‘Gender and Stereotypes in Sports Romance Fiction’

Activity: Examination typesExamination


Romance fiction is a billion-dollar industry, and a genre that explores the intricacies of sex and gender because of its focus on human beings and their relationships. Within this genre, the sports romance – a subgenre which emerged in the twenty-first century – is particularly fascinating but problematic in its consideration of sex and gender due to the gendered nature of sport itself. Despite its popularity, there has been very little academic research into sports romance, so this creative thesis is an interdisciplinary study positioned at a junction between popular romance theory, and sport and sociology, drawing on the academic work of scholars such as Pamela Regis, Catherine Roach, Jayashree Kamblé and Eric Anderson. By employing qualitative research methodology involving the close reading of three mainstream sports romances and three queer sports romances, this creative thesis analyses which gendered stereotypes are repeatedly deployed in mainstream sports romance novels, and how and to what effect these stereotypes are challenged in queer sports romance novels. I have approached this creative thesis from a dual perspective, as both a queer athlete and an author of sports romance fiction. My research has aided me in developing my romance writing in order to produce sports romances that are more innovative and nuanced in their consideration of sex and gender. This creative thesis includes an exegesis and a selection of original chapters of my own queer sports romance novel, provisionally titled Ready to Roll.
Period23 Oct 202326 Nov 2023
ExamineeAlexandra Mulvey
Examination held at
  • Macquarie University
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • romance fiction
  • sports romance
  • queer romance