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Homosexuality In The Locker Room Essay

643 words - 3 pages

Sports, from high school to the professional level, value concepts of masculinity (Zipp, 2010) that create both real and perceived environments of fear for gay male (1) athletes (Anderson, 2011), (2) employees of professional and collegiate athletic programs (Cavalier, 2011), as well as (3) sport journalists (Kian, 2013). According to Hernandez (2011, p. 4), since the World Health Organization (WHO) established a written definition of health in 1947, social and personal well-being are factors which impact a person’s overall health. Therefore, the health of gay boys and men who participate in or are involved with sports is jeopardized by the expected heteromasculinity and homophobic epithets used by players, coaches, and fans (Zipp, 2010; Kian, E., Clavio, G., Vincent, J., & Shaw, S., 2011).
Sports, especially contact sports, are closely linked to heterosexuality (Zipp, 2010). Some believe the aggression, physical strength, and competition are “what makes a boy into a man” (Zipp, 2010, p. 20). Young male participation in athletics has become, in the United States, almost a required rite of passage (Zipp, 2010). A survey of 2,185 3rd-12th graders indicated that only 15% of boys had never played a sport and 75% of the boys were participating in at least one sport at the time the data were collected (Zipp, 2010). Research since the 1950s has consistently suggested that success in athletics is crucial for adolescent boy popularity (Zipp, 2010). Unfortunately, pressure from various sectors of this “cultural institution” forces some boys to suppress or hide their sexual orientation because homosexuality “…undercuts, or at least threatens, the ‘fallacy upon which heterosexual masculinity is built’ (Anderson 2005, p. 43)” (Zipp, 2010). Data from a survey of 5,128 7-12th grade boys (8.2% reported a same-sex sexuality) showed no difference in the type of sport played by heterosexual and homosexual boys (Zipp, 2010). These data, however, showed a decline in the number of self-identified gay teens...

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