The Politics of Sexuality and Sport

Authored by: Nigel Jarvis

Routledge Handbook of Sport and Politics

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138792548
eBook ISBN: 9781315761930
Adobe ISBN: 9781317646679

10.4324/9781315761930.ch25

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Abstract

Annually I teach a group of final year undergraduate physical education students about issues related to sexuality and sport. The lecture starts with the students traditionally being asked to mention the first things that come to their minds when they think about lesbians and gay men and sport. After some initial trepidation, students consistently comment gay men like individual or ‘feminine’ sports like swimming or dance, while they perceive a lot of lesbians take part in soccer, field hockey or rugby. Normally these stereotypes generate quite a bit of laughter in the room. Further, after presenting them the history of the global growth of gay sport networks, one female student stated recently:

I don’t understand the big deal. Everyone gets along and young people here don’t care if you’re gay or straight. I don’t understand why there is a need for gay sport clubs or the Gay Games . . . people should just openly play in a club or in the Olympics.

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