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Research on bullying and homophobic bullying has mainly focused on school contexts, with little research in sports-related contexts. This study used a sample of 88 gay males and 120 heterosexual males between 18 and 36 years of age to examine the frequency of bullying experiences in Italian sports-related contexts. The results showed that gay men reported more frequent bullying and homophobic bullying than heterosexual men. Gay men reported dropping out of sports more frequently, namely due to a fear of being bullied and greater familial pressure to conform to masculine-type sports. It is necessary to promote safer sports-related contexts for people who self-identify as a sexual minority.
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... clothing, styling, physicality, or muscularity) and behaviour (e.g. choice of sports, teams/leagues) (Baiocco et al., 2018;Krane, 2015Krane, , 2016. If athletes fail to meet these expectations, they are suspected of being gender non-conforming and/or homosexual, which might lead to discrimination and denial of athletic abilities for men (Kauer & Krane, 2013;Krane, 2016). ...
... Focussing on men, there is evidence for sport (and non-sport) contexts that gay men feel particularly pressured to conform to typical hegemonic masculine norms and stereotypes because they are at risk of not meeting these norms (Baiocco et al., 2018;Sandfort et al., 2007). This could relate to non-conformity being less accepted among sportsmen than sportswomen and men having generally more negative attitudes towards non-conforming athletes (Laberge & Albert, 1999;Shang et al., 2012). ...
... Heteronormativity is further strengthened by an orientation towards hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 1995) resulting in an implicit demand of masculine behaviour, appearance and physicality for being athletically successful (Cl ement- Guillotin et al., 2012;Kauer & Krane, 2013). Gay men do not conform to assumed heterosexuality and run the risk of further disadvantages in male-dominated and heteronormative sports contexts due to the supposed closeness to femininity as well as the related questioning or denial of athletic abilities (Baiocco et al., 2018;Kauer & Krane, 2013;Sandfort et al., 2007). Our findings support scientific literature suggesting that gay athletes adopt different strategies against this risk: if they are crossing gender boundaries, e.g. ...
Article
From a historical perspective, sport is considered a male domain and heteronormative societal field. Although societal change has happened, in most sports, male, heterosexual athletes, as well as stereotypical masculine behaviour and appearance are still being privileged. Based on heteronormativity and assumed male physical superiority, mindsets about typical and appropriate gender expression permeate sporting environments. Athletes who do not meet these socially constructed, gendered expectations often experience barriers, exclusion and discrimination. Against this background, the study analyses the prevalence of (non-)conforming gender expression and its relevance for experiencing negative episodes in sport, considering the athletes’ sex and the gender-typing of sports practised. The sample consists of lesbian, gay and bisexual + individuals actively participating in sport in Europe (n = 2232). The findings suggest that gender non-conformity is less prevalent among male than female LGB+ athletes, particularly in stereotypically masculine sports. Significant correlations between non-conformity to socially constructed expectations of typical feminine or masculine expression and negative episodes in sport occur. The results indicate that LGB+ athletes use different strategies to avoid ‘homonegative bias’ and that sport needs to be rethought on individual, organisational and societal levels.
... Sport does not seem to be an exception: International studies indicate that discrimination and exclusion of LGBTQ+ people in diverse sport settings is widespread (e.g. Menzel et al., 2019;Müller, Delto, Böhlke & Mutz, 2022;Baiocco et al., 2018;Kulick et al., 2019). Experiences of homo-negativity, homophobia and sexual discrimination can have a negative impact on the mental health of gender and sexually diverse people (Bostwick, 2014). ...
... The term heteronormativity was first introduced by Warner (1991) in one of the key collections on queer theory. It built on previous concepts such as Adrienne Rich's (1978) 'Compulsory Heterosexuality' and Gayle Rubin's (1984) 'Sex Hierarchy' (Barker, 2014). Warner's basic idea is to understand heterosexuality as a fundamental category of social theoretical analyses with the aim of being able to criticize the privilege of a heterosexual culture: Heteronormativity is conceived here as a system of order that by no means refers only to 'the sexual' in the narrower sense but is inscribed into almost all social practices or institutions and is constantly reproduced by them. ...
