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Emily A. Roper

In this paper, I will briefly describe my ongoing feminist journey and the significance and meaning of aligning myself with feminism. Additionally, I will discuss my feminist perspective, mainly feminist cultural studies, and how this framework informs my sport psychological research and practice. Lastly, I will discuss the potential of a feminist approach for broadening what it means to be a “sport psychologist.”

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Emily A. Roper

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Emily A. Roper

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Emily A. Roper

The purpose of this article is to examine the roles that women play in the Diamond Dolls organization and the meaning and significance of those (gendered) roles in the university and athletic setting. Specifically, I am concerned with the ways in which institutions construct and maintain hegemonic femininity (Choi, 2000; Krane, 2001). Employing a feminist approach, I critically explored the use of sexist language in the naming of a student organization, the roles and responsibilities of the Diamond Dolls, and the meaning of these roles within the context of intercollegiate sport. Lastly, the role that gender norms play in women’s participation in such organizations is also addressed.

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Emily A. Roper

Fear of violent crime and concern for personal safety are well documented fears among women (Bialeschki & Hicks, 1998; Wesley & Gaarder, 2004). Feminist theorists argue that concern for personal safety among women is one of the most significant ways in which women’s lives and their use of space is controlled and restricted (Bialeschki, 1999; Cops & Pleysier, 2011). Employing a feminist standpoint framework (Hill Collins, 2000), the purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine recreational female runners’ concerns for safety while running outdoors in an urban park setting and the strategies employed to negotiate or manage their concerns. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 20 female recreational runners. Interview data were analyzed following the procedures outlined by Corbin and Strauss (2007) for open and axial coding. The following themes emerged from the interview data: (a) fear of being attacked, (b) environmental and social cues, (c) normalization of street harassment, (d) negotiation strategies, and (e) recommendations for enhancing safety. The findings provide important information pertaining to women’s access to safe outdoor space in which to exercise. Perceptions of safety, fear of being attacked and experiences of harassment have the power to negatively influence women’s engagement and enjoyment in outdoor PA/exercise.

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Eve Ensler and Emily A. Roper

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Emily A. Roper and José A. Santiago

Employing a grounded theory approach, the purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine the influence of service-learning (SL) on undergraduate kinesiology students’ attitudes toward and experiences working with P–12 students with disabilities. Fourteen (9 female, 5 male) kinesiology students enrolled in an adapted physical education class participated in one of three focus group interviews regarding their experiences of working with P–12 students with disabilities. All interview data were analyzed following procedures outlined by Strauss and Corbin (1998). The following five themes represent the participants’ experiences and attitudes toward P–12 students with disabilities after their involvement in a SL project: (a) initial reactions, (b) selection of P–12 students, (c) preconceived attitudes, (d) the benefits of SL, and (e) positive experience. All 14 of the participants who volunteered to share their experiences indicated that the SL experience positively affected their attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.

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Emily A. Roper and José A. Santiago

The purpose of this study was to examine how and how often athletic girls were represented on the cover art of young adult (YA) sport fiction. In this research, 154 YA sport fiction books were analyzed using quantitative content analysis. Using existing sport research and theory focused on women’s representation in sport media, the researchers developed a coding scheme to assess cover art for each of the following categories: (a) presence and racial representation of female character/s on cover; (b) portrayal of female body on cover (whole body, partial body/with head, or partial body/without head); (c) portrayal of female character as active or passive; (d) portrayal of female character in or out of athletic uniform; (e) portrayal of female character in or out of the sport setting; (f) presence of sport equipment; and (g) type of cover. Findings revealed that 81% of the book covers had a female character in which 29% of the covers displayed the whole body, 47% displayed partial body/with head, and 23% displayed partial body/with no head of the female character. Only 0.06% of the book covers had a female character of color. Approximately 31% of the female characters were displayed in active positioning, 58% in athletic attire, and 44% in the sport setting. Of the books reviewed, 55% displayed equipment on the cover. The findings indicate that athletic girls have few images on YA sport fiction cover art that accurately represent their athleticism, and there is a clear absence of diverse representation. It is critical that those responsible for the design and layout of book covers clearly represent active females in action, in uniform, and in the sport context.

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Emily A. Roper and Katherine M. Polasek

While researchers have explored the experiences of gay and lesbian sport participants competing and participating in alternative sport structures, no research has examined gay men, lesbians, bisexual (GLB) and heterosexual individuals’ experiences sharing an alternative space. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively explore the experiences and perceptions of being a member of, and participating in a “predominately gay” fitness facility Interviews with 13 members and one member of management suggested that while the predominately gay fitness facility was a site in which working out was a primary focus for all of the participants, the space was used as a way to connect with the gay community (among the GLB participants) and become invisible for the women (heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual). The results also suggested that the heterosexual participants, while “comfortable” working out in a predominately gay fitness setting, described a temporary occupation of the space.