UMO: Microaggressions Tracked Scientifically

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

So-called “microaggressions” are becoming so integral to our Zeitgeist that university researchers are now tracking them scientifically, or at least pseudo-scientifically. “Female athletes long have experienced microaggressions from the media and the public, such as racism, sexism, the belittling of athletic accomplishments and being the brunt of sexual jokes,” the University of Missouri News Bureau claims. “Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that microaggressions against female athletes in the media increased by nearly 40 percent from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.”

“Cynthia Frisby, an associate professor of strategic communication at Mizzou, also found evidence of increased microaggressions against female athletes of color compared to white athletes.”

At least they had to do some computation. “Frisby and lead author Kara Allen, an undergraduate student at Mizzou, analyzed 723 newspaper and magazine articles covering the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. In the coverage of the 2012 Olympics, the researchers identified 69 microaggressions against female athletes. In the 2016 Olympic coverage, the researchers found 96 instances of microaggressions against female athletes. These microaggressions included four instances of sexual objectification, 26 instances of treating females as second-class citizens, 44 instances of racist or sexist language or jokes, 61 instances of restrictive gender roles, and 30 instances of focusing on the athletes’ physical body types and shapes. The researchers also found increased microaggressions against female athletes who play more ‘masculine’ sports such as basketball, powerlifting and wrestling.”