The effect of compulsory femininity in society on female participation in Rugby Union.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Compulsory femininity in society in this case is the idea that females are restricted only to participation in activities that society perceive to portray them as models of femininity. Rugby Union is generally perceived to be a masculine sport in which levels of female participation are low in comparison to males. This study aims to understand the ways in which compulsory femininity in society affects female participation in Rugby Union. This data was collected from interviews with 6 sportswomen, (3 Rugby players and 3 participate in other sports) to understand their experiences of sport and compulsory femininity in society. The data revealed that compulsory femininity appears to be a deeply embedded societal issue that impacts many of the decisions that females make. The major barriers to participation that were recognised were results of the conflicting images of ‘the female Rugby player’ and the ideal feminine image that society values.
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