Gender Issues

, Volume 27, Issue 3–4, pp 165–174

Are Head Coaches in Intercollegiate Athletics Perceived as Masculine? An Evaluation of Gender Stereotypes and the Effect of Sexism on Intercollegiate Coaches

Original Article


This study focused on determining if gender stereotypes existed in intercollegiate athletics in relation to coaches, and if the discourse was enveloped within sexist beliefs. Specifically, we tested the relationship modern sexism had with traits ascribed to successful head coaches. Results indicated no gender differences in the traits ascribed to head coaches. Further, modern sexism did not moderate the relationship between gender and masculinity scores for the head coach. This research study bolsters previous research in that we found no gender differences in ascribed leadership traits, and expands the literature about sexism in sport.


Sexism Coaches Gender roles Leadership stereotypes 


  1. 1.
    Acosta, R. V., & Carpenter, L. J. (2008). Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal national study—Thirty-one year update. Unpublished manuscript, Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn College.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Acosta, R. V., & Carpenter, L. J. (2002). Women in intercollegiate sport: A longitudinal study—Twenty-five year update. Unpublished manuscript. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn College.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aicher, T. J., & Sagas, M. (2009). Sexist beliefs affect perceived treatment discrimination among coaches in division I intercollegiate athletics. International Journal of Sport Management, 10, 243–262.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bem, S. L. (1981). Bem sex role inventory: Professional manual. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brenner, O. C., Tomkiewicz, J., & Schein, V. E. (1989). The relationship between sex-role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics revisited. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 662–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cralley, E. L., & Ruscher, J. B. (2005). Lady, girl, or woman: Sexism and cognitive busyness predict use of gender-biased nouns. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 24, 300–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cunningham, G. B., & Sagas, M. (2008). Gender and sex diversity in sport organizations: Introduction to a special issue. Sex Roles, 58, 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dardenne, B., Dumont, M., & Bollier, T. (2007). Insiduous dangers of benevloent sexism: Consequences for women’s performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 764–779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eagly, A. H. (2007). Female leadership advantage and disadvantage: Resolving the contradictions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fernandez, M. L., Castro, Y. R., Otero, M. C., Foltz, M. L., & Lorenzo, M. G. (2006). Sexism, vocational goals, and motivation as predictors of men’s and women’s career choices. Sex Roles, 55, 267–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fielding-Lloyd, B., & Mean, L. J. (2008). Standards and separatism: The discursive construction of gender in English soccer coach education. Sex Roles, 58, 24–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (2009). How to design and evaluate research in education (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (1996). The ambivalent sexism inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 491–512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kennedy, C. L. (2009). The glass ceiling on the playing fields report card III. Gender Issues, 26, 238–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Masser, B. M., & Abrams, D. (2004). Reinforcing the glass ceiling: The consequences of hostile sexism for female managerial candidates. Sex Roles, 51, 609–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Powell, G. N., Butterfield, D. A., & Parent, J. D. (2002). Gender stereotypes: Have times changed? Journal of Management, 28, 177–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Russel, B. L., & Trigg, K. Y. (2004). Tolerance of sexual harassment: An examination of gender differences, ambivalent sexism, social dominance, and gender roles. Sex Roles, 50, 565–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Schein, V. E. (2001). A global look at psychological barriers to women’s progress in management. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 675–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schein, V. E., & Mueller, R. (1992). Sex role stereotyping and requisite management characteristics: A cross cultural look. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13, 439–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schein, V. E., Mueller, R., & Jacobson, C. (1989). The relationship between sex role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics among college students. Sex Roles, 20, 103–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Schein, V. E., Mueller, R., Lituchy, T., & Liu, J. (1996). Think manager—think male: A global phenomenon? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 17, 33–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sczesny, S. (2003). A closer look beneath the surface: Various facets of think manager—think male stereotype. Sex Roles, 49, 353–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shaw, S., & Frisby, W. (2006). Can gender equity be more equitable? Promoting an alternative frame for sport management research, education, and practice. Journal of Sport Management, 20, 483–509.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shaw, S., & Hoeber, L. (2003). A strong man is direct and a direct woman is a bitch: Gender discourses and their influence on employment roles in sports organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 17, 347–375.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. (1972). The attitudes toward women scale. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 2, 1–52.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Swim, J. K., Aikin, K. J., Hall, W. S., & Hunter, B. A. (1995). Sexism and racism: Old-fashioned and modern prejudices. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Swim, J. K., Mallett, R., & Stangor, C. (2004). Understanding subtle sexism: Detection and use of sexist language. Sex Roles, 51, 117–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tougas, F., Brown, R., Beaton, A. M., & Joly, S. (1995). Neo-sexism: Plus ca change, plus c’est pariel. Personality and Social Psycology Bulletin, 21, 842–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sport ManagementNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport ManagementUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations