Gender and Sexuality in Sport

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Gender and sexuality and its presence and implications it has within sport? I have chosen to research and discuss the concept of gender in sport. Issues relating to gender have been a popular topic of interest since the recent world championships, when the new 800m champion Caster Semenya were asked to take a gender test, due to her over all ability and physical appearance. I believe this issue will also be more relevant with the lead up to the 2012 Olympics and the push to improve sports in school. Gender is still a relevant issue but even more significant is the issues with sexuality and the discrimination within sport that persists when choosing specific sports. In spite of increasing opportunities for women; the fact remains the same that those women still have fewer opportunities than men; however these opportunities are fewer for those who are gay or lesbian. The two categories of gender that are apparent in sport hinder the integration of sexuality. Gay men and lesbians are seen as being outside the norm and have difficulties in participating in sports. (Coakley, 2003). How we perceive women in sport is interesting. When women participate in sport that traditionally are seen as sports for men such as boxing, they risk the chance of being placed under the typical stereotype as “lesbian” or viewed as “less feminine”. An example of this is the Medias opinion on the tennis player Venus Williams. She is criticised for her masculine build and the way in which she plays on many occasions has led the media to compare her to men in her sport. A poll conducted by “sports illustrated” showed that 76% of 1000 interviewees were more comfortable with gay athletes being involved in sport such as tennis and gymnastics rather than sports like football or boxing. This shows stereotyping within certain sports, it also suggest that a person should be judged on what sport he or she can participate in due to their sexuality not there overall level of skill or likes and...
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