associations, the role women play in sports entertainment, and the violence perpetrated against women. The researcher develops a typology of women's roles and general male-female interaction scenarios present in the WWF. The researcher argues that this exploration is important due to the increased role of television in the socialization process and the desensitization and even normalization of violence against women in the media.

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Updated 05/20/2006