Scholars working in the academic field of sport studies have long debated the relationship between sport and gender. Modern sport forms, along with many related activities, have been shown to have historically supported ideals of male superiority, by largely excluding women and/or celebrating only men's athletic achievements. While the growth of women's sport throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has extinguished the notion of female frailty, revealing that women can embody athletic qualities previously thought exclusive to men, the continuation of sex segregation in many settings has left something of a discursive `back door' through which ideals of male athletic superiority can escape unscathed, retaining their influence over wider cultural belief systems. However, sex-integrated sport potentially offers a radical departure from such beliefs, as it challenges us to reject assumptions of male superiority, entertaining very different visions of sex difference and gender relations to those typically constructed through traditional models of physical culture. This comprehensive collection offers a diverse range of international case studies that reaffirm the contemporary relevance of sex integration debates, and also articulate the possibility of sport acting as a legitimate space for political struggle, resistance and change.This book was originally published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
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