"Getting Over It" Homophobia, sport and university education

Submitted by Sunil Patel on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 - 11:22pm.

Some discipline areas within universities, especially those where there are large groups of young men, have been highlighted as particularly homophobic. Further to this, ‘jock’ culture in physical education and sports studies courses has been found to intimidate and exclude young men and women who are gay or lesbian, as well as people outside of more conventional versions of masculinity or femininity. A review of physical education and sports studies courses documented harassment and anti-gay sentiment, exclusion of out gay students, and threats of violence (Lewis et al, 1999).

This booklet is a guide for those who wish to improve their professional practice, especially those in sport and exercise related fields such as coaching, teaching, therapy and rehabilitation, counselling and management. It provides a summary of issues to help make teaching and learning more inclusive for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and staff, as well as a discussion of the meaning of a gender/sexuality inclusive curriculum, and advice about skills to deal effectively with incidences of sexist or homophobic behaviour in teaching and learning situations.

This resource has been jointly prepared by Jenny Walsh of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria with Caroline Symons and Dennis Hemphill of the School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance, Victoria University.

_"It was really terrible. . . At gym, especially. I didn’t know if I was gay, but they all thought I was. They never said anything to my face, but they’d sort of carry on and cover themselves if I came in the change rooms. I’d change in the toilets because I didn't want to be accused of looking at anyone. I was late to class all the time because of how long it took me to get changed."(Rachelle, 18yrs)_

_“I wasn’t allowed to play rugby because all of the guys on the rugby team said they wouldn’t play if I played so if I didn’t budge … then there wouldn’t have been a school rugby team.” (Kory, 16yrs)._

Format: Resource
Year of publication: 2008
Author: Jenny Walsh, Caroline Symons and Dennis Hemphill
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