... Heteronormativity differs from heterosexism, which is discrimination against anyone who is not heterosexual. Since heteronormativity may be insidious as well as pervasive, it is closer to the concept of 'Mundane Heterosexism' (Clarke et al., 2010), which is embedded in everyday language and practice and typically remains unseen (Barker, 2014). In contrast, homophobia implies the fear for and dislike of homosexuality and non-conform gender behavior (Plummer, 2001). ...
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There is little empirical research on the sport experiences of gay and lesbian recreational athletes in Germany and their existence and needs within organized, non-professional sports have largely been ignored. Based on twelve in-depth interviews with self-identified male gay and female lesbian adults, this paper explores how queer recreational athletes experience sport in German sports clubs and which particular challenges or discriminatory situations they are confronted with. Findings show that study participants do not experience much discrimination on an explicit level in the sports clubs. Nevertheless, many respondents try to hide their sexuality in the sports context to prevent possible discrimination and questions about their sexuality. After all, it is mainly the discussion about and reduction of their sexuality that is being experienced as problematic. Five main stressors have been identified: (1) the necessity of an outing, (2) the sports club typical mode of communication, (3) the heteronormative pre-structuring of the sports, (4) the feeling of otherness and the assigned special role, (5) the implicit fear of discrimination. The findings point to the need for increased reflection on and reduction of heteronormative structures in German sports clubs.
... Theoretical perspectives in research on LGBTQ athletes' experiences span a wide spectrum, ranging from the concepts of heteronormativity (Kokkonen, 2019;Phipps, 2021) and masculinity (Anderson et al., 2016;Vilanova et al., 2020) to poststructuralist and feminist queer approaches (Caudwell, 2014;Lucas-Carr & Krane, 2012) and minority stress (Baiocco et al., 2018;Hartmann-Tews et al., 2021) and multilayer (Braumüller et al., 2020) models. Furthermore, some studies have examined the intersectionality of GSM identity with race (Anderson & McCormack, 2010;Melton & Cunningham, 2012). ...
... While this provides a widely used theory in sport (Baiocco et al., 2018;Melton & Cunningham, 2012;Symons et al., 2017), some criticisms have been raised over the years. First, the concept is thought to fail to "explain the understandings and behaviors of individual men" (McVittie et al., 2017, p. 126), although this has already been recognised and named by Connell and Messerschmidt (2005). ...
... Referring to this criticism and his own research, Anderson (2009) developed inclusive masculinity theory, which has mainly been used in research on gay athletes (Anderson et al., 2016;Baiocco et al., 2018;Bush et al., 2012). Inclusive masculinity theory is based on an assumed decline in homohysteria, understood as a "fear of being homosexualised" in cultures that reject homosexuality and associate it with femininity, increasing the pressure to appear heterosexual in order not to be associated with homosexuality (Anderson, 2009, p. 7). ...
... For example, Symons et al. (2017) surveyed 294 non-heterosexual sporting people (e.g., athletes, officials, administrators) in Australia and found that these participants frequently experienced sexism and homophobia, with women reporting more experiences of sexism and men reporting more homophobic events. Baiocco et al. (2018) examined homophobia and bullying in a sample of gay and heterosexual men; the results showed that gay men reported more frequent bullying and homophobic bullying than heterosexual men. Gay men also reported dropping out of sports more frequently, primarily due to a fear of being bullied and greater familial pressure to conform to masculine-type sports (Baiocco et al., 2018). ...
... Baiocco et al. (2018) examined homophobia and bullying in a sample of gay and heterosexual men; the results showed that gay men reported more frequent bullying and homophobic bullying than heterosexual men. Gay men also reported dropping out of sports more frequently, primarily due to a fear of being bullied and greater familial pressure to conform to masculine-type sports (Baiocco et al., 2018). ...
... Thus, although today sports spaces seem to have become more inclusive (Channon & Matthews, 2015;Vilanova et al., 2020), sport continues, in general terms, to reproduce hegemonic masculinity norms and, therefore, to explicitly or implicitly exclude women and men who do not comply with sexual orientation/behaviours aligned with socially legitimised heteronormative standards (Dunning, 1986;Piedra, 2015;Sáenz-Macana & Devís-Devís, 2020). This situation leads to abandonment of sport, poor quality social relationships, negative emotions, and poor physical and mental health among the LGBTQIA+ people (Baiocco et al., 2018;Petty & Trussell, 2018). ...
