Rather than give all sports reporters -- regardless of their gender -- equal post-game access to athletes in the locker room, more Utahns prefer to keep locker rooms available to reporters of the same gender as the athletes. A slightly higher percent of Utahns would rather keep the locker rooms closed all together to the media.
So say the results of a recent KSL-Deseret News poll, conducted by Dan Jones and Associates.When asked about equal access, 38 percent of those polled said all reporters should be banned from entering locker rooms after a game, while 36 percent said only reporters of the same gender should have access to lockers. Only 21 percent said all sports reporters -- regardless of their gender -- should have equal access, and another 5 percent said they didn't know or didn't have an opinion on the issue.
The issue comes in the wake of an incident involving Boston sports writer Lisa Olsen in the locker room of the NFL's New England Patriots, where reported lewd, sexually-explicit gestures were made by at least one athlete toward Olsen. Since then, the equal-access issue has been the topic of numerous media commentaries and surveys.
The recent KSL-Deseret News Poll queried 900 Utah residents, with most of the questions dealing with issues and candidates in the up-coming election. At the same time, those polled were asked to respond to a question stemming from the controversy of female sports reporters having equal access to locker rooms.
Desides the aforementioned overall percentages, here are some other percentages of note when broken down into different demographic categories.
MALE-FEMALE: In a breakdown by the sexes, 21 percent of the men polled thought equal access was appropriate, 38 percent said only same-gender reporters should be allowed, and 37 percent were in favor of prohibiting access to all reporters. By contrast, 22 percent of the females polled were in favor of equal access, 34 percent were agreeable to same-gender access, and 39 percent were for barring all reporters.
AGE: In the 18 to 34 age category, 25 percent favored equal access, 39 percent same-gender access, and 32 percent no access. In the 35-49 age range, the percentages were, in order, 25, 33, and 37; meanwhile 14 percent of those over 50 allowed for equal access, with 37 percent for same-gender access and 4 percent for no access.
EDUCATION: An increase in percentages of those in favor of equal access mirrored an increase in individual education -- 18 percent of those with some high school education or a high school diploma agrees to equal access, with 22 percent of those with some college education and 23 percent of those who were college graduates.
IDEOLOGY: Of those labeling themselves very conservative, 13 percent were for equal access, with same-gender access and no access both receiving percentages in the low 40s; the percentages for the "somewhat conservative: were 21, 38 and 37 while "moderates" were 25, 33 aqnd 34 percents.
The "somewhat liberal" respondents had 30-percent favorability to equal access, with 25 percent for same-gender access and 40 percent for no access.
As for the "very liberal" individuals, 38 percent agreed to equal access, 24 to same-gender access, and 29 percent to no access.
FEMALE EMPLOYMENT: A quarter of the women polled who are full-time employees outside of the home were for allowing equal access, while 23 percent of the women employed part-time agreed. Same-gender reporting was favored by 36 of the full-time employees and 35 percent of the part-timers, while the bar-all-reporters response received 34 and 39 percent, respectively.
Only 17 percent of the women not employed outside of the home were in favor of equal access, with 37 for same-gender reporting and 42 percent for putting the locker room off limits.
ANNUAL FAMILY INCOME: Equal access received its highest support -- 27 percent -- from families with an annual income of more than $40,000, with the lowest percentage -- 12 percent -- coming from those with an income between $15,000 and $20,000. Among those in the latter income category 44 percent were in favor of same-gender access, while 40 percent were for no access at all.
RESIDENCE: The highest response for equal access came from people polled in Salt Lake County, where it was favored by 26 percent of the respondents; exactly half that percentage -- 13 percent -- of those residing in Utah County were in favor of equal access.
Nearly half of the individuals polled in Cache and Box Elder counties were agreeable to allowing reporters of the same gender in the locker rooms, while more than half of the Davis County residents polled -- 54 percent -- said all access by the media should be barred.
How much post-game access to locker rooms should be allowed for sports reporters?
Admittance by all, regardless of gender 21%
Admittance by same gender reporters 36%
All reporters barred 38%
Don't know 5%