Gay athletes perceptions of body hair

Shaun Filiault, Murray Drummond

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Recent literature regarding men's body image has called for increased understanding of body areas of concern to men, other than muscle and thinness. Accordingly, men's concerns with body hair, and hair removal (depilatory) practices, emerged as a new area of research attention. Prior literature suggests men - and especially gay men - may idealise a smooth torso, and engage in various forms of depilation to achieve that aesthetic. The present study is a qualitative investigation of the perceptions of body hair among a sub-group of gay men: gay athletes. Contrary to the opinions expressed by gay men more generally, the participants in this study shared a lack of concern regarding body hair, and rendered depilation as unnecessary, unattractive, and unnatural. These results indicate the importance of investigating sub-populations when conducting body image research among gay men.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)206-213
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Men's Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


    • athletes
    • body hair
    • gay men
    • qualitative methods


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