Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-8-2013

Major Department or Program

Gender Studies


Melissa Wilcox


This thesis uses gender theory to explore why there has never been an active, openly gay player in the National Football League. Using a multimedia style that includes text, photographs, Twitter feeds and video, this academic work is written to be accessible to both gender theorists and sports fans alike. Particularly concerned with the theories of hegemonic masculinity and performativity, this thesis is an attempt to begin a conversation about sexual orientation and masculinity construction in perhaps the most visible bastion of traditional masculinity in the United States.

Page Count


Subject Headings

National Football League, Identity (Philosophical concept) -- Sports, Peer relations, Masculinity -- Hegemonic masculinity, Gays and sports, Football players -- Hyper-masculinity, Men -- Sports -- United States -- 21st century, Gay athletes -- Football, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2013 -- Gender Studies

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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