1st Edition

Sex Integration in Sport and Physical Culture Promises and Pitfalls

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    Scholars working in the academic field of sport studies have long debated the relationship between sport and gender. Modern sport forms, along with many related activities, have been shown to have historically supported ideals of male superiority, by largely excluding women and/or celebrating only men’s athletic achievements. While the growth of women’s sport throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has extinguished the notion of female frailty, revealing that women can embody athletic qualities previously thought exclusive to men, the continuation of sex segregation in many settings has left something of a discursive ‘back door’ through which ideals of male athletic superiority can escape unscathed, retaining their influence over wider cultural belief systems. However, sex-integrated sport potentially offers a radical departure from such beliefs, as it challenges us to reject assumptions of male superiority, entertaining very different visions of sex difference and gender relations to those typically constructed through traditional models of physical culture. This comprehensive collection offers a diverse range of international case studies that reaffirm the contemporary relevance of sex integration debates, and also articulate the possibility of sport acting as a legitimate space for political struggle, resistance and change.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Sport in Society.

    1. Introduction: The promises and pitfalls of sex integration in sport and physical culture Alex Channon, Katherine Dashper, Thomas Fletcher and Robert J. Lake

    Part I: Theorizing sex integration in sport and physical culture

    2. Off the beaten path: should women compete against men? Pam R. Sailors

    3. ‘Preserving la difference’: the elusiveness of sex-segregated sport Lindsay Parks Pieper

    Part II: Integration in PE and youth sport

    4. Homophobia and heterosexism: Spanish physical education teachers’ perceptions Joaquín Piedra, Gonzalo Ramírez-Macías, Francis Ries, Augusto Rembrandt Rodríguez-Sánchez and Catherine Phipps

    5. Sporting equality and gender neutrality in korfball Laura Gubby and Ian Wellard

    6. Negotiations of gender discourse: experiences of co-education in a Swedish sports initiative for children Karin Grahn and Viveka Berggren Torell

    7. Transcending gender hierarchies? Young people and floorball in Swedish school sport Marie Larneby

    Part III: Integrated non-contact sports

    8. ‘Guys don’t whale away at the women’: etiquette and gender relations in contemporary mixed-doubles tennis Robert J. Lake

    9. Doing femininities and masculinities in a ‘feminized’ sporting arena: the case of mixed-sex cheerleading Esther Priyadharshini and Amy Pressland

    10. The lived experience of sex-integrated sport and the construction of athlete identity within the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian disciplines Donna de Haan, Popi Sotiriadou and Ian Henry

    11. Mixed-sex in sport for development: a pragmatic and symbolic device. The case of touch rugby for forced migrants in Rome Micol Pizzolati and Davide Sterchele

    12. "We have to establish our territory": how women surfers ‘carve out’ gendered spaces within surfing Cassie Comley

    Part IV: Integrated contact sports

    13. Challenging the gender binary: the fictive and real world of quidditch Jeffrey O. Segrave

    14. Challenging the gender binary? Male basketball practice players’ views of female athletes and women’s sports Janet S. Fink, Nicole M. LaVoi and Kristine E. Newhall

    15. ‘They kick you because they are not able to kick the ball’: normative conceptions of sex difference and the politics of exclusion in mixed-sex football Aleksandra Winiarska, Lucy Jackson, Lucy Mayblin and Gill Valentine

    16. Men in a ‘women only’ sport? Contesting gender relations and sex integration in roller derby Adele Pavlidis and James Connor

    17. Playing like a girl? The negotiation of gender and sexual identity among female ice hockey athletes on male teams Danielle DiCarlo

    18. Friendships worth fighting for: bonds between women and men karate practitioners as sites for deconstructing gender inequality Chloe Maclean


    Alex Channon is Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Studies at the University of Brighton, UK. His interests largely center on the relationship between sport, violence, and gender. 

    Katherine Dashper is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK. She has published widely on equestrian sport, gender, diversity, inclusion, and human-animal relationships in sport and leisure practices.

    Thomas Fletcher is Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He has published widely on the topics of race/ethnicity and sport/leisure in academic journals and books.

    Robert J. Lake is an Instructor in Sport Sociology at Douglas College, Canada. He has published widely on the sport of tennis, its history and social issues, including gender, class, exclusion, nationalism, coaching, talent development and policy.

    "Channon, Dashper, Fletcher & Lake's edited volume provides great stimulus for further reading, reflection, discussion and future research. It describes views towards and practices of sex-integrated sport in diverse communities and its promises and potential pitfalls for the future. It covers a diverse geographical, demographical and socio-cultural range of contexts and hence provides projects that should be transferable for many other contexts. I am confident that this book is one of the major expert resources on the topic of sex integration in sport and hope it will draw collaborations from like-minded individuals and groups and provide a platform for more material of this ilk to be contributed for a reprint in the near future." -- Mark Brooke, Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore