This investigation examined the beliefs of college students regarding specific stereotypes about African American athletes and about college student-athletes. Beliefs about intelligence, academic integrity, and academic competitiveness among male college student-athletes, as well as assumptions about intelligence, academic preparation, style of play, competitiveness, physical superiority, athletic ability, and mental temperament in African American athletes, were investigated. A fixed alternative questionnaire was administered to 869 graduate and undergraduate students. The findings indicate that white and male students believe that athletes are not as intelligent as the typical college student and that they take easy courses to maintain their eligibility and that African American athletes are not academically prepared to attend college, are not as intelligent and do not receive as high grades as white athletes, and are generally temperamental. African American and female students believe that African American athletes are more competitive and have a different playing style than white athletes.
This paper explores how young girls develop trust in their equine partners for the purposes of competitive equestrian sport. I argue that interspecies trust manifests through interactional trust and system trust. Interactional trust, as reflected in the horse-human relationship, is built through joint action and results in symbolic interaction. System trust is made possible through the equine community; it develops through communication in an effort to reduce complexity and uncertainty in society. To encourage and sustain youth participation in competitive equestrian sports both interactional trust and system trust are necessary.
Jessica H. Doughty and Heather A. Hausenblas
It is commonly believed that gymnasts are at risk for eating disorders. However, research examining whether gymnasts are a high-risk population for eating pathologies is equivocal. The purpose of our study was to examine disordered eating among Division I female gymnasts using a longitudinal design with validated eating disorder measures. Participants (n = 72) completed the Drive for Thinness, Body Dissatisfaction and Perfectionism subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (Garner, 1991), and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (Martin et al., 1997), twice during their competitive season (i.e., October and March). There were no significant time differences for the eating disorder subscales, indicating that gymnasts’ perfectionism, body dissatisfaction, and anorexic tendencies may be stable characteristics that do not change across a competitive season. Implications of these results and future research directions are discussed.
Nicole M. LaVoi
Research pertaining to female coaches at the professional, intercollegiate, and interscholastic levels exists, but attention to females in positions of power in youth sport is limited. Given youth sport is an important social institution that affects millions of children and their families, it provides a rich opportunity for creating social change and challenging stereotypical beliefs pertaining to gender and leadership. This study uses the theoretical framework of occupational sex-segregation—specifically tokenism and marginalization (Kanter, 1977a, 1977b)—to examine the representation of females in positions of power (N = 5,683; Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Team Managers) within one Midwestern youth soccer association. Based on the data, female coaches are considered “tokens” within all boys’ teams and at the highest competitive level of girls’ teams, and are marginalized and underrepresented in all positions of power at almost all age groups and competitive levels. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Laura Frances Chase
Foucault’s notions of disciplinary processes, power, and docile bodies are used in this article to understand the complexity of the body and physicality in women’s rugby. Drawing on data from 30 interviews and field observations with 94 female rugby players, I investigate the multiple and complex ways in which the female rugby body is disciplined. These women resisted disciplinary processes of femininity but, at the same time, were willing participants in disciplinary processes of competitive sport. They and their bodies are shaped by multiple and competing discourses and disciplinary processes. The women in this study were drawn to rugby because of the physical nature of the game, became fully invested in competitive athletics, and resisted notions of ideal female bodies.
Vern Baxter, Anthony V. Margavio and Charles Lambert
This article uses data on sanctions against member schools of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1952 to 1990 to examine density of competition and legitimacy of rules as regulatory dynamics in a relatively stable population of organizations. The NCAA regulates athletic competition through enforcement of rules that mediate between various definitions of legitimate conduct. Schools in less densely competitive environments are more likely to receive penalties for rules violations than are schools in more densely competitive environments. It is also found that NCAA Division I schools in the South, Southwest, and Midwest are significantly more likely to receive penalties than are schools in the Mideast and East. The article concludes that the legitimacy of rules varies across schools and across regions, creating different cultures of competition that affect the likelihood of deviance and sanction.
Christopher L. Stevenson
One underreported issue in the research on Christian athletes has been the difficulties these athletes experience in living with the demands and expectations of the dominant culture of elite, competitive sport. Data were derived from in-depth interviews with 31 elite athletes (23 males and 8 females), who were also professing Christians and associated with the evangelical organization, Athletes-in-Action. The athletes reported that it was by turning to or returning to an evangelical Christian faith that they were better able to cope with their problems and with the demands of the culture of elite, competitive sport. Discussion of these findings included a consideration of Coakley’s (1994) model “of conflict, doubt, and resolution,” which attempts to represent the conflicts experienced by Christian athletes in elite sport, and the approaches they take to assuage these conflicts.
Paul E. Dubois
A limitation of most prior research concerning socialization via sport has been a reliance on cross-sectional/correlational designs. Thus, one purpose of the study was to overcome this limitation by implementing a longitudinal design. A second purpose was to test the efficiency of two theories—self-selection and interaction—that attempt to explain value, attitudinal, and/or behavioral differences often noted between elite and casual athletes, and between athletes and nonathletes. Instructional and competitive league soccer players were interviewed before and after their seasons to ascertain changes in their sport-related value orientations; this procedure was repeated the following season with the competitive league players. The data for the subsamples revealed (a) some initial differences in value orientations, and (b) a slight modification of values during participation over the course of a season. The implications of the findings are discussed in terms of the study’s purposes, future research, and their meaning for youth sport practitioners.
The development of sports medicine can be understood in terms of a conjuncture involving processes of medicalization and the increasing competitiveness of modern sport. It is also suggested that the growing involvement of sports physicians in the search for championship-winning performances has led them not only to develop improved mechanical and psychological techniques, but also to play an active part in the development of performance-enhancing drugs and techniques. The argument is developed via three case studies: the relationship between sports medicine and drug use in some of the former communist countries of Eastern Europe; the early development of anabolic steroids in the United States; and the development of “blood doping.”
Robert W. Duff and Lawrence K. Hong
In analyzing the data from a questionnaire survey of 205 competitive women bodybuilders conducted by the International Federation of Body-Builders, the authors attempt to find out how these women define their roles. What emerges from the analysis is a new concept of femininity that combines aspects of the traditional definitions with added dimensions of muscularity and body symmetry. They see muscularity, fitness, strength, and health as increasing their femininity, adding to their attractiveness as women, and increasing their sex appeal to men. They do not see themselves as emulating men. Relatively few see themselves as feminists or androgynists.