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Paying the Way: The Ticket to Gender Equality in Sports

Authors
  • Hebl, Michelle R.1
  • Giuliano, Traci A.2
  • King, Eden B.1
  • Knight, Jennifer L.1
  • Shapiro, Jenessa R.3
  • Skorinko, Jeanine L.4
  • Wig, Anjali1
  • 1 Rice University, Department of Psychology, Houston, Texas , Houston
  • 2 Southwestern University, Department of Psychology, Georgetown, Texas , Georgetown
  • 3 Arizona State University, Department of Psychology, Temple, Arizona , Temple
  • 4 University of Virginia, Department of Psychology, Charlottesville, Virginia , Charlottesville
Type
Published Article
Journal
Sex Roles
Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2004
Volume
51
Issue
3-4
Pages
227–235
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000037766.92972.80
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Past research shows that consumers tend to equate higher prices with higher value. However, it remains unclear whether consumers of athletic events follow the predictions of equity theory when attributing value to particular teams. We conducted 3 studies to investigate the existence and consequences of a disparity between men's and women's college basketball ticket prices. In Study 1, a survey of 303 NCAA Division I programs demonstrated that the gender of a basketball team is a primary indicator of the price of a ticket, such that women's tickets are significantly less expensive than men's tickets nationwide, even after controlling for a number of contextual factors (e.g., win–loss records, size of the schools). Consistent with equity theory, Studies 2 and 3 revealed that such a price disparity can result in lower evaluation of women's teams than men's. These findings indicate a need to consider the costs and benefits of maintaining differences in ticket prices within a context of gender inequity.

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