18 SES 10 B JS, Gender Issues and Physical Education
Joint Paper Session NW 18 and NW 27
Physical Education (PE) does not get out of (cannot be dissociated from ?) societal evolution. In France, the ministry of education is involved in gender equality and fights against homophobia. Many official texts have been promulgated since 2000 to promote gender equality and fight discriminations based on gender and sexual orientation.
Though, this seems not to be sufficient. Although texts provide value to these issues, teaching practices poorly change. Sexist and homophobic bullying is still present during classes but awareness weakly increases. In these conditions can learning process be secure? Sexism and homophobia are major issues. Their consequences are rejection, exclusion and marginalisation of the most vulnerable youth. When he or she does not matches norms and sexual standards – even when same-sex sexuality is only suspected – this adolescent can be subjected to mockeries, threats, intimation and physical assaults. Sexism and homophobia are an insidious, ordinary, and invisible bullying. The bullying process can also go as far as an exclusion of peer-group, absenteeism (common in PE), school dropout or worse, can lead to suicide. In France, educational staffs as well as teachers do not seem to be aware of these concerns, and frequently ignore this type of bullying. Yet their responsibility is engaged when troubles take place at school or during classes.
French scientific literature suffers of a lack of research on these issues. There are theoretical frameworks but they do not include gender studies approach. Most of French studies focuses on homosexuality and are present in sport studies but do not take into account educational issues. Even though latest studies highlighted homophobic violence in sport contexts, school environment is still not examined. Only one conference has been planned on these thematics gathering researchers in a French context (Férez, Héas, Liotard, 2010). Also, English literature proposes a more developed framework. Sexism is explored in a broader spectrum more in its links with gender equality than discrimination (in France Héas, Férez, Bodin, Robène, 2009). There is still a lack of data and studies exploring this problematic specifically in education and still more in physical education, sport and physical practices. Well-known authors publishing in English language reviews produced since at least 12 years a scientific approach on the subject of homophobia mostly. Previously studies related to sport and masculinity for example Sabo & Runfola (1980) started with Jocks: Sports and Male Identity. Messner is also a noted author frequently read and quoted in the literature about masculinity, sport and domination (1988, 1989) masculinity and violence in Sport (1990), gender (1992), male-female relations in sports (2002). Others, such as Pronger (1990), contribute to develop this research agenda. While masculinity as a subject expanded in the 1990 decade, femininity as well as female positions and claims in sport developed significantly less in sport research fields except from Théberge (1987, 1995). Of course, the main framework about masculinity must be accorded to the sociologist R.W. Connell (1995) with the major publication Masculinity, belatedly translated into French in 2014. In the late 2000-decade homophobia as a research subject began to emerge in sport literature and in physical education in themargins in English contexts but barely moved to France except in feminist studies.
Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Berkeley, University of California Press. Version française (2014). Masculinités. Paris : Editions Amsterdam. Férez, S., Héas, S. & Liotard, P. (2010) Colloque Education et Homophobie, une forme de discrimination dans le système éducatif : Etats des lieux, actions et relais de l'action, Résumés et Abstracts, 76. Héas, S., Férez, S., Kergoat, R., Bodin & D. Robène, L. (2009). Violences sexistes et sexuelles dans les sports: exemple de l'humour et de l'insulte. Genre sexualité et société, [En ligne], 1 | Printemps 2009, mis en ligne le 29 juin 2009, consulté le 22 mars 2014. URL : http://gss.revues.org/287 Messner, M. A. (1988). Sports and male domination: The female athlete as contested ideological terrain. Sociology of Sport Journal, 5, 97-211 Messner, M. A. (1989). Masculinities and athletic careers. Gender and Society, 3, 71-88 Messner, M. A. (1990). When bodies are weapons : Masculinity and violence in Sport, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 25, 203-220. Messner, M. A. (1992). Power at play : sports and the problem of masculinity. Boston : Beacon Press. Messner, M. A. (2002). Taking the field: Women and men in sports. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Pronger, B. (1990). The Arena of masculinity : sports, homosexuality, and the meaning of sex. New York : St Martin’s Press. Sabo. D. F. & Runfola, R. (Eds.). (1980). Jock: Sports and Male Identity. Prentice- Hall : Englewood Cliffs. N.J. Théberge, N. (1987). Sport and Women’s Empowerment. Women’s Studies International Forum, 10(4). Théberge, N. (1995). Gender, Sport and the Construction of Community: A Case Study from Women’s Ice Hockey’, Sociology of Sport Journal, 12(4), 389-40
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