While recent studies paint an optimistic picture of acceptance and inclusion of queer athletes, it would be naive to assume homonegativism no longer exists. In this study, we interviewed 13 queer female athletes to understand their college team sport climates and how heteronormativity is reinforced and confronted in women’s college sport. Using a feminist cultural studies approach, two types of team climates emerged from the data: inclusive climates and transitioning climates. On inclusive teams, queer and heterosexual members overtly communicated their norm of inclusion to new teammates, normalized diverse sexualities, and consistently engaged in inclusive behaviors. Transitioning teams were described as neither inclusive nor hostile initially, and, while they did not have a history of inclusion, they transitioned to becoming more outwardly accepting of diverse sexual identities. On transitioning teams, queer athletes surveyed the landscape before sharing their sexual orientation, after which the team evolved to become inclusive. All the athletes talked about awkward moments, occasional incidents of nonsupport, and the benefits of inclusion. These findings reveal emerging cracks in hegemonic heteronormativity in women’s sport, especially among athletes.
Mallory Mann and Vikki Krane
Beverly D. Ulrich and Deborah L. Feltz
In this article we present the results of the 2015 review and ranking of U.S. doctoral programs in kinesiology conducted by the National Academy of Kinesiology (NAK) and based on data for the calendar years 2010 through 2014. This is the third consecutive five-year review and represents the only continuous effort to create rankings for the field of kinesiology today. As in previous reviews, this evaluation was built, using objective measures, on a norm-referenced survey of kinesiology doctoral programs in the United States. Of the 77 programs invited to participate, 52 provided complete sets of the required data. The raw data comprised 9 faculty indices contributing 66% of the total score, and 7 doctoral student indices, which made up the remaining 34%. Raw data for individual indices were converted to normative values by first transforming them into z-scores and then converting the z-scores into T-scores, to which weightings were applied. From the total T-scores, two sets of rankings were determined: unadjusted and adjusted to number of faculty members in each program. Rankings based on total T-scores are presented as well as T-scores for individual indices for each program. We also share raw data means and standard deviations for individual variables, organized into subgroups based on total T-scores. Finally, we compare the outcomes of this review with the previous review conducted by the NAK.
Paul M. Pedersen
Maureen R. Weiss
Tamar Z. Semerjian and Jodi H. Cohen
Viviane K. Namaste (2000) argues that trans-individuals have been culturally erased and rendered invisible. She contends that academics should begin to explore the realities of transgender individuals’ lives. Transgender identified athletes have begun to garner more media attention in recent years, particularly with the 2004 International Olympic Committee’s ruling allowing transgender athletes to participate in the Olympics. Despite this increasing media attention, there is a considerable lack of academic work focusing on the experiences of transgender athletes, as well as a paucity of any serious theoretical consideration of these experiences. The purpose of this paper is to present trans athletes’ narratives of their sport participation, with attention to how gender identity and performance was or was not a part of this participation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four trans identified athletes. The narratives of these athletes portray a way of thinking about gender as a category that is transmutable, unstable, and constantly written and rewritten through embodied performances. Queer theory will serve as the theoretical perspective used to analyze these narratives.
Kerrie J. Kauer and Vikki Krane
Edited by Lavon Williams
This investigation, framed in feminist and social identity perspectives, examined female athletes’ interpretations and reactions to the stereotypes ascribed to women in sport. Interviews with 15 female collegiate athletes revealed that the primary stereotypes directed at them were that they were lesbian and masculine. These stereotypes seemed to emanate from the athletes’ lack of conformity to hegemonic femininity (Choi, 1998; Krane, 2001a). Initially, the athletes responded to being typecast with anger and they used social mobility strategies (e.g., distancing from an athletic identity, performing femininity) to avoid negative perceptions. Both heterosexual and lesbian/bisexual athletes coped with being stereotyped and grew more comfortable with their own sexual identities and those of their teammates. This led to the development of inclusive team environments, collective esteem, and empowerment, with athletes speaking out against homonegative comments in other settings.
This article examines developments in gender policies in sport in relation to recent changes in transsexual rights legislation and gender identity activism. The Gay Games has developed a gender identity policy about “men, women, transgender and intersex” athletes. In 2004, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduced the Stockholm Consensus on sex reassignment surgery to allow “transsexual” athletes to compete at the Olympics. These developments do not indicate an overall increase in the acceptance of gender variance in the world of sport; rather, there has been ongoing resistance to inclusive gender policies in mainstream sport organizations. I argue this resistance is based on anxieties about the instability of the male/female gender binary and the emergence of queer gender subjectivities within women’s, gay, and mainstream sporting communities.
Sharon R. Guthrie
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology among lesbian current and former athletes and the possible link between the two phenomena. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 physically active adult lesbians who had at least 10 years of athletic experience. Lesbophobia was defined as the internalization of society’s negative attitudes and assumptions regarding lesbianism. Eating disorder symptomatology was defined as attitudes and behaviors associated with eating pathology (e.g., body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, frequent dieting, fasting, bingeing/purging, and other weight control measures). Findings suggested a connection between internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology, that is, individuals who expressed greater negativity associated with being a lesbian, particularly concerns about being perceived as lesbian, reported more body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, and other eating disordered attitudes and behaviors. The social implications of these findings are discussed.