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Sport Stadiums and Environmental Justice (1st ed.)

Adam G. Pfleegor

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The Carceral Logic of Female Eligibility Policies: Gender as a Civilizing Narrative, the Science of Sex Testing, and Anti-Trans Legislation 1


Female eligibility policies punish people for gender nonconformity and normalize patriarchal rule. These policies were used first to exclude women deemed “too masculine” from competing against women who more closely conform to gender stereotypes. In recent years, this form of discipline has dovetailed with efforts to determine the circumstances, if any, under which transgender women may compete against cisgender women. Modern sport, as a set of institutions, does not stand apart from capitalism, colonialism, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy. In this article, I use a prison abolitionist lens to connect anti-trans campaigns and female eligibility policies that police sporting identity to the carceral logics of racial capitalism to make the argument that sex surveillance is related to race, social control, and capital accumulation.

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Mother-Coaches’ Experiences of Policy and Programs: “Whoever Wrote This Policy Doesn’t Understand What It Means to Be a Mom”

Jesse Porter, Dawn E. Trussell, Ryan Clutterbuck, and Jennifer Mooradian

In this paper, we explore the lived experiences of mother-coaches who, while coaching, navigate policy and programs aimed at promoting gender equity. Specifically, this study took place within the context of an amateur national, 10-day multisport games event in Canada. Using critical feminist narrative inquiry, 14 mother-coaches (apprentice, assistant, or head coach), representing eight different provinces, and 10 different sports, participated in this study. Three themes were constructed that call attention to the Canadian sport system broadly, as well as the 10-day multisport games event specifically: (a) performative policies and gendered assumptions, (b) programs that are band-aids for a “shitty culture,” and (c) a pathway to nowhere for mother-coaches. The findings complicate the hegemonic work–family conflict narrative, suggesting that mother-coaches’ advancement, opportunities, and quality experiences are impacted by the current heteropatriarchal culture and structure of sport that these programs and policy are rooted in.

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What Are the Olympics For?

Derek Silva

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Barriers to Leisure-Time Physical Activity Among Women of Rural Gipuzkoa: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Olaia Eizagirre-Sagastibeltza, Uxue Fernandez-Lasa, and Oidui Usabiaga

Background: Women, particularly those with young children, engage in less leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) than men. Additionally, mothers living in rural areas have more difficulty participating in LTPA than those in urban areas. The aim of this study was to analyze the challenges faced by mothers of rural areas of Gipuzkoa in LTPA participation, from a feminist perspective. Methods: A total of 129 mothers (age 41.5 ± 5.9; 45.7% inactive) with young children completed the Gipuzkoa Women’s Physical Activity Questionnaire. Concurrently, four focus groups were organized in four different municipalities, in which 19 mothers of young children participated (13 were inactive). Barriers were classified based on the socioecological perspective. Results: The most frequently mentioned intrapersonal barriers were lack of time due to work and caregiving, age-/pregnancy-/motherhood-related health issues, and a feeling of rejection toward LTPA. The most relevant interpersonal barriers were a lack of partners to do LTPA with and a lack of spouse support. The main environmental barriers were related to the shortage of facilities and activities suited to their needs and the rugged terrain. Conclusions: Mothers of young children living in rural areas face barriers twice over: because they are women and mothers and because they live in a rural environment. It therefore seems important to consider their perceived barriers to design, develop, and implement strategies to promote LTPA among this population group.

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Mentioned, Quoted, and Promoted: How Sports Journalists Constructed a Narrative of Athletes’ Value in the “Name, Image, and Likeness” Era

Shannon Scovel

Using theories of framing and agenda setting, this study explores how journalists covered women athletes during the first week of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s new “name, image, and likeness” (NIL) policy. Athlete representation during this first week was critical, as it established precedent for which athletes, according to media members, held value and were worthy of publicity. The findings from this study show that journalists focused their reporting of NIL on U.S. male athletes, although women athletes such as Olivia Dunne, Haley Cavinder, and Hanna Cavinder were also frequently mentioned in relation to their large social media following, lifestyle, or appearance. Overall, reporters generally promoted a male-dominated NIL agenda, one that undervalued women athletes and minimized their potential role as sporting celebrities in the college sports space.

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Self-Reported Performance and Hormonal-Cycle-Related Symptoms in Competitive Female Athletes

Johanna K. Ihalainen, Sinikka Takalo, Katja Mjøsund, Guro Strøm Solli, Maarit Valtonen, Marja Kokkonen, Anthony C. Hackney, and Ritva S. Mikkonen

Introduction: The present scientific consensus is that the menstrual cycle (MC) and hormonal contraceptive (HC) cycle only influence performance trivially. Nevertheless, athletes perceive changes in performance that they associate with different phases of their hormonal cycle. Methods: A total of 959 female athletes completed a questionnaire, of which 750 were included in the present analysis. The questionnaire included questions about demographics and experiences of the MC and HC (symptoms, perceived impact on performance characteristics). Results: In total, 55% of athletes reported a natural MC while 45% reported HC use. Meanwhile, 56% of all athletes reported a decline in perceived performance during the bleeding or inactive phase, whereas 26% of all athletes reported no changes in performance over their hormonal cycle. All athletes reported an average of 10 ± 7 symptoms during hormonal cycles. The naturally menstruating (NM) group reported more symptoms than the HC group (p < .05). The most frequent symptoms reported were abdominal pain, bloating, and mood swings. Only 7% of all athletes (4.1% in NM and 11.3% in HC) reported an absence of any symptoms. Quantity of total symptoms was associated with a perceived decrease in performance (R 2 = .138, p < .05). Hormonal cycles had the greatest negative effect on mental performance with 37% reporting a large to very large effect. Conclusions: Perceived negative effects on performance were similar in both NM and HC groups while perceived mental performance (e.g., mood and attention) appeared to be most affected by both MC and HC.

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Anti-Black Misandry as an Emotional Reflection With Black American Male College Athletes: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study

Donald D. McAulay Jr.

Black American males, specifically Black male athletes, experience a form of twoness that uniquely recognizes their talents but also a societal fear. This work addresses Black American males’ multidimensionality and emotional and psychological expressions when dealing with societal racism. This work explores Anti-Black misandry through an interpretive phenomenological lens. Five Black American men who are former college athletes reflect and emotionally express their experiences being a Black man and an athlete throughout their entire athletic continuum and post their athletic tenure. Results suggest that Black males are willing to express their vulnerabilities emotionally in safe spaces while recognizing racialized gender norms about emotional expressions. Implications of this study suggest that Black American male college athletes, when given constructive support, have meaningful ideas and resolutions about how society can honestly acknowledge their humanity and not just gaze at their existence as entertaining objects.

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Better to Have Played Than Not Played? Childhood Sport Participation, Dropout Frequencies and Reasons, and Mental Health in Adulthood

Laura Upenieks, Brendan Ryan, and Chris Knoester

This study considers the long-term mental health implications of organized youth sport participation, informed by an accumulation model of health, the Sport Commitment Model, and a life course perspective. Using data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,931) and multiple regression analyses, results indicate that adults who continually played organized youth sport had fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms compared with those who played and dropped out and those who never played. Dropouts had worse mental health than those who never played. Furthermore, among dropouts, reported interpersonal reasons for dropping out of organized sport were consistently associated with subsequent mental health but some structural factors also mattered. These findings point to a need to improve the interpersonal and structural environments of organized youth sport.