The effects of exposure on students' attitudes about women's athletics
The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of exposure on students' attitudes about women's athletics. Subjects were 37 Ball State University dormitory residents within Shales and Woody co-educational residence halls. The students were categorized by gender and previous interest in and exposure to athletics. The data was examined by the use of descriptive analysis with t-test and ANOVA measures. Three hypotheses were stated: (A) The majority of students, whether male or female, possess a negative attitude toward women's athletics, (B) The majority of students have never attended a women's athletic event before, and (C) Students who attend a women's athletic event and are exposed to women's athletics will experience a positive change in attitude. Students were asked to fill out an attitude survey prior to attending a Ball State University softball game, which served as the exposure, then asked to fill out the attitude survey a second time.Hypotheses B and C were supported by the data while hypothesis A was rejected. Results indicated, contrary to the stated hypothesis, that students actually exhibited positive attitudes toward women's athletics. Females were found to view women's athletics more positively then males and results indicated previous intercollegiate or interscholastic athletic experience had no effect.Results did not confirm the notion that a majority of college students had never attended a women's athletic event, however, 37.9 percent had not attended a event this year and 32.4 percent had never attended a women's event. Both percentages were found to be significant.Finally, the effects of exposure resulted in significant improvements on students' attitudes toward women's athletics. In responding to the attitude survey, the effects were found stronger in females than males and contrary to earlier research, team sports like basketball and volleyball were found to be more popular with students than individual sports like tennis and track and field. Furthermore, similar to past research, subjects strongly agreed to letting their daughters become involved with women's athletics if they so desired.