Beyond Beauty and Brawn: Winter Olympic Athletes Tackle Gender Stereotypes

Amy H Jones, Skye C. Cooley


The body of literature on gender stereotypes in sports media coverage suggests that both male and female athletes are subject to scrutiny by fitting an expected vision of masculinity or femininity based on the “type” of sport they play. Athletes who participate in masculine-typed sports are expected to fit masculine social roles, and athletes who participate in feminine-typed sports are expected to fit feminine social roles. This qualitative study uses in-depth interviews to examine the athlete’s perspective of gender stereotypes in winter sports, the influence of media coverage on gender stereotypes, and social roles within the sports industry. Results from 43 in-depth interviews with winter Olympic athletes shed light on the pressures athletes face, and their perceptions about gender roles in sport.


Gender stereotypes; Social role; Sports

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