The questions asked in this paper are: what is it that women who participate in recreational sport appreciate most or enjoy most about their sports? What are the differences and similarities among women who participate in aerobics, tennis or soccer? Thirty one Norwegian women (ages 19 to 36 years) participated in the study. The research method used was qualitative interviews. The music and the rhythm were mentioned most often by the women practicing aerobics. The availability of the sport was a major factor for the tennis players. These were in contrast to the soccer players for whom the social aspect of the sport dominated. A theme that occurred across the different sports was related to physicality and to the use of the body. It is clear from the data that the women found that being physically active was positive and pleasurable, and that some of the findings challenge the norms of female physicality.
Professor Kari Fasting
Kari Fasting and Mari-Kristin Sisjord
This study attempts to measure quantitative and qualitative dimensions of leisure time in an effort to see how they are related to the sport participation rates of women and men. Using data collected from a sample of 83 women and 128 men—all of whom were employed, married parents—it was found that women did more housework than men did but the time spent on housework did not account for differences in participation rates for either women or men. Most important in explaining participation in sports among women was the average number of hours per week their spouses were away from home in the evenings. On the basis of these findings it was concluded that the quantitative dimensions of leisure were not associated with sport participation rates; however, the qualitative dimensions of leisure were associated with barriers to participation for women but not for men. The data suggested that compared to men, women were less likely to feel they had the freedom to participate in sport. This difference was explained in terms of a combination of factors including differential socialization and different patterns of motivation related to sport participation among women and men.
Kari Fasting, Celia Brackenridge and Nada Knorre
This article investigates whether there is a relationship between the sport performance level of female athletes inside the sport (at clubs, competitions, or training events) and outside sport (in family or community settings) and the likelihood that they will be victims of sexual harassment. The study sample consisted of 595 women from the Czech Republic and was divided into three performance groups: elite, non-elite/competing, and exercisers. No significant differences were found between the groups in relation to overall cases of sexual harassment, but when their experiences of sexual harassment inside and outside sport were examined, the picture changed. The chances of being harassed by someone in sport increased with performance level, from 29.7% among the exercisers to 55.2% among the elite-level athletes. However, the highest proportion of women experiencing sexual harassment was seen in the group of the exercises outside of sport (73%). This article discusses the prevalence of sexual harassment in relation to the gender order in Czech society.
Kari Fasting, Gertrud Pfister, Sheila Scranton and Ana Bunuel
This paper is a description of the theoretical, methodological and practical challenges that have been encountered during the process of researching the experiences and meanings of sport in the lives of women in England, Germany, Norway and Spain. Based upon a review of previous literature and research on women and sport we found that there was little research in which the researchers took a qualitative approach focusing on both intrinsic factors (selfconcept, body awareness and the culture of the body) and extrinsic factors (relationship to lifestyle and life chances, social networks and future life plans). Cross-nationally, women’s experiences of sport and the meanings that they attach to their sporting participation, became therefore the centre for this project.