Female Rugby Players’ Notions of Femininity.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Body ideals within western society often lead to both males and females feeling pressures to look a particular way. These ideals differ between males and females, and because of these bodily differences genders are commonly assigned different expectations in terms of behaviour. Sport, in particular, has gender constructs within it. Sports such as rugby and football have been deemed as typically masculine sports; females who participate in these sports have then questioned the masculine construct, and had their femininity questioned thus. Stereotypes have then been attached to females within these sports, stereotypes focused on femininity and sexuality in particular. However, within the twenty-first century it would be hoped that it females in rugby are becoming much more accepted. This study took a qualitative approach to femininity among females in rugby, conducting semi-structured interviews and using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to analyse data. It investigated the experiences of female rugby players in terms of prejudice, pressures, motivations, as well as their views on how present stereotypes still are and what can change this. Six main themes were found during analysis: importance of team, stereotypes, body and satisfaction, changes and reasons for change, motivational influences, and sexism. The results indicate the positive implications sporting participation can
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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