Domestic Violence and Sports News: How Gender Affects People’s Understanding


Domestic abuse frequently appears in news headlines among professional athletes and has ignited much debate about personal conduct off the field. From Ray Rice and football to Hope Solo and soccer – domestic abuse has occurred. This study examined if and how participants differentiate between male and female victims and perpetrators of violence; specifically, whether participants placed blame differently when presented with a health message in a sports context when it involved a male or female athlete as perpetrator. Media influence topics of public conversation, and domestic abuse is an especially important public health issue. Sports media may be an outlet by which to reach both victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse. Results and practical implications are discussed.