The Lesbian Stigma in the Sport Context: Implications for Women of Every Sexual Orientation Academic Article uri icon


  • The lesbian label exists within sport's heterosexist and heteronormative context as a means to subvert women's status, power, influence, and experiences. As such, there exists a lesbian stigma that contributes to sport's documented gender disparities. While acknowledged that some women may manage their gender and sexual identities to evade prejudice and discrimination related to this stigma, research has yet to fully address the full breadth of the stigma and its potential consequences. The purpose of this paper is to provide an integrative model that identifies specific components of the lesbian stigma and its potential consequences as they pertain to women in sport. Further, as a great deal of previous literature has focused on the lesbian woman, an additional purpose of this paper is to extend the literature to women of all sexual orientations. The authors present implications for the proposed model and offer avenues for future inquiry. 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Quest

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Sartore, M. L., & Cunningham, G. B.

citation count

  • 74

complete list of authors

  • Sartore, Melanie L||Cunningham, George B

publication date

  • August 2009

published in