ABSTRACT

Despite the highlighting of gender issues across recent publications in sport and physical education (see Evans, 1993; Costa and Guthrie, 1994) we have yet to see a coherent research strategy which can offer practical guidance for those dealing with gender issues or, at a theoretical level, which can advance our understanding of the role played by gender in sport. Common criticisms of research on gender include discussion of biases which either exaggerate (the alpha bias) or minimise/dismiss (the beta bias) gender differences in sport (Oglesby and Hill, 1993). In addition, it has been suggested that research must reach out to encompass the diversity of sport participants beyond the élite, and to consider the processes as well as the outcomes of involvement (Gill, 1994). In fact, arguments have recently been made for the development of a ‘feminist biopsychosocial perspective on women’s sport and exercise to guide research and serve participants.’ (Gill, 1994, p.278).