Gender equity in disability sport: A rapid scoping review


The unique intersection of gender and disability as it relates to participation in sport warrants inquiry as to how gender is experienced, constructed, and represented in disability sport. A review of current literature on this topic can help inform future directions for research, policies, and recommendations on gender equity in this context. A rapid scoping review was carried out through searching six databases in the sport sciences, across English, French, or Portuguese languages. An initial 1543 records were retrieved; after two screening phases, 61 records were selected. Data were charted under several categories including record contexts, approaches used, and results. Descriptive and frequency statistics were generated, and inductive qualitative analysis was used to interpret patterns of meaning and categorize data into themes aligned with the research question. Results showed: (a) experiences, participation, and representation of adults in elite contexts were prevalent with limited studies in mainstream contexts where the majority of athletes participate; (b) gender inequities were evident and often influenced by the intersection of ableist and masculinity notions; (c) media often perpetuated gender inequities in the presentation of women athletes (e.g., displaying women in non-sporting poses, compared to highlighting men's athleticism). Limited research posed strategies for advancing gender equity. Advancing the understanding of how the "multiple markers of our identities...come together" is one way to disrupt the systems perpetuating inequities in sport (E-Alliance, 2021). This review contributed to the understanding of disability sport, with the aim of enhancing participation across levels.