... (In)visibility: PASS faculties as heteronormative institutions PASS faculties are characterised by a large proportion of male students who manifest attitudes and traits traditionally associated with hegemonic masculinity, including emotional repression, competitiveness, domination, displays of strength and ability, and majority occupation of the public space (Bourdieu, 1998a;Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005). A university degree which is related to sport tends reinforce these attributes and traits, strengthen heterosexuality and women 2 traditionally assigned roles (Baiocco et al., 2018;Levant & Kopecky, 1995;Palzkill, 1990). As pointed out by Donoso et al. (2020) and Pereira-García et al. (2021), PASS faculties tend to be spaces where heterosexism is dominant and where a certain normalisation coexists with hostility towards sexual diversity: ...
Article
This research is the first to provide insights into the experiences of gay men studying a university degree in Physical Activity and Sport Science (PASS) in Spain. Drawing on Bourdieu’s categories, one-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 PASS students and ex-students that were subsequently studied through deductive-inductive thematic analysis. Our findings show the PASS context to be a heteronormative, masculinised and cisgender social field. Male homosexuality was almost invisible except when antigay language was used. Considering this environment, most of our interviewees chose to remain in the closet, which contributed to low levels of wellbeing and high levels of stress and anxiety. However, the few students that chose to come out experienced relief and felt included by some of their classmates and by staff. Discussed are key aspects of the dominant culture in PASS faculties and the repercussions for the mental health and wellbeing of gay students. Our research also provides new insights into the nature and prevalence of microaggressions regarding sexual orientation that will help PASS and university management develop specific strategies and programmes to foster inclusivity.
... We observed that, among heterosexual men and women, the estimated prevalence of SH was lower with respect to that observed among the LGB community, with prevalence estimates in the bivariate analysis of 31.5% for heterosexuals compared with 53, 39.2, and 34.6% for bisexuals, gays, and lesbians, respectively. Other studies also suggest that non-heterosexuals experience a higher percentage of harassment behaviors compared with heterosexuals [1,3]. These authors also indicate that the most common negative effects of cyberbullying on LGB youth are psychological, emotional and behavioral, causing more problems in the sports world due to fear of being bullied and also showing lower academic performance. ...
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Background Sexual harassment is a type of coercion, including social pressure, intimidation, physical force, and verbal acts, in addition to other forms such as cyber-harassment, recognized as a major important public health problem. Methods This cross-sectional study, based on a survey administered online to men and women aged 18 to 35 years and living in Spain throughout 15th and 28th October 2020, aims to analyze the prevalence and factors associated with sexual harassment among young people in Spain within the last 12 months, particularly according to the COVID-19 lockdown period. It has been conducted by bivariate analysis and robust Poisson regression models. The final sample includes 2.515 participants. Results The results indicate that women were almost twice as likely as men to experience sexual harassment (49% vs 22.2%). Also, among heterosexual men and women, the estimated prevalence was lower concerning that observed among bisexuals, gays, and lesbians (31.5% vs 53, 39.2, and 34.6% respectively). The prevalence percentage in the 18–24 age group was twice high as that observed in the 30–35 age group. Finally, during the lockdown period, the harassment through electronic channels increased (32.6% vs 16.5 and 17.8% before and after this period, respectively) and decreased on public roads (22.9% vs 63.4 and 54.4% pre-lockdown and post-lockdown periods, respectively). Conclusion These findings highlight that sexual harassment presents a high prevalence among young people, especially cyber-harassment, and workplace harassment and it is important to be aware that young women are more likely to suffer harassment and even more if they do not have a partner or have LGB orientation. During the lockdown sexual harassment has moved from public spaces to the social network.
