Causes of Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport

It is often assumed the 'homophobia' or 'transphobia' drive the use of homophobic and transphobic language in sport. If that is true, why do athletes with gay friends, or who openly support same-sex marriage, still constantly use homophobic slurs?


Recent research has begun to test our assumptions and has found social norms are the primary driver of homophobic behaviour in sport (see video below for more details). 


We need to understand the drivers of discrimination and prejudice in order to develop effective solutions. Different problems require different solutions. For example, ending homophobic language in male sport will require very different approaches than ending the overt exclusion of trans people.  


Harvard studies consistently find most diversity programs fail, particularly if they take a one sized fits all approaches.

Dozens of manuals and education programs have been created since the 1990's.
They are not working.  We need science-based solutions. 


LGBTQ young people who are exposed to homo/transphobic language in sport are more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm.


Most LGB young people (80%) try to hide their sexuality from all or some of their teammates / coaches. 


LGB youth who come out to teammates are significantly more likely to be a target of homophobic behaviour.


Gay/bi young males avoid sport because frequent homophobic language makes them feel unwelcome. 


Gay and bisexual teenage male teens play team sports at half the rate of their peers. 


More than half of trans people say they have experienced overt or direct exclusion from sport.


Girls avoid traditionally male sports because they worry others will think they are lesbians.  


Stereotyped challenged: lesbian/bi female teens play sport at about the same rate as peers.

Homophobic language is used by athletes regardless of their attitudes towards gay people. Current approaches to stop language need to be rethought.

Research on drivers of homophobia and transphobia in sport

When should I come to the hospital for delivery?

When the contractions start, observe them. You should come to the hospital when the contractions are 5 minutes apart Additionally, you should go to the hospital if you see any of these signs:

  1. If your water has broken
  2. If your contractions are increasing in intensity
  3. If you see bloody mucus

What should I bring for c-section or normal delivery?

You are required to carry:

  • Clinic attendance card
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes for wearing at discharge
  • Any personal effects (body oil, extra maternity pads, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Baby's clothing
  • Nappies or diapers for the baby

I just had a C-section. How should I care for my wound?

In most cases, it takes longer to recover from a caesarean section than a normal delivery. Timeline for Recovery: Day 1 - You should start walking around and drinking fluids as normal. Gradually increase your diet from liquids to soft diet to normal food over 24 - 48 hours. Day 3 - 4- You should be going home if you and your baby are healthy and well Day 7 - You should return for your review with the doctor to check healing and manage any complications Week 1 - 3 - Rest as much as you can. Avoid heavy lifting, as lifting anything heavier than your baby can strain your scar. Avoid stairs and strenuous exercise. Take your painkillers as prescribed. Even if you don't have pain at the time, painkillers work better if taken regularly Week 6 - Your tissues should have fully healed by now, and you can start to go back to your normal routine. Sometimes the scar can take up to 3 months to heal fully Do's and Don'ts after C-Section: Do:

  • Wash your wound site daily with soap and water to keep it clean. Gently pat it dry with a clean cloth or towel and allow it to air dry
  • Check your wound site daily for signs of infection
  • Dress in loose, soft clothing that does not rub your wound site
  • Eat well and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation
  • Hold a pillow over your wound site when you cough
  • Abstain from sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks to allow your body to heal
  • See your health provider for: Fever, severe pain, redness, swelling or discharge at your incision site, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, heavy vaginal bleeding
Do not:
  • Rub the wound site
  • Apply any creams, lotions, ointments, powders, or medicatons on the wound site unless prescribed by your doctor
  • Worry about itching - itching along the wound site is common. Burning, numbness, and tingling along the site are also common
  • Bind your stomach to flatten it until your wound has healed
  • Lift heavy objects for 6 weeks

I am a father. What should I do on delivery day?

You can help your partner with her pain during labour for normal delivery. This pain is called a contraction. Contractions help push the baby out. They usually start slowly and then come more frequently and become stronger. You can help her with her pain at home by:

  • Accompanying her on a walk
  • Placing her in a hot bath or pouring hot water on her back
  • Taking deep breaths together
You will know when it is time to take her to the hospital when:
  • The time between each contraction is less than 5 minutes
  • She feels wetness or blood on her underwear
  • She is more than a week past her due date

How much do you charge for C-section or normal delivery?

Normal delivery is KES 18000-25000 and NHIF covers KES 10,000. C-Section is KES 41,000-55,000 and NHIF covers KES 30,000.

Research on other topics

50 years of Evidence.  20 years of Pledges.  Time for Action.

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