Spectators' Attitudes toward Basketball: An Application of Multifactorial Gender Identity

By McCabe, Catherine | North American Journal of Psychology, June 2007 | Go to article overview

Spectators' Attitudes toward Basketball: An Application of Multifactorial Gender Identity


McCabe, Catherine, North American Journal of Psychology


One of the most common ways to examine gender within the context of team sports has been to compare differences between men and women based on biological sex alone. Unfortunately, studies that treat gender as a dichotomous variable (biological sex) do not consider the important contributions of both psychological gender traits and gender-role attitudes in explaining spectators' relationships with team sports. The current study, grounded in multifactorial gender identity theory, shows that gender identity traits, as well as gender-role attitudes, extend our understanding of gender and attitudes toward men's and women's college basketball. In addition, biological sex was found to moderate the relationship between instrumental traits and spectators' attitudes toward men's basketball. Sex also moderates the link between gender-role attitudes and attitudes toward women's basketball. To date, the current study is the first scholarly inquiry to apply the tenets of multifactorial gender identity theory within this context.

The sports psychology and consumption literature abounds with evidence suggesting that although gender significations may be less limiting in some ways than they were in the past, gender is still relevant (McGinnis, Chun, & McQuillan, 2003; Wann & Waddill, 2003; Wann, Waddill, & Dunham 2004). The most frequently used means for exploring gender within the sports context has been to treat gender as a dichotomous variable synonymous with biological sex (e.g., Fink, Trail, & Anderson, 2002; James, 2002). While these studies provide evidence of general similarities and differences between the sexes, they do not reflect our increasingly sophisticated understanding of gender theory, which recognizes the contributions of additional gender-related variables such as psychological gender traits and gender-role attitudes.

In order to capture the relationships associated with gender and spectators' attitudes toward men's and women's basketball, this study is grounded in multifactorial gender identity theory (Spence, 1993). While a complete discussion on the theoretical history and background of gender identity goes beyond the scope of this paper, a brief summary of issues relevant to this study is provided. Gender schema theory and multifactorial gender identity theory posit that regardless of one's biological sex, individuals possess varying degrees of instrumental and expressive traits (Bem, 1981; Spence, 1993). Beyond this tenet, the two competing gender identity theories propose different theoretical implications with respect to the conceptualization of gender identity (Palan, 2001).

Bem's (1981) gender schema theory maintains that the measurement of masculine and feminine personality traits is all that is needed to predict additional gender-related concepts, attitudes and behaviors. On the other hand, Spence's (1993) gender identity theory proposes that gender phenomena are multifactorial and deeply embedded in social contexts. In addition to one's biological sex, instrumental and expressive psychological traits, and other gender-related factors, are relevant to gendered contexts such as competitive sports (Edwards & Spence, 1987; Spence, 1993; Spence & Helmreich, 1978).

The main purpose of this study is to apply multifactorial gender identity theory in order to determine the effects of biological sex, psychological gender, and gender-role attitudes on spectators' attitudes toward men's and women's basketball.

Sports: a gendered context. Throughout the world competitive sports have been sanctioned as a masculine domain and are considered one of the most important arenas for the production and expression of gender (Theberge, 1997; Wiley, Shaw, & Havitz, 2000). Even with the increased participation of girls and women in competitive sports as athletes and spectators, the view that the world of competitive sports is defined and socialized by the male experience remains strong (Basow, 2004; Wann & Waddill, 2003). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Spectators' Attitudes toward Basketball: An Application of Multifactorial Gender Identity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.