Sport as a Traditionally Male Domain

BikiCrumbs: Sport as a Tra…lly Male Domain

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Sport as a traditionally male domain

Sport and the construction of masculinity • In Australia sport is traditionally associated with masculinity. • Australia’s climate, space, and largely male population after colonisation resulted in a masculinised culture of mateship. • Australians are conditioned to celebrate and glorify male sporting achievements and qualities.

Sport and the construction of femininity • In the past women were discouraged from some forms of activity as they were thought to be in danger of damaging reproductive systems etc. • Women are expected to keep fit, slim and attractive through physical activity. • Women who are ‘sporty’ are often labelled as ‘tomboys’ or as ‘butch’.

Implications for participation • Participation rates of men and boys are 3 times higher than for women. • Men are more likely to use ‘active’ recreation areas such as playing fields, golf courses or tennis courts. Women are more likely to use ‘passive’ recreation facilities such as libraries, parks and museums. • Positive role models such as Libby Lenton (swimming) or Nikki Hudson (hockey) can have a factor on participation rates.

Sponsorship, policy and resourcing • Traditional male sports such as cricket and football have secured much of the corporate dollar. • Women’s sport suffers from lack of exposure and subsequent sponsorship opportunities. • Some successful women’s teams gain a measure of support, but this is well below male sports resourcing etc.

The role of the media in constructing meanings around femininity and masculinity • Media messages are associated with commentary, positioning and size of articles and headlines and the focus of photographs.