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In Out of Bounds, feminist Helen Lenskyj presents an insightful examination of the links between women's participation in sports and the control of their reproductive capacity and sexuality. She identifies the female frailty myth, the illusion of male athletic superiority and the concept of compulsory heterosexuality as powerful determinants of masculinity and femininity in the realm of sport. Looking at developments from the 1880's to the 1980's, Lenskyj discusses medical views of women's health and physical potential and examines the social attitudes and practices that keep girls and women from participating in the full range of sports and physical activities. Topics include contact sports, self-defence, fitness, bodybuilding and women-only sport. Photographs, memorabilia and eye-opening information covering 100 years reveals the missing links between women, sport and sexuality.
Dr. Helen Jefferson Lenskyj is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.