Introduction to Special Theme Issue: Sexualities, Culture, and Sport

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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I titled this special issue “Sexualities, Culture, and Sport” to stimulate reflection on important issues inherent in the culture of women’s sport. Sport has the opportunity to provide many positive benefits for women, such as personal and physical empowerment (Blinde, Taub, & Han, 1994; Krane & Romont, 1997; Theberge, 1987); in sport a woman can challenge herself, push her physical limits, and achieve new goals. Concerns related to sexuality however can interfere with the attainment of these benefits. On one hand, stereotypes about athletic females and concerns about femininity linger over women’s sport. Yet, there also is a shroud of silence concerning sexuality (Griffin, 1992; Sparkes, 1996). As a whole, women’s sport is not accepting of diverse sexualities (e.g., lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered individuals). This lack of acceptance has created an oppressive sport environment for all participants. A primary goal of this special issue is to bring to light some of the issues related to female sexuality, which are magnified by the heteropatriarchial American culture and are widespread in women’s sport.

Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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