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Special Issue "Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2022 | Viewed by 5736

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Stefano Boca
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Educational Sciences and Human Movement, University of Palermo, City Palermo I-90133, Italy
Interests: psychology of sport; physical activity
Dr. Ambra Gentile
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Educational Sciences and Human Movement; University of Palermo, 90133 Palermo, Italy
Interests: relationship between cognitive development and physical activity; moral disengagement in youth athletes; psychological wellbeing in children practicing sports; cognition and physical exercise across life span
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As you probably know well, the sport domain retains a considerable degree of disparity between males and females. This is true for both the sport organizations and the sport performance as well as for many of the activities that people carry on in their free time. Sport is considered mainly a masculine domain for its intrinsic characteristics (i.e., strength) and women who engage in some specific kind of sports may be perceived as “masculine”. The persistence of these stereotypes, reinforced by the mass-media representation of female athletes (e.g., masculine, sexualized), put other barriers for gender equality inside the sport field. Gender inequality is at the origin of under-performance of female athletes and barrier to job career for women working in sport organizations. Respecting gender difference in sport activities and sport organizations helps maintaining an inclusive environment. On the contrary, a lack of respect brings to social and psychological cost both for women and men. This special issue is devoted to investigating the questions raised by gender inequalities in the diverse areas of sport and leisure practice. In this way we may all together make stock of the current situation and contribute to raise the awareness of these phenomena. Your contribution will certainly improve the quality and the impact of this special issue of Sustainability.

Prof. Stefano Boca
Dr. Ambra Gentile
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sport and leisure time
  • gender pay gap
  • glass ceiling
  • glass cliff
  • gender stereotypes

