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An athlete is a person who recreationally or competitively participates in an individual or team sport. Gender and sexual norms are central to the organization and ethos of athletic competition. Along with restrooms, sports may be one of the most explicitly gendered environments in Western society. Because sports is considered a masculine domain, involvement carries different societal meaning for men and women. Whereas sports participation can reinforce perceptions of masculinity and heterosexuality among men, for women participation may raise questions about their femininity and sexual orientation. This relationship between societal gender and sexual norms structures the experiences of all athletes, in particular those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Due to the stereotype that gay men are effeminate and lesbians are ...

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