Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Sue Lease

Committee Member

Elin Ovrebo

Committee Member

Randy Floyd

Committee Member

Richard Scott


Hegemonic masculinity has deep roots within sports making it difficult for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) athletes to be openly out. Many LGB athletes have experienced verbal and physical harassment and assault from teammates and other athletes or social isolation on their teams. The You Can Play Project (YCPP) is an online media campaign focused on eliminating homophobia in sports and making sport a safe space for LGB athletes. However, there has been no empirical evaluation of whether the YCPP changes attitudes toward LGB individuals. The current study evaluated the effectiveness of the YCPP videos on decreasing homonegativity within a sample of self-identified heterosexual NCAA female (n = 120) and male (n = 28) athletes. Athletes were randomly assigned to watch one of three one-minute videos: YCPP, generic anti-bullying, or sleep hygiene. Most athletes in the study had not heard of the YCPP or seen their videos. Significant differences in homonegativity were found between female and male athletes with men reporting more negative attitudes. Using data from only female athletes; there were no significant differences in homonegativity attitudes by video condition. Knowledge of LGB history was associated with more positive attitudes toward LGB individuals for both female and male athletes. Female athletes who reported close contact with an LGB family member or friend reported significantly greater internal affirmativeness toward LGB individuals. Results of the study suggest a shift is taking place within the NCAA with female athletes holding more positive attitudes toward LGB individuals than previously reported. This finding may not be true for male athletes. Continued efforts are needed in examining the effectiveness of the YCPP.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.