Deconstructing the myth of the monolithic male athlete

A qualitative study of men's participation in athletics

Andrew S Walters, Kathleen A. O'Donnell, Daniel L. Wardlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A qualitative study using field-based methods examined motivations for participation in collegiate team sports, the psychological and emotional rewards of team membership, and the dynamics of relationships with teammates among male athletes. Previous cross-disciplinary research largely reinforces clear and consistent gender differences within communal and agentic domains. In-depth, oral bibliographic interviews with 11 varsity athletes from basketball and soccer teams were conducted at a university in the USA. Participants spoke freely about multiple dimensions of their experiences as athletes-experiences frequently dichotomized by researchers as masculine or feminine. Analyses document that male athletes rated the importance of interpersonal and emotional relationships with teammates as valuably as they did instrumental needs. Results are discussed in terms of cultural imperatives that polarize domains presumed to be highly gender based and sex-segregated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-99
Number of pages19
JournalSex Roles
Volume60
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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athlete
Athletes
Sports
myth
participation
Basketball
team sports
Soccer
soccer
Reward
reward
Motivation
gender-specific factors
experience
Research Personnel
Interviews
Psychology
university
gender
interview

Keywords

  • Male athletics
  • Male intimacy
  • Masculinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender Studies

Cite this

Deconstructing the myth of the monolithic male athlete : A qualitative study of men's participation in athletics. / Walters, Andrew S; O'Donnell, Kathleen A.; Wardlow, Daniel L.

In: Sex Roles, Vol. 60, No. 1-2, 01.2009, p. 81-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Walters, Andrew S ; O'Donnell, Kathleen A. ; Wardlow, Daniel L. / Deconstructing the myth of the monolithic male athlete : A qualitative study of men's participation in athletics. In: Sex Roles. 2009 ; Vol. 60, No. 1-2. pp. 81-99.
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