Call for Papers
Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities
Journal of Homosexuality
Guest Editor, Eric Anderson*
Although limited, research on athletes throughout the 1980s and 1990s found that organized sports were a highly homophobic institution. When Brian Pronger (1990) studied closeted gay athletes in Canada, he was unable to find men who were out to their teammates. Interviewing heterosexual male athletes, Michael Messner (1992) wrote, “The extent of homophobia in the sports world is staggering. Boys (in sports) learn early that to be gay, to be suspected of being gay, or even to be unable to prove one’s heterosexual status is not acceptable” (p.34). And considering gay athletes in the Netherlands, Gert Hekma (1998) wrote, “Gay men who are seen as queer and effeminate are granted no space whatsoever in what is generally considered to be a masculine preserve and a macho enterprise” (p. 2). This research was supported by the quantitative work on university athletes in the United States, where Wolf Wendel, Toma, and Morphew (2001) found male athletes to exhibit disproportional degrees of homophobia compared to racism.
However, Anderson (2002, 2005) interviewed 68 gay male athletes throughout a spectrum of sports in the United States, providing the first-ever examination of the experiences of openly gay male team sport athletes on ostensibly all heterosexual teams. Surprisingly, it was found that openly gay athletes were free from physical harassment or bullying, but that this was partially attributable to the stigma of homosexuality being mediated because these were mostly top-performing athletes. Since this research, other studies have documented further decreasing homophobia within the sport setting (Kian and Anderson 2009; Richard Southall, et. al. 2009). ESPN has even shown that well-more than the majority of professional American teamsport athletes are accepting of the potential of gay teammates.
This call for papers seeks to further expand our empirical and theoretical research base considering the intersections of men, sexualities, and sport. All theoretical frameworks and disciplines are welcome, but the papers must be based on empirical evidence. For example, research on gay or bisexual men in sport, or of their heterosexual counterparts would be encouraged. Papers considering sexual minorities in otherwise heterosexual spaces (i.e. of athletes in formalized heterosexual sporting institutions like universities or leagues) will be privileged over papers concerning athletes in queer sporting spaces (gay clubs or gay games). Otherwise, the scope of this call is broad. Papers concerning gay male, bisexual, female-to-male, and even the attitudes of heterosexuals toward male sexual minorities are all encouraged.
Please send an abstract of approximately 1,500 words by May 1, 2010 to Dr. Eric Anderson (as Microsoft Word e-mail attachments) at EricAndersonPhD@aol.com describing the methods, data, and theories that you intend to use. This does not guarantee an acceptance, but it will permit the guest editor to help shape papers that fit the scope of this special issue, and reject ideas that are less ideal before authors invest much time in them. Once an abstract has been accepted, authors will have until September 15, 2010 to submit the full manuscript. Authors who are invited to write article-length manuscripts will be asked that articles be written in accessible language and prepared in American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition format. Articles are to be a maximum of 25-30 double-spaced pages inclusive of references. Authors will receive notification of their paper’s status approximately one month later.
*Dr. Eric Anderson is an American sociologist at the University of Bath, England. He has published extensively on heterosexual and gay men in sport, authored multiple journal articles on the subject as well as three books: In the Game, Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity (2005), examines openly gay male teamsport athletes. Trailblazing: The True Story of America’s First Openly Gay High School Coach (2000), is his autobiography. Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities examines how heterosexual male athletes’ are becoming less homophobic in an age of decreased cultural homophobia.
Eric Anderson, Ph.D.
Department of Education
University of Bath,
Bath BA2 7AY