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Danielle R. Brittain, Nancy C. Gyurcsik and Mary McElroy

Despite the health benefits derived from regular participation in moderate physical activity, the majority of adult lesbians are not physically active. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between moderate physical activity and the perceived presence and extent of limitation of 30 general and 10 lesbian-specific barriers. The participants were 516 self-identified adult lesbians who completed a web-based survey. Compared to physically active participants, participants who were insufficiently active reported more general barriers and a significantly higher extent of limitation of general and lesbian-specific barriers overall. Insufficiently active participants also differed in the perceived presence of one of the five most frequently experienced barriers and in the extent of limitation of three of those five barriers. The study’s findings suggest that the impact of barriers may be alleviated through the use of appropriately tailored strategies to help lesbians cope with them. Future research should further examine whether lesbians experience additional population-specific barriers.

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Jennifer L. Gay, Eva V. Monsma, Alan L. Smith, J.D. DeFreese and Toni Torres-McGehee

Growth and maturation may impact adolescent behavior and development of psychological disorders. Currently age at menarche is used as the primary marker of maturation, even though it occurs later than other indicators of growth such as peak height velocity (PHV). Maturity offset predicting age at PHV has not been validated in diverse samples. Anthropometric measures and self-reported age at menarche were obtained for 212 female athletes ages 11 to 16 years (M = 13.25). Shared variance between menarcheal age and estimated age at PHV (APHV) was small (R 2 = 5.3%). Discriminant validity was established by classifying participants as pre- or post-PHV or menarche (X2 = 32.62, P < .0001). The Pearson’s correlation between chronological age and age at PHV (r = .69) was stronger than with age at menarche (r = .26). Making informed decisions about accounting for growth and maturation using estimated age at PHV are offered.

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Cassandra Wells and Simon C. Darnell

The sex testing of South African runner Caster Semenya in 2009 was widely discussed in media, but the most serious and significant sites of debate may have been within the cultures and institutions of track & field itself. In this article, we report findings from an analysis of an online track & field community—TrackNet Listserv—through which the Semenya case, and the politics and ethics of sex testing, were discussed. The results suggest that listserv members recognized the contestability of sex testing policies and identified with feminist struggles, but nevertheless largely argued for sex testing’s necessity in light of understandings of the biologically normative female body and the importance of maintaining fairness in and through sex-segregated sport. The implications for the sport of track & field and for sporting feminisms are discussed.

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Donald Chu and David Griffey

The contact theory of racial integration is examined in this survey of the behaviors and attitudes of secondary school students and student-athletes. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 1,082 subjects in the urban upstate New York area. Subjects were evaluated on two behavioral (race of students talked to, race of students phoned) and three attitudinal (like more friends of other races, choose interracial school, or races smarter than others) dependent variables. Dependent measures were evaluated relative to their correlations with a number of independent variables (athlete/nonathlete, individual or cooperative sport played, sport experience, won-lost record, exposure to minorities, sex, social status). Results of the study argue for consideration of the contact theory’s applicability to the sport situation.

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Neal Christopherson, Michelle Janning and Eileen Diaz McConnell

The 1999 Women’s World Cup Soccer Championship serves as a particularly good site for examining both the social construction of gender and the structure of contradiction surrounding women’s role in sport and society. We conducted a content analysis of 576 American newspaper articles reporting on the 1999 Women’s World Cup Soccer Championship. Contradictory messages surrounding women and sports were present, as past research has suggested. An analysis of more qualitative aspects of our data reveals the structure of these contradictions and provides substantial depth to this analysis. We discuss how the media actively promoted or constructed certain gender ideologies and how these gender ideologies contributed to the popularity of the event.

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C. Thøgersen-Ntoumani, K. Biscomb, A. M. Lane, H. J. Lane and H. Jarrett

Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985) as an overarching theoretical framework, the main purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between women’s motives to exercise and their reported exercise behavior. Three hundred and thirty women (Age range = 20-61+) took part in the study. Participants were categorized into a ‘’no-exercise’ group, a ‘some exercise’ group (less than 2.5 hours of exercise per week) or a ‘recommended amount of exercise’ group (minimum 2.5 hours of exercise per week). Controlling for the influence of age, MANCOVA analyses showed that the exercise groups differed significantly on most self-determined and controlling exercise motives. The results partly support propositions of SDT, and suggest that women may internalize, exercise behavior as they become more physically active, however controlling motives are still pertinent. Exercise leaders and promotion specialists should look into ways of facilitating the internalization process in female exercise participants.

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Joy Griffin and Mary B. Harris

In this study, two groups of sport psychologists (N = 107) were surveyed six years apart to (a) identify sources of stress and rate the intensity of selected stressors, (b) investigate gender and other demographic variables associated with stress, and (c) determine if level of stress had changed over time. Self-reported stressors included time demands, interpersonal interactions, role conflict, limited resources, credibility, marketing/business issues, lack of support, professional isolation, politics, research, teaching loads, ethical issues, job security, and family demands. Time demands and institutional policies were rated as most stressful. Both gender and tenure status were related to stress, but age, years of experience, and number of hours worked per day did not correlate with intensity of stress. Based upon respondents’ beliefs and a comparison of the two samples we concluded that stress has increased over time.

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Sarah R. Crissey and Joy Crissey Honea

This study examines the relationship between sport participation and perceptions of body size and weight-loss strategies among adolescent girls. Using a sample of 7,214 girls, ages 12–18 years, from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that girls who participate in stereotypically feminine sports are more likely to report feeling overweight, attempt to lose weight, and use multiple weight-loss strategies compared with nonathletes. We also find that the associations for weight loss, but not overweight perception, are generally weaker for non-White girls. These findings suggest that participation in stereotypically feminine sports, particularly for White girls, might exacerbate body image and dieting problems associated with dominant gender roles, but participation in stereotypically masculine sports does not.

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Elizabeth C.J. Pike

The proposal that older people should engage in “active aging” has come to dominate local, national, and international policy agendas. This encompasses a variety of ways that older persons might maintain active citizenship, but invariably promotes physical activity and exercise as having health and social benefits, despite a lack of conclusive evidence to support such claims. In this paper, I further examine the meaning of these claims through an analysis of policy documents, reports, and media articles which promote the perceived benefits of physical activity in later life. I revisit Cohen’s (2002) concepts of folk devils and moral panics to understand how these messages simultaneously problematize older people while creating a market for emergent moral entrepreneurs who claim to have the solution to the problem they have in part created. I conclude with recommendations for improved understanding of the benefits and appropriate provision for active aging.

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Peter Millward and George Poulton

This article explores the establishment and development of fan-owned association football club, F.C. United of Manchester. It does this by drawing upon extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including interviews, observations and an analysis of multiple texts, such as fanzines, web-based and media reports materials and discusses this using Herbert Blumer’s theory of collective behavior. As such, the article addresses two research questions: first, what the empirical case example of F.C. United of Manchester offers to the critical understanding of Blumer’s theory and second, what the theory can give to the understanding of twenty-first century protests in popular culture. Therefore this article contributes to contemporary debates on association football fandom, social movements and the theories of Herbert Blumer.