Mismatched: A Quantitative Evaluation of Thinking Versus Doing Masculinity in Canadian Sport

Friday, 20 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Max STICK, McMaster University, Canada
Sport is widely considered a hyper-masculine environment where sexist, homophobic, and other oppressive ideologies predominate. However, increasing pressure and activism for social equality is challenging the acceptability of these ideals. Considering liberalizing trends, this study investigates the state of masculinity through a study of Canadian male athletes, commonly believed to be archetypes of normative masculinity in Western society. This research examines whether stereotypical male gender norms are softening in a hyper-masculine environment, and the degree to which progressive social trends are suppressing the reproduction of patriarchy. Correspondence analysis of original survey data is used to explore the dynamic interrelationship between social norms and traditional masculine paradigms that structure contemporary conceptualizations and expressions of masculinity. The data indicate that masculinity is conflicted amongst the athletes in the sample, signified by a mismatch between ideologies and behaviours. These findings suggest that although progressive social developments are constraining discriminatory behaviours, the ideological foundations of oppressive masculinity remain intact. Progressive change has not fundamentally altered the structuration of a gender hierarchy in which heteronormative masculinity prevails.