A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study of Student Athlete Engagement in LGBTQ Ally Actions

Authors

  • Russell B. Toomey University of Arizona
  • Christi R. McGeorge North Dakota State University
  • Thomas S. Carlson North Dakota State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2015-0049

Keywords:

ally engagement, heterosexism, measurement, mixed methods, sexual prejudice, sports

Abstract

Reports of sexual prejudice and heterosexism in sports are still pervasive, despite growing acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons in the U.S. Yet, few studies have investigated how and why college studentathletes engage in LGBTQ-focused ally actions (e.g., standing up and speaking out against sexual prejudice; showing support at LGBTQ events). This mixed-methods pilot study describes the development and psychometric testing of the Engagement in LGBTQ Ally Actions in Sports Scale, in addition to analyses of two open-ended questions that provided supplementary insight into what it means to collegiate athletes to be an ally to the LGBTQ community. The convenience sample included 159 college student-athletes from two public universities (M age = 20.67 years, SD = 1.56). Findings indicated that the Engagement in LGBTQ Ally Actions in Sports Scale demonstrated strong internal consistency, validity, and equivalence across gender. Qualitative analyses suggested that college student-athletes define being an ally to the LGBTQ community as involvement in advocacy behaviors and supporting LGBTQ teammates; yet, important gender differences emerged in these findings.

Author Biographies

Russell B. Toomey, University of Arizona

Toomey is with the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. McGeorge and Carlson are with Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.

Christi R. McGeorge, North Dakota State University

Toomey is with the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. McGeorge and Carlson are with Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.

Thomas S. Carlson, North Dakota State University

Toomey is with the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development Program, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. McGeorge and Carlson are with Human Development and Family Science, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.

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Published

2016-12-01

How to Cite

Toomey, R. B., McGeorge, C. R., & Carlson, T. S. (2016). A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study of Student Athlete Engagement in LGBTQ Ally Actions. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 9(2), 247–267. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.2015-0049