Sport often is described as a heteronormative context that adheres to what Judith Butler ( 2006 ) refers to as the heterosexual matrix. Heteronormativity reflects a pervasive cultural bias that favors heterosexuality and disregards the existence of other sexual identities ( Krane & Symons, 2014
Mallory Mann and Vikki Krane
Austin Stair Calhoun, Nicole M. LaVoi, and Alicia Johnson
Sport scholars have connected heteronormativity and heterosexism to the creation of privilege for the dominant group. They also contend that the coverage and framing of female athletes and coaches promote heteronormativity across print, broadcast, and new media. To date, research examining heteronormativity and heterosexism on university-sponsored athletics Web sites is scarce. Using framing theory, online biographies of NCAA intercollegiate head coaches of 12 conferences (N = 1,902) were examined for textual representations of heteronormativity and heterosexism. Biographies were coded based on the presence or absence of personal text—and the presence or absence of family narratives. The data demonstrate a near absence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered coaches, suggesting that digital content of intercollegiate athletic department Web sites reproduces dominant gender ideologies and is plagued by homophobia in overt and subtle ways.
ill-being was not statistically significant. These gender differences might be explained by the somewhat different demands for heteronormativity in male and female sporting contexts. Heteronormativity is present in both the male and female sport cultures ( Griffin, 1992 ; Lenskyj, 2012 ), but it is
a respectable racial heteronormativity. In this case, the racial heteronormativity that was encased in Woods’s marriage to a respected white woman of middle-class background now suddenly came unmoored, no longer anchored to a palatable blackness. In particular, I center Woods’s mention of Buddhism
Steven M. Ortiz
fears about the quality of her own life if his NFL career caused his health to decline even more. Her fears were well justified; Ted’s injuries continued to accumulate. Samantha’s story illustrates one of many realities women must confront in the heteronormative sport marriage. My research revealed that
Barbara Ravel and Geneviéve Rail
Several studies on the experiences of nonheterosexual women in sport have highlighted the development of lesbian subcultures in sport, while others have emphasized the scarcity of athletic contexts embracing sexual diversity. This article explores the narratives of 14 young Francophone sportswomen positioning themselves as “gaie,” lesbian, bisexual, or refusing labels altogether. Using a feminist poststructuralist perspective, we examine their discursive constructions of sport and argue that the discourses articulated in sport allow for the creation of a space of resistance to heteronormativity. We suggest that the sport space is constructed as a “gaie” space within which a normalizing version of lesbian sexuality is proposed. We investigate how in/ex/clusion discourses are inscribed in space and how subjects are impacted by and, in turn, impact these discourses.
This paper provides a critical look at the ways in which the female sporting body is discursively constructed within Triathlon Magazine Canada (TMC), Canada’s only triathlon-exclusive magazine. By exploring both visual and narrative representations of the athletic female sporting body, this paper exposes some of the discursive tensions that seem to persist in this popular triathlon-specific text. Both the sport of triathlon and the bodies of triathletes may each be understood as sites where essentialist ideas about the body can be effectively disrupted or challenged but TMC represents a façade of gender progressivism insofar as it (re)produces many of the same heteronormative representations of gender found in other popular sport magazines.
Laura Azzarito, Mara Simon, and Risto Marttinen
In today’s school climate of accountability, researchers in Physical Education (PE) pedagogy have contested current fitness curricula that aim to manage, control, and normalize young people’s bodies. This participatory visual research incorporated a Body Curriculum into a fitness unit in a secondary school (a) to assist young people critically deal with the media narratives of perfect bodies they consume in their daily lives, and (b) to examine how participants responded to a Body Curriculum. It was found that while participants rejected media fabrications of the “ideal body” and the “unhealthy” ideals they circulate in society, they recognized the difficulty of not being “caught up” in media storytelling. Participants’ views of their own bodies, however, were not malleable, but rooted in narrow, fixed heteronormative white ideals of “looking a certain way” to “fit” society norms of physical appearance and attractiveness. The benefits and limitations of implementing a Body Curriculum are recognized.
Alex Channon and George Jennings
Within the sociology of sport and its related disciplines, martial arts have become increasingly popular sites for research on embodiment, gender and society. While much previous work in this area has focused upon the embodied experiences of either male or female practitioners, relatively few studies have directly addressed the social significance of mixed-sex practice. In this empirically-focused paper, we draw on qualitative, semistructured interviews with both male and female long-term exponents of various different martial arts disciplines in England, exploring experiences of intersex touch within training. Within a social-constructionist, feminist framework, we suggest that heteronormative, patriarchal and paternalistic gender structures can potentially be challenged through sustained mixed-sex practice. As such, this article contributes to work on transformative sporting bodies, martial arts and gender subversion.
Judy Davidson and Michelle Helstein
This paper compares two hockey-related breast-flashing events that occurred in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The first was performed by Calgary Flames fans, the ‘Flamesgirls’, in the 2004 NHL Stanley Cup final, and the second flashing event occurred when members and fans of the Booby Orr hockey team participated in lifting their shirts and jerseys at a lesbian hockey tournament at the 2007 Outgames/Western Cup held in Calgary. We deploy an analysis of visual psychic economies to highlight psychoanalytic framings of masculinized and feminized subject positions in both heteronormative and lesbigay-coded sporting spaces. We suggest there is a queer twist to the Booby Orr flashing context, which we read as disruptive and potentially resistive. The paper ends by turning to Avery Gordon’s (1997) Ghostly Matters, to consider how even in its queer transgression, the Booby Orr flashing scene is simultaneously haunted and saturated by the absent presence of colonial technologies of visuality and sexual violence. It is argued that in this case, openings for transgressive gender dynamics might be imaginable—even as those logics themselves are disciplined and perhaps made possible through racialized colonial framings of appropriate desire.