Exploring women's experiences and gender relations in rock climbing: a participatory action research photovoice study

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Davis, Erin
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Success in rock climbing relies on a combination of athletic skills and traits often hegemonically defined as feminine (grace, balance, petite) and masculine (strength, endurance, muscular). Because climbing requires this balance of traits and skills, there are few differences found in the physical and psychological capabilities of female and male rock climbers. Despite this, individuals who identify as women often experience gender discrimination and feel they are treated differently than male peers in rock climbing communities—showing that gender relations in rock climbing are impaired by societal gender stereotypes and sports ideology rather than actual differences in climbing ability. Using photovoice methods, five women were provided with a medium to capture their experiences regarding gender relations in rock climbing. The research aims to inform rock climbing associations and influence future organizational programs to increase women’s climbing participation and enhance women’s experiences in the climbing community.
Female rock climbers , Women's climbing , Gender , Gender relations in rock climbing , Photovoice