Sexualisation, misogyny and social media abuse in women’s tennis

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Virtual maltreatment is a rapidly emerging and highly significant issue within contemporary sport. This issue is particularly relevant to female athletes and female sports in social media spaces. Using a netnographic approach, an analysis of two popular social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) was conducted to examine the social commentary and fan interaction surrounding the top five seeded female tennis players at the 2015 WimbledonTennis Championships. In particular, this study investigates the ‘continuum’ of sexually based online interaction which occurred on the social media sites pertinent to this tennis event. Specifically, three forms of sexualisation were identified. These included a sexualisation that focussed on the female physical appearance, a sexualisation that desired and/or proposed physical or sexual contact with the tennis players, and finally, a sexualisation that was vile, explicit and threateningly violent in a sexual or misogynistic manner. These findings demonstrate how social media provides a space for unregulated physical and sexual abuse of female athletes in a way that traditional sports media does not. Virtual abuse and maltreatment is identified as a significant social problem which requires further consideration in academic literature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019
Event2019 World Congress of Sociology of Sport - University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Duration: 24 Apr 201927 Apr 2019 (program) (conference booklet with abstracts)


Conference2019 World Congress of Sociology of Sport
Abbreviated titleSociology of Sport and Alternative Futures
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Sexualisation, misogyny and social media abuse in women’s tennis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this