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Rollins College

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


In the Dutch society, the sport of soccer, also known as football, draws a lot of attention and has millions of followers when it comes to the men’s soccer clubs. The most common and widely celebrated soccer teams in the Netherlands are the major teams, such as, AJAX, PSV and Feyenoord, all being male soccer teams. There is a lack of female soccer clubs around the Netherlands when comparing it to the number of male soccer clubs. Women’s soccer is underrepresented in the news of Dutch sports media and obviously overpowered by the enthusiasm surrounding men’s soccer. Only in the past decade have women’s soccer clubs started to become a popular sport by gaining more recognition on a competitive level to the point where it has made public news in the Netherlands (Nixon, 2008). For this research, four current and alumni female soccer players from all across Holland were interviewed about their experiences in playing soccer and how gender differences have played a role throughout their athletic career. These participants were asked questions regarding stereotypes surrounding women in athletics and the taboo ideas about masculinity and if it correlates to being a successful female soccer player. Major themes that were commonly addressed in the interviews were sports media surrounding the accomplishment of the Dutch National Women’s Team in 2009, the fading stereotype of “butch” female soccer players and the acceptance of femininity in a male dominated sport. All of these topics pointed to a conclusion that women’s soccer in the Netherlands has in many ways broken the old stereotypes about female athletes in soccer and has proven to be of increasing interest to many young Dutch girls and women in the past ten years.


Civic and Community Engagement | Dutch Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies | Women's Studies


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