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Boys in Rhythmic Gymnastics: Gymnasts’, Parents’ and Coaches’ Perspectives from Southern Spain

  • Joaquín PiedraEmail author
  • Daniel Gallardo
  • George Jennings
Chapter

Abstract

Patriarchal dominance in many Western societies, in different degrees and ways, has historically not only oppressed women but also isolated many men who have not complied with orthodox masculinity patterns (Anderson, Inclusive masculinity: The changing nature of masculinities. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009). The aim of this study is to know and analyse the experiences of a group of boys, parents and trainers, who practise rhythmic gymnastics in seven different competitive clubs from cities and rural areas in the South of Spain. Within this interpretative paradigm, 17 interviews were conducted (four in pairs) with: male gymnasts who practise rhythmic gymnastics (9); parents (7), and trainers (4). The boys, families and trainers express the support that they have had (or given) when boys decide to practise a traditionally “feminine appropriate” sport (Hargreaves, Sporting females: Critical issues in the history and sociology of women’s sports. London: Routledge, 1994). However, many gymnasts have been insulted or mocked by other boys, even their own relatives. Parents especially point out bad experiences that their kids are/were living. Therefore, it is important to work with families in order to eliminate stereotypes and prejudices in the male division of this discipline in the future. Similarly, rhythmic gymnastics should be promoted among boys, since a higher presence of boys in clubs would ease their reception among girls.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joaquín Piedra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Gallardo
    • 1
  • George Jennings
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Cardiff Metropolitan UniversityCardiffUK

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