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Critical Masses and Gender Diversity in Voluntary Sport Leadership: The Role of Economic and Social State-Level Factors
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 6208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14106208 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Gender equality in leadership positions is important for sport organizations to achieve economic and social sustainability. Based on a multi-level framework, this study examines spillover effects from economic and social state-level factors in sport organizations’ environment on critical masses of women on their [...] Read more.
Gender equality in leadership positions is important for sport organizations to achieve economic and social sustainability. Based on a multi-level framework, this study examines spillover effects from economic and social state-level factors in sport organizations’ environment on critical masses of women on their boards (in terms of share and numbers) and board gender diversity (reflected by different types of boards). Data of national and regional sport governing bodies in Germany were collected (n = 930), with variables capturing organizational characteristics (e.g., board composition) and economic and social factors at the state level. The results of regression analyses show that women’s attainment in tertiary education increases the likelihood of a critical mass of at least 30% women on the board, and a higher divorce rate increases the likelihood of a critical mass of three women on the board. Sport organizations in states with a higher gender wage gap are more likely to have balanced boards, indicating that volunteering might be a substitute to paid work. The findings suggest that the presence of women in sport leadership is affected by economic and social conditions in the organizations’ geographical surroundings and that spillover effects occur from the state level to the organizational level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)
Article
The “Queen Bee Syndrome” in Sports Federations: An Exploratory Investigation of Gender Stereotypes in Italian Female Coaches
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031596 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 747
Abstract
Several studies have shown that women in top positions tend to hinder and mistreat other women; this phenomenon is known in the literature under the term “Queen bee syndrome”. The aim of this study is to investigate whether Queen bee syndrome is also [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown that women in top positions tend to hinder and mistreat other women; this phenomenon is known in the literature under the term “Queen bee syndrome”. The aim of this study is to investigate whether Queen bee syndrome is also present within the Italian Sports Federations. To this end, an online questionnaire was administered to Italian female coaches (n = 516). From the statistical analyses, it emerged that coaches in the 40–49 age group attribute to themselves more masculine than feminine adjectives (Bem Sex-Role Inventory, BSRI), and also score higher on the gender stereotype scales, the Attitudes Towards Women Scale (d = −0.1189, p < 0.05) and the Macho Scale, compared to trainers in the 18–29 age group (d = −0.1681, p < 0.05). Moreover, a positive correlation emerges between the scores obtained on the Attitudes Towards Women Scale and Macho Scale (r = 0.600, p <0.01) and between organizational support and affective attachment to the organization (r = 0.529, p <0.01). Overall, all the results seem to show the presence of the Queen bee syndrome within the Italian Sports Federations. In the future, it will be interesting to evaluate additional variables involved in this phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)
Article
Analysis of Time Use Surveys Using CO-STATIS: A Multiway Data Analysis of Gender Inequalities in Time Use in Colombia
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13073; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313073 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 724
Abstract
The aim of this article was to study 23 time use activities measured in the two latest Colombian National Time Use Surveys, taken in 2013 (with 119,899 participants over the age of 10) and in 2017 (with a sample of 122,620 participants), to [...] Read more.
The aim of this article was to study 23 time use activities measured in the two latest Colombian National Time Use Surveys, taken in 2013 (with 119,899 participants over the age of 10) and in 2017 (with a sample of 122,620 participants), to identify similarities and differences between the years of the survey by gender, age group, and socioeconomic level. The study’s results were obtained using the CO-STATIS multiway multivariate data analysis technique, which is comprised of two X-STATIS analyses and co-inertia analysis. The results confirm the existence of gender issues related to time use in Colombia, which are associated with gender stereotypes that link women to unpaid work and home care, especially in low socioeconomic levels, where women face limitations in terms of the time available to earn their own income. Additionally, differences were found by socioeconomic level, where Colombians of high socioeconomic status in all age groups are able to devote more time to leisure and recreational activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)
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Article
Influence of Gender Stereotypes, Type of Sport Watched and Close Environment on Adolescent Sport Practice According to Gender
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111863 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
The practice of sport by adolescents is influenced by multiple factors, which could create differences in sports participation according to gender. The objectives of this study were to determine which types of sports were most practiced by adolescent males and females; and to [...] Read more.
The practice of sport by adolescents is influenced by multiple factors, which could create differences in sports participation according to gender. The objectives of this study were to determine which types of sports were most practiced by adolescent males and females; and to analyze the relationship of gender stereotypes, the type of sport observed and the personal environment, to the type of sport practiced, depending on the adolescent’s gender. To this end, a total of 632 adolescents completed the questionnaire “Lifestyle in Sport with a Gender Perspective”. The results showed significant differences according to gender in the type of sport practiced (p < 0.05), in the membership to sports clubs (p < 0.001), and in the participation in competitions (p < 0.001). It was found that family (p < 0.005) and friends (p < 0.05) were the social agents that most influenced the choice of the type of sport practiced, and that the type of sport watched live (p < 0.005), and in the media (p < 0.001), was related to gender and the type of sport practiced. In contrast, the gender stereotypes of the adolescents themselves were not related to the practice of sports. In conclusion, the environment closest to the adolescents was related to the type of sport practiced by those adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)
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Review

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Review
Barriers and Motives for Physical Activity and Sports Practice among Trans People: A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5295; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095295 - 27 Apr 2022
Viewed by 586
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the research conducted between 2016 and 2021, regarding barriers and motives for the practice of physical activity (PA), physical exercise (PE), and sports among trans individuals. The searches were carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze the research conducted between 2016 and 2021, regarding barriers and motives for the practice of physical activity (PA), physical exercise (PE), and sports among trans individuals. The searches were carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases between January 2022 and April 2022, and included papers published between October 2016 and December 2021. After reading the full text of the studies, and according to the eligibility criteria previously defined, only six studies met the inclusion criteria. Internal barriers were related to body dissatisfaction and discomfort, discrimination, and fear of other people’s reactions. Regarding external barriers, sports environment, PE environment, and sports participation policies and regulations are the main factors expressed by trans individuals that hinder the practice of sports and PE. The desire to achieve a specific physical form and the role that PE plays in the preparation and/or replacement of gender-confirming surgery are the most important motives for the practice. This study highlights the importance of continuing to fight the barriers encountered in the practice of PE and sports, suggesting the main motives that could help create better interventions, plans, and inclusive policies that may help promote its practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)
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Other

