Homophobia and heterosexism: Spanish physical education teachers’ perceptions

Joaquin Piedra, Gonzalo Ramírez-Macías, Francis Ries, Augusto Rembrandt Rodríguez-Sánchez, Catherine Phipps

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    Physical education is traditionally a heteronormative environment, despite current studies highlighting the existence of positive changes in sport towards sexual diversity. In Spain, physical education teachers’ attitudes towards sexual minorities are an under-researched area. The current study identifies physical education teachers’ perceptions towards homophobia and heterosexism, raising questions as to whether societies are hostile or more tolerant in regard to gays and lesbians in sport. This research involved 170 physical education teachers from mixed schools, using a modified version of the questionnaire of homophobia and heterosexism perceptions. Results show heterosexist and homophobic behaviour is apparent in physical education lessons, with teachers aware of these behaviours. Furthermore, it is highlighted that students use homosexually themed language as an instrument to discriminate against gays and lesbians. This language use is not common amongst teachers, although when it is present, it is clearer and more frequent amongst male teachers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1156-1170
    JournalSport in Society
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015


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