Gender, Sexual, and Sports Fan Identities

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Mississippi State University
  • 2 The Ohio State University
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Using data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,988), this study analyzes associations between gender, sexual, and sports fan identities. The authors find that only 11% of U.S. adults do not identify as sports fans at all; also, nearly half of U.S. adults identify as quite passionate sports fans. Women and nonbinary adults are less likely to identify as strong sports fans compared with men. Compared with identifying as heterosexual, identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or another sexual identity is negatively associated with self-identified sports fandom. Yet, gender and sexuality interact such that identifying as gay (or lesbian) is negatively associated with men’s self-identified sports fandom but not women’s fandom. These findings persist even after consideration of adults’ retrospective accounts of their sports-related identities while growing up and their recognition of sports-related mistreatment.

Allison is with the Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA. Knoester is with the Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Allison (rallison@soc.msstate.edu) is corresponding author.
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