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Concept Paper
Competition, Gender Equality, and Doping in Sports in the Red Queen Effect Perspective
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 2490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14052490 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 948
Abstract
The nature of sports is characterized by a strong competitive component that generates inequalities among athletes at different levels, specifically in relation to gender, technology, and doping. These inequalities can be represented according to the Red Queen effect perspective, which has been previously [...] Read more.
The nature of sports is characterized by a strong competitive component that generates inequalities among athletes at different levels, specifically in relation to gender, technology, and doping. These inequalities can be represented according to the Red Queen effect perspective, which has been previously hypothesized in other competitive environments (evolutionary biology and economics, for instance). The Red Queen effect considers each competitive environment to require a constant effort to maintain a position of competitive advantage in order reach the best result possible. Therefore, the aim of the current paper is to provide an innovative perspective for the understanding of competition in sports, identifying factors (i.e., physical appearance for gender equality, socioeconomic status of a sport team for technology, and antidoping rules for doping) influencing athletes’ possibilities to win a competition. Concerning gender differences, the disparity between genders reflects a lower coverage in sports news, and media are more likely to focus on female athletes’ physical appearance than their performance in sports. Therefore, women struggle more with increasing their visibility and in affirming their status as an athlete. On the other hand, the introduction of science and technological innovations in sports has generated economic interests in sport competitions, which reached superior performance levels compared to the past. Teams that cannot afford financial burdens of technological innovation risk being left out from sport competitions. Finally, doping creates a Red Queen environment since antidoping rules catch a small portion of athletes using performance enhancement drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender Issues in Sport and Leisure Activities)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: The tension between women’s own ambitions and the gender steretypes: the “Queen bee syndrome” also within the Sports Federations

Authors: All authors designed and conceptualized the study, methods, data collection, coded and ana-lyzed the data, wrote the manuscript, and approved the final manuscript.
Author Affiliations: Cibibin Caterina, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padova, Italy Leo Irene, Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padova, Italy
Abstract: Many studies have shown that women in top positions tend to hinder and mistreat oth-er women: this phenomenon is known in literature with the term "Queen bee syndrome" [1]. The aim of this study is to investigate whether queen bee syndrome is also present within the sports federations. To this end, an online questionnaire was administered: it consisted of questions re-lating to personal information and standardized tests to evaluate some constructs. From the sta-tistical analyzes it emerged that coaches in the 40-49 age group attribute to themselves more masculine than feminine adjectives and score higher on the gender stereotype scales, Attitudes Towards Women Scale (d = -.1189, p <.05) and Macho Scale compared to trainers in the 18-29 age group (d = -.1681, p <.05). Moreover, a positive correlation emerges between the scores obtained on the Attitudes Towards Women Scale and Macho Scale (r = .600, p <.01) and between organi-zational support and affective attachment to the organization (r = .529, p <.01). Overall, all the results seem to show presence of the Queen bee syndrome also within the Sports Federations. In the future it will be interesting to evaluate additional variables involved in this phenomenon.

2. Title: Gender (Dis)parities by Design or Culture? An interrogation of Women Participation in Athletics as a case of Kenya
Authors: Lorna Kimaiyo and David Maina
Author Affiliations: Kenyatta University
Abstract: For decades, Kenyans have dominated world athletics, especially in middle and long distances races. From the middle of the twentieth century, Kenyans were already gaining international recognition on the world stage. However, the dominance of men in sport was clearly apparent. The gender gap at that time was huge with only a handful of women participants. This paper is an exploration of women and sports participation in Kenya is twofold: it examines the genesis of gender disparities in the participation of women in sport in colonial and post-colonial Kenya and what changes led to a reduction in those discrepancies in the last three decades. This paper will argue that cultural limitations in different African societies and colonial policies which were highly patriarchal inhabited women's participation in athletics during the pre-colonial and colonial period. Nevertheless, from the 1980s the number of women started to increase significantly in different sporting spheres including athletics. This is attributed to positive change in advocacy, formal education, and inclusivity through government policies that gave women a better platform to excel in sports and athletics in general. The increase in institutions that acted as nurturing areas for sports such as schools, incorporation of women in the disciplined forces among others was instrumental in giving them an opportunity and resources to engage in various sporting activities just like their male counterparts. The study was informed by the patriarchal and feminists ideology theories to explain the gender issue in sports. On methodology, the paper will use primary sources of data, mainly oral interviews, Focus Group Discussion, and archival materials, as well as secondary sources to explain the representation of women in Kenyan sports.

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