... Additionally, SGM athletes are more likely to experience discrimination when participating in sports, as sports' environments can be unsafe for SGM people [33]. For example, a study in Italy found that gay men were more likely to experience bullying and homosexuality-related bullying in sports contexts and to discontinue sports participation due to bullying [34]. Additionally, a study among SGM students in South Africa found that SGM students were excluded from participating in sports tournaments, alienated from participating in sports by other students, and called derogatory names [35]. ...
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Background: Discriminatory laws and policies are a form of structural stigma that is associated with increased suicidality among sexual and gender minority (SGM) people. Unfortunately, in the United States, there has been an increase in state-level discriminatory laws and policies targeting SGM people in 2021 and 2022, particularly, transgender sports bans. The purpose of this study was to (1) determine if familiarity with transgender sports bans was associated with suicidality among SGM adults; and (2) determine if interpersonal stigma and/or individual stigma mediated this association. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of data collected from a national sample of 1033 SGM adults in the United States between 28 January and 7 February 2022. Univariate and serial mediator models were used in this analysis. Results: The increased suicidality was associated with familiarity with state-level transgender sports bans among SGM adults (p-value = 0.0150). Even after interpersonal and individual stigma mediated this relationship, the association between suicidality and familiarity with state-level transgender sports bans remained (p-value = 0.0106). Conclusion: State-level transgender sports bans appear to exacerbate existing disparities in mental health, especially for individuals who are familiar with the bans. They directly discriminate against people who are transgender and indirectly stigmatize the broader SGM community.
Article
This study examined the perspectives of six college students enrolled in a physical education teacher education program on sexual identity stereotyping (SIS), the stereotyping of individuals as a certain sexual identity (e.g., homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual) based on external factors. The purpose was to construct a general landscape of physical education (PE) majors’ views on SIS and gender roles, athletic and PE expectations in regards to gender and sexuality, and these ideas’ impact on the efficacy of PE, both for students and educators. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and analyzed using the standard interpretive methods of analytic induction and constant comparison. These findings revealed that in general, those interviewed were aware of SIS and could identify its potential impact. Still, the participants felt that SIS was not enough of an issue to prevent them from pursuing a career in PE. Multiple participants reported experiences with being stereotyped as a result of their athletic activities of choice. Through the thoughts of the interviewees, the authors of this study hope to enrich the field of PE and provide awareness towards biases that can cloud the quality of education.
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Literature on homophobic bullying underlines that many teachers do not intervene in this kind of issue and often underestimate this type of bullying. At the same time, the protective role of teachers’ support for victimized students is well recognized. The present study aims to understand the processes that can lead to teachers’ activation against homophobic bullying. Two hundred and thirteen teachers belonging to different schools in Rome completed an anonymous questionnaire that assessed (a) reactions to homophobic bullying (feeling of powerlessness and positive activations), (b) homophobic attitudes, (c) teachers’ general perceived self-efficacy, and (d) perceived self-efficacy in managing homophobic bullying incidents. We used a structural equation model to test whether self-efficacy, both as a teacher and in managing homophobic bullying incidents, predicts both aspects of teachers’ reactions to homophobic bullying, controlling for homophobic attitudes. We found that lower levels of perceived self-efficacy in managing homophobic bullying incidents and higher levels of homophobic attitudes predict stronger feeling of powerlessness, while higher levels of perceived self-efficacy as a teacher and lower levels of homophobic attitudes predict stronger positive activation toward the victimized student. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.
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This study examined the differences between gay men and lesbian women in their negative attitudes towards gay men and lesbians who either confirm or disconfirm stereotypical gender roles. One hundred thirty-eight gay and lesbian participants read 4 gender-typed scenarios: in two, a gay student and a lesbian student were portrayed as more stereotypically masculine, and in the other two, two gay and lesbian students were described as more stereotypically feminine. Participants rated the targets on a scale assessing negative emotions. The results showed that the feminine gay male target provoked more negative emotions than the other 3 targets, among both gay and lesbian participants. Moreover, gay and lesbian participants felt more negative emotions towards the masculine lesbian target than the feminine lesbian one. In the end, while the feminine gay man target elicited more negative emotions than the feminine lesbian target, the masculine gay man target did not elicit more negative emotions than the masculine lesbian one. Implications of the results are discussed.
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