Openly Lesbian Team Sport Athletes in an Era of Decreasing Homohysteria

Eric Anderson, Rachael Bullingham

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Sociologists who examine the issue of lesbians in American sport in the 1980s and 1990s normally found overt and covert mechanisms of socia l discrimination. However, homophobia has been on a rapid decline ov er previous decades, and studies show attitudes toward female homosexuality in sport have improved since the research conducted on lesbian athletes in the mid -1990s. This article uses data collected between that epoch and current studies to analyze athletic narratives of openly lesbian team sport athletes in 2002. We find no universa l pattern for the treatment of openly lesbian athletes existed in this era o f decreasing homohysteria. However, as with gay men in sport at the ti me, athletic capital influenced who came out, and heterosexism was prominent. Keywords: Homophobia, Sport, Lesbians, Athletes, Heteronormativity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-660
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2015


  • Homophobia
  • Heteronormativity
  • Athletes
  • Lesbians
  • Sport

Cite this

Anderson, E., & Bullingham, R. (2015). Openly Lesbian Team Sport Athletes in an Era of Decreasing Homohysteria. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50(6), 647-660.