Sport & gender

  • Sport, socialization and gender identity
  • Sport and sexually dimorphic bodies
  • Gender discrimination in sport
  • Gender and sporting careers
  • Gender, race, class
  • Gender, sport and the media
  • Gender and sports: historical perspectives

Historically seen as a very macho domain, sport remains a bastion of inequality and discrimination and continues to provide fertile ground for teaching and expressing sexual stereotypes. However, the last few decades have seen a gradual “feminization” of sport, largely due to the increased presence and influence of women as participants across the entire range of sporting activities (especially at the elite level), through new careers for women in the world of sport and via greater media coverage of women’s sport. In addition, as a social institution, a means of socialization and bodily expression, sport is a way of challenging or overcoming certain gender stereotypes.
Researchers in this theme examine these issues from historical, sociological, anthropological and communication sciences perspectives. Much of the group’s work focuses on understanding the obstacles facing people who do sport or who work in the world of sport, and on identifying the social, economic and contextual (especially gender, race and class) factors in play. The results of this research help provide foundations for programs promoting greater equality.


Researchers working on this theme:

Institute of Sports Sciences

  • Florence Carpentier - FNS Senior Researcher
  • Patrick Clastres - Associate professor
  • Nicolas Margas - Assistant professor
  • Claire Nicolas - Post-Doctoral FNS Researcher
  • Fabien Ohl - Full professor
  • Madeleine Pape - FNS Senior Researcher
  • Laurent Paccaud - Doctoral student
  • Flora Plassard - Doctoral student
  • Grégory Quin - Assistant professor
  • Lara Rech - Doctoral student
  • Lucie Schoch - Assistant teacher

Institute of Social Sciences

  • Solène Froidevaux - Assistant professor
  • Gianni Haver - Associate professor
  • Eléonore Lépinard - Associate professor


Major publications on this research theme:

  • Carpentier, F. (2019). Alice Milliat et le premier "sport féminin" dans l’Entre-deux-guerres. Revue d’histoire, 2(142), 93-107.
  • Cervin G., & Nicolas, C. (dir.) (2019). Histories of Women’s Work in Global Sport. A Man’s World ? Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Bilat Loïse, Haver Gianni (2011). Le héros était une femme... Le genre de l'aventure. Antipodes.
  • Margas, N., & Chalabaev, A. (sous presse). Le sport et l'éducation physique : entre terrains affichés d'émancipation féminine et constats de reproduction des stéréotypes sexués. In K. Faniko & B. Dardenne (Eds.), Psychologie des stéréotypes de genre et du sexisme. De Boeck. 
  • Nicolas, C. (2020). Upstanding Youngsters: Ivorian Scouting and the Manufacture of a Subordinate Citizenship (1937–1979). Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2, art. 568013, 1-14 (Open Access). 
  • Pape, M. (2020). Gender Segregation and Trajectories of Organizational Change: The Underrepresentation of Women in Sports Leadership. Gender & Society, 34(1), 81-105.
  • Pape, M. & F. McLachlan (2020). Gendering the Coronavirus Pandemic: Towards a Framework of Interdependence for Sport. International Journal of Sports Communication, 13, 391-398.
  • Quin G. (2015), History of Swiss feminine gymnastics between competition and feminization (1950-1990). Sport in Society, 19(5), 653-666. 
  • Schoch, L. (Online First). The Gender of Sports News: Horizontal Segregation and Marginalization of Women Journalists in the Swiss Press. Communication & Sport.
  • Froidevaux, S. (2019). Des armes, du sport, des hommes… et des femmes. Genre et techniques dans le tir sportif en Suisse. Artefact. Techniques, histoire et sciences humaines, 9, 195-213.
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