Between Homohysteria and Inclusivity: Tolerance towards Sexual Diversity in Sport

Joaquin Piedra, Rafael Garcia-Perez, Alex Channon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The small number of openly gay or lesbian people in top-flight sport raises the question about whether sporting or social contexts makes it easy or difficult for these sportspeople to come out. There are studies conducted in the UK and USA using the theory of homohysteria but the scarcity of studies in Spain on this subject, added to the lack of a tool with which to measure tolerance towards sexual diversity in sport, has led us to write this paper in which we analyze the suitability of a new tool for classifying the metacognitive profiles of two samples from different cultures, relative to the concept of homohysteria. This correlational study involved 879 men and women aged 16-78 (M = 28.45 years; SD = 13.08) living in either Spain or the United Kingdom, who were actively participating in or following sport of some kind. Results show that the new instrument has adequate construct validity and high reliability (Alpha = .95), facilitating the measurement of two dimensions of tolerance towards non-heteronormative sexualities in sport: non-rejection and acceptance. Results point to three metacognitive profiles in terms of fit of the level of tolerance in these two dimensions: low, high, and partial. Findings show high levels of both dimensions of tolerance in the UK, and higher percentages of partial tolerance in Spain, underlining the importance of cultural contexts and policies which may affect people's levels of tolerance. We conclude that a pseudo-inclusive climate exists in Spanish society today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1039
Number of pages22
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017

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  • Homophobia
  • Sexual attitudes
  • Culture
  • Gender


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