Sex Roles

, Volume 76, Issue 3–4, pp 202–217 | Cite as

Sport = Male… But Not All Sports: Investigating the Gender Stereotypes of Sport Activities at the Explicit and Implicit Levels

  • Mélissa PlazaEmail author
  • Julie Boiché
  • Lionel Brunel
  • François Ruchaud
Original Article


The main objectives of the present studies were to update the explicit gender stereotypes linked to sport activities and examine whether they are associated with gender, age, personal practice, and general feminization rates of participation (Study 1, N = 690), as well as to investigate the potential effects of implicit gender sport stereotypes on the categorization of gendered names (Study 2, N = 53) and on perceptions of feminine, neutral, and masculine silhouettes (Study 3, N = 42). Study 1 indicated that explicit gender stereotypes are still attached to sport activities, with little variations according to personal characteristics but with a strong association with actual feminization rates. In Study 2, which focused on implicit stereotypes, we observed a slower identification of male names when participants were primed with feminine sport activities. In Study 3, neutral silhouettes were more frequently categorized as women following a feminine sport, but as men following a masculine sport. Our research suggests that sport activities are still gendered, both at the explicit and implicit levels, which may lead individuals to adjust their own participation even outside their consciousness.


Gender stereotypes Implicit stereotypes Semantic priming Perceptual priming Sport 



This publication was generously facilitated by Jan Yoder, the Editor in chief of Sex Roles, and we are grateful for that. Also, we would like to thank the two reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11199_2016_650_MOESM1_ESM.docx (47 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mélissa Plaza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julie Boiché
    • 1
  • Lionel Brunel
    • 1
  • François Ruchaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory Epsylon “Dynamics of Human Abilities and Health Behavior” (EA 4556)University of MontpellierMontpellierFrance

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