Publication Details

Wright, J. (2016). Sexuality, gender and youth sport. In K. Green & A. Smith (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport (pp. 276-286). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.


There are two main themes underpinning most research and writing on gender, sexuality and youth sports: a concern with social inequalities based on gender and sexuality, and a concern with sport as a site where limiting gender norms are (re)produced for boys, girls, young women and men. The two themes are not distinct but are often intertwined in discussions of gender and sexuality in relation to youth sports. For example, girls' limited access to and different experience of sports, such as the different codes of football, are not only about fewer resources or opportunities but about the ways the practices associated with football as a traditional male sport celebrate and train for particular forms of [hegemonic] masculinity, thereby putting at risk the claim to being appropriately female of those girls and women who might want to play. In addition, such practices also work to exclude and put at risk those boys who do not demonstrate socially valued forms of masculinity in their performance of the game, or who choose not to play the game. These themes have been explored in relation to school sports, community and club youth sports, contemporary and action sports and from the perspectives of sociology of sport and cultural studies.