Throw Like a Girl, Cheer Like a Boy: The Evolution of Gender, Identity, and Race in Sports

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Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 0.8 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Robyn Ryle is a sociologist, writer, and sports fan who has taught about gender, race, and sexuality to college students for twenty years. Her previous books include She/He/They/Me: For the Sisters, Misters and Binary Resisters and Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration. She lives in Madison, Indiana.


Did you know that cheerleading was originally thought to be too macho for girls? This book delves into all the ways that our gender, sexuality, or race-based assumptions and expectations about people affect how we see their performance on the playing field, often ignoring what people are actually doing out there. Robyn Ryle uses clear sources and text to show how often the expectation comes first, and then the results are interpreted to fit what people wanted to see. Modern issues around transgender athletes, activist players, and homophobic announcers in different sports are all examined with a steady but light tone, showing how society and sports affect one another in ways we never think about.

Throw Like a Girl, Cheer Like a Boy offers a historically acute, narrative-driven sociological account of males and females in organized sport. It weaves a narrative of where sport has been, where it is, and where it is going, in prose that is easy to read and engaging. It is, above all, a riveting and intellectual endeavor. This is perfect reading for anyone interested in sport, gender, and sexuality.
Ryle gives readers a thoughtful, comprehensive look at sport's past and present, while skillfully unpacking the pressing discussions that will influence its future. A fascinating and illuminating compendium of the vital issues facing sports culture today.
In a climate that is relentlessly hostile towards transgender and intersex people, books like this are needed to set the record straight and continue advocating for inclusion of diverse people in sport and beyond. Brilliant and thought-provoking read that cuts through the misinformation and fear-mongering surrounding transgender and intersex people in sport.