I’m posting some information on a research project poster that a graduate student, myself and a colleague developed for the Sport, Sexuality, & Culture Symposium held March 18-20, 2009 at Ithaca College.
Examining Online Intercollegiate Head Coaches’ Biographies:
Reproducing or Challenging Heteronormativity and Heterosexism?
Pat Griffin and the It Takes a Team curriculum she helped develop has raised attention to the many ways that GLBT athletes and coaches experience prejudice and discrimination in overt and subtle ways. We were interested in analyzing heterosexism on university-sponsored athletics websites. Online biographies are a universal component of intercollegiate athletic websites and provide the public with an accessible “up close and personal” source of information about coaches and teams. This project extended work of sport media scholars who contend that coverage and framing of athletes and coaches present females in heteronormative ways in print (Fink & Kensicki, 2002; Kane & Buysse, 2005), broadcast (Billings, Halone & Denham, 2002) and new media (Jones, 2006; Maxwell, 2008).
Online biographies of NCAA Intercollegiate Head Coaches of the Big Ten Conference (N = 226) were examined for patterns of textual representations that reaffirm heterosexuality as the norm.
We found two interesting trends:
1. The pattern of underrepresentation of female coaches in the Big Ten was apparent.
2. A complete absence of diverse sexual orientations was reflected in biographical narratives.
To read more about the trends that emerged from the data, see all the results, or download the poster click here.