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Susan Lagaert, Mieke Van Houtte and Henk Roose

We study (fe)male adolescents’ interest in watching sports as a spectator using logistic multilevel analyses based on a representative sample of 5837 Flemish (Belgian) pupils in the first year of secondary education. To uncover the mechanisms behind the ‘gendering’ of passive sports consumption, this study evaluates how the gender gap (characterized by higher male involvement) relates to the gender identity, experienced pressures for gender-conforming behavior and gender role attitudes of the students. Results indicate that the gender gap in interest is to a large extent related to the studied mechanisms. The findings have implications for research on the feminization of sports fandom and call for further analysis of the processes behind the gender gap in consumption of different sports with masculine or feminine connotations and of on-site and TV spectatorship.