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Research Case studies

Same-Sex Attraction in Young Men in Sport


Dr David Carless

This autoethnographic research project explores challenging and ethically sensitive issues around sexual orientation and sexual identity among young men in school and youth sport.

Using narrative storytelling methods, the research foregrounds personal embodied experience to counteract the silence surrounding gay and bisexual experiences among young males immersed in sport culture.

Findings reveal how sometimes ambiguous encounters with heterosexism, homophobia, and hegemonic masculinity through sport problematize identity development, offering insights into the ways sport culture can make the experience of same-sex attraction difficult and isolating for young males.

Research outputs

  • Carless, D. (in press). Cultural constraints: Experiencing same-sex attraction in sport and dance. In N. Short, L. Turner & A. Grant (eds.) Contemporary British autoethnography: a handbook for postgraduate qualitative researchers. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Carless, D. (2012). Young men, sport and sexuality: A poetic exploration. In Dowling, F., Fitzgerald, H., & Flintoff, A. (eds.) Equity and difference in physical education, youth sport and health: A narrative approach. London: Routledge.
  • Carless, D. (2012). Negotiating sexuality and masculinity in school sport: An autoethnography. Sport, Education and Society, 17(5), 607-625.
  • Carless, D. (2010). Who the hell was that? Stories, bodies and actions in the world. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7(4), 332-344.

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