). Accordingly, research has found that lesbian athletes have faced challenges and barriers based on their assumed and/or acknowledged sexual orientation (e.g., Griffin, 1998 ; Kauer & Krane, 2006 ; Krane, 1997 ; Melton & Cunningham, 2012 ). All female athletes contend with the stereotype that masculine
Mallory Mann and Vikki Krane
Sharon R. Guthrie
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology among lesbian current and former athletes and the possible link between the two phenomena. In-depth interviews were conducted with 15 physically active adult lesbians who had at least 10 years of athletic experience. Lesbophobia was defined as the internalization of society’s negative attitudes and assumptions regarding lesbianism. Eating disorder symptomatology was defined as attitudes and behaviors associated with eating pathology (e.g., body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, frequent dieting, fasting, bingeing/purging, and other weight control measures). Findings suggested a connection between internalized lesbophobia and eating disorder symptomatology, that is, individuals who expressed greater negativity associated with being a lesbian, particularly concerns about being perceived as lesbian, reported more body dissatisfaction, weight preoccupation, fat phobia, and other eating disordered attitudes and behaviors. The social implications of these findings are discussed.
Jamie M. Fynes and Leslee A. Fisher
The purpose of this study was to explore the congruence of identity in 10 former U.S. NCAA Division I (DI) lesbian student-athletes using a semistructured personal identity interview guide (adapted from Fisher, 1993) and Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) (Hill, 2012; Hill, Knox, Thompson, Williams, Hess, & Ladany, 2005). Five domains, nineteen categories, and related core ideas were found in the transcribed interviews. The five domains were: (a) stereotypes and perceptions of female athletes; (b) stereotypes and perceptions of lesbians and lesbian athletes; (c) climate for LGBT athletes; (d) negotiating identities; and (e) recommendations for college campuses. The main goal of the current study was to determine whether lesbian athletes felt comfortable being who they are in the context of U.S. DI sport. Recommendations for how applied sport psychology consultants, coaches, and administrators, all of whom play an important role in athletes’ collegiate sport experience, could change the structure of U.S. universities to help lesbian student-athletes become more comfortable are given.
This study is an examination of homonegativism in sport as described by lesbian collegiate athletes. These athletes (N = 12) participated in semi-structured interviews about their athletic experiences. Analysis of the homonegtive experiences of these athletes revealed three mechanisms inherent in homonegativism in sport. These were (a) discomfort with females who do not conform with the traditional feminine gender-role, (b) application of the lesbian label, and (c) distancing from the lesbian label. Female athletes perceived to act in a manner contrary to traditional gender-roles are labeled as lesbians. Through this labeling society reinforces traditional gender-roles and, ultimately, protects male dominance in sport. Many of the labels heard by the athletes reflected stereotypical beliefs about lesbians. The athletes described many situations where coaches and administrators attempted to promote or preserve a feminine image within their athletic teams and programs. The disempowering aspects of homonegativism also were revealed as lesbian athletes felt powerless to challenge homonegativism in sport.
teammates less often than lesbian athletes ( Denison & Kitchen, 2015 ). With respect to heteronormativity in the female sporting world ( Griffin, 1992 ; Lenskyj, 2012 ), Hemphill and Symons ( 2009 ) argue that sporting contexts are hostile to many gay athletes, but conditionally tolerant of lesbian
Elizabeth M. Mullin, James E. Leone and Suzanne Pottratz
weaker or appear more feminine. A variety of valid reasons exist as to why athletes may choose to keep their sexual identity private (or closeted). Krane and Barber ( 2003 ) found that decreased self-worth may be one possible consequence of experiencing negative stereotypes among lesbian athletes. It is
Montserrat Martin, Nancy Spencer and Toni Bruce
retiring from tennis, but earlier gained notoriety after being stabbed by a Steffi Graf fan in 1993. Navratilova is amongst the greatest woman tennis players of all time ( Collins, 2016 ) and was the first high-profile lesbian athlete to become an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ issues. All four relevant
Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos and Danny O’Brien
theoretical framework to the behaviors, norms, and practices observable via the first-hand accounts and news media of the time, we suggest that Denise Annetts and the sensationalist reporters of the day, perhaps unwittingly, acted as institutional entrepreneurs by fermenting negative perceptions of lesbian
Cheryl A. MacDonald
openly gay and lesbian athletes in competitve sport . New York, NY : Routledge . Atkinson , M. ( 2010 ). It’s still part of the game: Violence and masculinity in Canadian ice hockey . In L.K. Fuller (Ed.), Sexual sports rhetoric: Historical and media contexts of violence (pp. 15 – 30 ). New
Sharyn G. Davies and Antje Deckert
matrix and the out Lesbian Athlete: Amélie Mauresmo, gender performance, and women’s professional tennis . Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 41 ( 2 ), 163 – 176 . doi:10.1080/00948705.2013.785420 10.1080/00948705.2013.785420 Trimbur , L. ( 2013 ). Come out swinging: The changing world of boxing