Boys Will Be Boys: Assessing Attitudes of Athletic Officials on Sexism and Violence against Women

By Dessie Clark.

Published by The International Journal of Sport and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 24, 2017 $US5.00

The purpose of this research is to explore how athletic officials identify and understand violence against women. Scholars theorize that hegemonic forms of masculinity that depict men as strong, aggressive, and dominant may be perpetuated by sports culture; thus, coaches can be an effective site of intervention for changing this culture. Therefore, it is important to determine how the influential relationship between athletes and athletic coaches can be used to promote healthy gender relations within communities. This study uses a qualitative approach to assess athletic coaches’ knowledge and beliefs on issues related to masculinity, sexism, and violence against women. This study showcases the logical fallacies athletic coaches use to justify the presence of violence against women in athletics. Furthermore, this research identifies athletic coaches’ conflict over the roles they play in their athletes’ lives. Due to limited and conflicting research in this area, it is important to offer insight into the ability of athletic coaches to act as mentors to athletes in order to prevent sexual and domestic violence and promote healthy masculinity.

Keywords: Masculinity, Athletics, Sexism

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 8, Issue 1, March 2017, pp.31-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 24, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 610.990KB)).

Dessie Clark

Doctoral Student, Ecological-Community Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA