This study examines the gender politics in physical education curriculum that influence students to disengage from physical education and sport. For the analysis, we selected five students among survey respondents who identified as cis-gendered heterosexual women and conducted semi-structured interviews. The grounded theory approach (GTA) was utilized and MAXQDA Analytics Pro2018 was used to assist the analysis.
The analysis generated nine primary categories, for example; “visibility”, “physical education curriculum”, and “characteristics of exercise”. It also generated forty-nine sub-categories. The relationships among categories indicate a “negative spiral” in which “poor exercise experience”, “low physical skill and strength”, “negative experience” and “negative emotional reaction” formed a chain relationship. Central to physical education curriculum is the focus on modern sports that has been developed as a tool to educate men. Such physical education is characterized by athleticism, record setting, hierarchy, and winning, as well as physical performance. The space of physical education is saturated with value orientation based on high performance. In such space, participants have had negative experiences in which their poor skills and physical weakness were exposed to their peers. They also expressed discomfort that physical education leaves little space for values outside of physical performance to be recognized.
This is one of the first studies to explore the experiences and expressions of discrimination, violence and exclusion based on genders, sexualities and the bodies in Physical education (PE) in Japan. Through this research, we hope to gain insight into the gender and sexual politics of Japanese PE. The study was administered in three Japanese universities in 2017. Based on 979 survey responses, we present a preliminary analysis of students reported the experiences of discrimination and exclusion. We conducted the quantitative and qualitative content analysis of 410 (41.9%) survey responses, which answered the open-ended question about negative experience in PE. By using quantitative content analysis software (KH coder), we extracted seven clusters: 1) being scolded for a mistake, 2) being a nuisance to a partner or a team, 3) forced to perform (play) sport or do exercise, 4) swimming, 5) running, 6) class (teaching) methods, and 7) methods of evaluation. The main factors that caused the negative experience are codified to: classmates (category 1), oneself (category 2), teachers (category 3, 6, 7) and exercise characteristics (category 4, 5). When analyzed the result by gender, “normative woman” (cis-gendered, heterosexual) tends to be ashamed that they are not good at sports and their self-respect becomes wounded. On the other hand, “normative man” (cis-gendered, heterosexual) tends to remember the negative experience as those moments when they were blamed by their classmates. The persons of “non-normative” gender/sexuality (transgender and/or non-heterosexual) tend to have more negative experiences based on heterosexism and binary gender system. Our findings suggest that the evaluation criteria set by the curriculum and/or teacher need to be changed. Because the criteria made students’ achievement (or the lack thereof) visible, it leads to the bodily hierarchy. This hierarchy push students who are not athletic into a lower position and marginalize them in the classroom.
This survey examined the correlation between the sense of value regarding sport and the other three views, gender views, homophobia and transphobia.The respondents of this survey were 2,763 college students enrolled in the departments related to physical education or sports in Japan at the time of survey (male students: 1,493, female students: 1,270). The questions regarding sexual minorities were created by the authors. The four scales used in this survey include: gender views (the Short- form of the Scale of Egalitarian Sex Role Attitudes: Suzuki, 1994); homophobia (the Index of Homophobia: Hudson & Ricketts, 1980); transphobia (the Transphobia Scale: Bornstein, 1998); and the sense of value regarding sport (the Psychosocial Functions of Sport Scale: Spreitzer & Snyder, 1975). This survey will contribute to the creation of a comprehensive theoretical framework for establishing Japanese guidelines on the rights of LGBT in sports.
The results are summarized as follows.
1) There was little correlation between the sense of value regarding sport and the other three views, namely gender views, homophobia and transphobia. On the other hand, while there was a weak correlation between gender views and homophobia, and there were relatively strong correlations between gender views and transphobia as well as between homophobia and transphobia.
2) The factor analysis showed that there were three factors in the sense of value regarding sport, namely the social factor, the QOL factor, and the relaxing factor.
3) Those who had poor knowledge about sexual orientation and biological sex, that is, those who supported the gender binary system with little or no understanding of the diversity of sexuality and sex, held a strong social sense of value for sport.