Janine Rook

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor

Dr. Natalie Nelson-Marsh


Communication Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


The purpose of this study is to explore the toxic trends within the sports community that create a heterosexual environment for student athletes. The theory of cultivation was applied when reviewing different articles of literature relating to identity, sports language, sports media, and the intersection of sexuality and sports. Upon categorizing the data, critical analysis was used. Analysis of findings are further discussed through the themes that emerged: representin’, genderin’, and dominatin’. Interviews with popular athletes, mic’d up games, and articles were used to demonstrate the prevalence of this issue in society and how society has normalized this type of language. Student athlete’s look up to professional athletes and often mimic trends within their own lives. Their identity is further repressed when identifying as LGBTQ because of heterosexual norms. The sports world has normalized using language that harms a portion of their population to the point where student athletes fear publicly identifying outside heterosexual norms.


College athletes--Psychological aspects; Identity; Communication in sports

Publication Information

Organizational Communication Capstone Project.

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Document Type

Student Project