16
Dec
07

The Secret Lives of Football Players

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Over one-third of former American Football players have had sex with men, study claims. To give you a visual, that would be 41 of the 123 guys in the picture above. Hot.

In his study of homosexuality among sportsmen in the US, sociologist Dr Eric Anderson found a sample of 47 men, aged 18-23, who were all American Football players who had played at the high school level, but didn’t make it to the university level – becoming cheerleaders instead at various universities from the American south, Mid-West, west and north west.

Dr Anderson, now of the University of Bath, UK, said the study showed that:

Society’s increasing open-mindedness about homosexuality and decreasing stigma concerning sexual activity with other men had allowed sportsmen to speak more openly about these sexual activities.

This sex came in the form of two men and one woman, as well as just two men alone.
The sexual acts described differed from acts of ‘hazing’ or team-bonding that often include pretend-homosexual acts.

“The evidence supports my assertion that homophobia is on the rapid decline among male teamsport athletes in North America at all levels of play,” he writes in his study, entitled ‘Being masculine is not about whom you sleep with…Heterosexual athletes contesting masculinity and the one-time rule of homosexuality’ to be published in the journal Sex Roles in January.

“These finding(sic) differ from previous research on North American men who have sex with men, in several ways.

First, previous research describes heterosexual men in heterogeneous group sex as men symbolically engaging in sexual practices with other men. However, I find informants actually engage in sexual activity with other men. But this does not mean that they are gay.

“Second, my informants do not feel that their same-sex sex jeopardizes their socially perceived heterosexual identities, at least within the cheerleading culture. In other words, having gay sex does not automatically make them gay in masculine peer culture.”

Dr Anderson, of the University’s Department of Education, said the same situation was also true for the UK.

The positive portrayal of homosexuality on television, the ease with which homosexuals could gradually ‘come out’ by using the internet, the ability for straight men to talk with gay men on the internet, and the decline of religious fundamentalism has made homosexuality and homosexual acts considerably less controversial for university-aged men. This had made revealing the fact they had engaged in homosexual acts easier.

He said the study was not biased by talking to sportsmen who were now cheerleaders, which is often seen as a feminine activity. Those he interviewed were selected to represent men that considered themselves traditionally masculine, typical American Football players.

Dr Anderson was the first openly gay male high school sports coach in the US. He left coaching after one of his students was assaulted because it was assumed that he was gay. Dr Anderson is now working in the field of sport sociology at the University of Bath, and is the author of In the Game, Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity.

Now that’s ‘fantasy football’. I KNEW I should have played more sports in high school.

University of Bath (2007, October 30). Over One-third Of Former American Football Players Had Sexual Relations With Men, Study Claims. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 16, 2007, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071029100619.htm
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