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Gender in ice hockey: women in a male territory
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, ISSN 0905-7188, E-ISSN 1600-0838, Vol. 18, no 2, 235-249 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how female ice hockey players describe and explain their situation within as well as outside their sport. Information was obtained by semi-structured interviews with female ice hockey players. The results were analyzed in a gender perspective where the main starting point was the concepts of different levels of power relations in society developed by Harding and applied to sports by Kolnes (the symbolic, structural and individual level). The study shows that the players appeared to share the traditional views of men and women. They also described gender differences in terms of financial and structural conditions as well as differences in ice hockey history. Even though the players described structural inequalities, they were quite content with their situation and the differences in conditions were not considered when they explained the gender differences in ice hockey performance. On the individual level the players considered themselves different from other women and appeared to share the traditional views of femininity and masculinity.

It has been suggested that performance of a sport traditionally associated with the other sex might alter the traditional view of men and women, however our results give little support to that suggestion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell , 2008. Vol. 18, no 2, 235-249 p.
National Category
Social Work Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30311DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2007.00665.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30311DiVA: diva2:281520
Available from: 2009-12-16 Created: 2009-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Gender and physiology in ice hockey: a multidimensional study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender and physiology in ice hockey: a multidimensional study
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background That men are prioritised over women has been called the “gender regime in sport”, and has in part been explained by the gender difference in performance. However, gender differences in physical performance between women and men can be debated to depend on how comparisons are made and on the fact that there are many different confounders that may influence the results. Even if attempts are made to overcome this and the groups of women and men are stated to be matched, there are still often differences in training experience in years, or differences in training load. Women tend to have less experience in ice hockey in relation to age and differences in training conditions have also been reported. The aim of this thesis was to investigate how female and male ice hockey players position themselves in their sport and to visualise the interactions between society and biology that may affect performance.

Theoretical approach and methods Harding’s three perspectives (Symbolic, Structural and Individual) were applied on information from team administration as well as on results from questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and tests of puck velocity, anthropometrics, body composition, isokinetic muscle strength, ergospirometry and on-ice tests from female and male ice hockey players.

Results Vast differences in structural conditions were found, for example in hockey history and in the financial situation within the teams and both women and men were aware of the gender differences in structural conditions. However these differences were not even considered when comparisons of the ice hockey performance of women and men were made. Nine out of ten female players increased puck velocity when a more flexible stick and a lighter puck were used thus indicating that poorly adjusted equipment may affect performance. Male ice hockey players were taller, heavier and stronger, had more lean body mass and a higher aerobic capacity compared to the women in absolute values as well as in relation to body weight. However, the differences diminished or disappeared when the values were expressed in relation to lean body mass. Men had higher expectations on their situation as athletes and the interviewed women described men’s ice hockey as superior to theirs and consequently male ice hockey players deserved better conditions.

Conclusions The views of women and men may affect structural conditions in sport which in turn may affect possibilities in sport for the individual. Gender differences in conditions thus risk confirming the traditional views of femininity and masculinity. However, by moving outside the normal gender boundaries individuals may change the traditional views of femininity and masculinity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university, 2009. 73 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1309
Keyword
physiology, gender, sports medicine, ice hockey, women's sport, athletic performance, social conditions, qualitative method, quantitative method, exercise tests
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Physiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30354 (URN)978-91-7264-893-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-08, Betula, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-21 Created: 2009-12-17 Last updated: 2010-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Gilenstam, KajsaKarp, StaffanHenriksson-Larsén, Karin
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