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Gender Attitudes and Sexual Behaviors: Comparing Center and Marginal Athletes and Nonathletes in a Collegiate Setting

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 14 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2008 Pages: 1014-1032
Elizabeth Ann Gage
Date Published
September 2008
19 pages
As an extension of previous qualitative research on the relationships between male athletic participation, gender attitudes, and sexual behavior, this study examined the impact of participating in different sports on male athletes’ gender attitudes, hegemonic masculinity, sexual behavior, and sexual aggression.
Results reveal that it is not just athletic participation of any sort that is associated with male athletes’ conformity to traditional masculinity norms, rates of sexual aggression, increased sexual behavior, or more negative attitudes toward women. The results indicate that type of sport played has an impact on these outcome variables. All male athletes, both marginal and center, scored higher on the Masculinity Scale and lower on the Attitudes Toward Women Scale than their nonathletic peers. Athletes in center sports, such as football scored significantly higher on hypermasculinity scales, had lower attitudes toward women, and displayed more sexual aggression and more sexual activity than men who competed in marginal sports, such as track and field or not at all. Scholarly study of the relationship between being an athlete and perpetrating violence against women is not new. Using original survey data in multivariate models to compare sexual behavior and gender attitudes of men who participate in different collegiate sports with men who do not contributes to the body of research that differentiates between men who do not participate in organized collegiate sports to those who do. Tables and references


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