AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleConformity to Gender Norms
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Gender roles and gender ideology can reflect attitudes that society have placed on what it may mean to be masculine or feminine. The sport industry has been characterized to more closely adopt a conventional masculine approach. In this construct, female athletes, as well as male, can be faced with challenges while attempting to navigate conventional gender norms. The purpose of this research case study is to evaluate whether athletes that identify as either female or male differ from their student peers regarding conformity to feminine and masculine gender norms. Twenty-eight student-athletes from a Midwest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) college responded to a four-point Likert type scale survey on gender norms; of which, sixteen identified as male and twelve identified as female. Results indicated from a calculated mean perspective both male and female athlete identifiers rated similar from a conventional masculine perspective in terms of questions associated with winning and differed the most from a conventional feminine perspective in terms of questions associated with body image / thinness. Interestingly, this cohort of male identifiers responded higher in terms of the importance associated with romantic relationships (a conventional feminine norm), while the female identifiers responded higher in terms of self-reliance (a conventional masculine norm). A limitation of this study is that all participants identified as student-athletes and none as studentonly, therefore all comparisons are made between male and female identified athletes.