Sexuality and Sport
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Sexuality and sport • Sport plays a major role in reinforcing or challenging society’s ideas regarding sport.
The role of the media in constructing meanings related to sexuality
• The use of language and images can alter perceptions of games and participants. Values and attitudes are both shaped and reinforced the way the media presents an athlete. o Eg. Commentary regarding a female tennis player as ‘powerful’ can give the perception of her being ‘butch’.
Homophobia and sport
• The media often interprets sensitivity in males and competitiveness in females as hints of homosexuality. • Women who venture into traditionally male sports are often accused of being lesbians • Men who show little interest in sport are viewed as ‘unmasculine’ and as ‘poofters’. • Athletes such as Martina Navratilova (tennis) and Ian Roberts (ARL) had sponsorship deals and endorsements withdrawn after they ‘came out’.