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Gay, straight athletes needed for study of LGBTQ issues in college sports

Researcher wants to examine attitudes in collegiate athletics.

NCAA Football: Nevada at Texas A&M
A study is seeking current and former college athletes.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A psychology doctoral candidate at a university in Denver is looking for current and former college athletes — gay and straight — for his dissertation on the state of LGBTQ attitudes in college sports.

We often help researchers find participants for studies and Travis has been vetted, so please read his study synopsis below and help if you can. This kind of research can be really valuable.

Update: Travis still needs 10-15 subjects to make his research valid, please take some time and complete the survey.

My name is Travis Coufal, and I am completing a Doctor of Psychology specializing in Sport and Performance Psychology at University of the Rockies. I am seeking heterosexual and homosexual former student-athletes who participated in an NCAA sanctioned sport for at least 2 seasons and have graduated in the past 10 years (2006-2016). To be eligible, a participant for the study will have graduated or participated in sport between the years 2006 and 2016 and participated on an NCAA sport team for 2 years.

My dissertation, titled “Inclusion of LGBTQ Student-Athletes on NCAA Sport Teams: Perspectives from Student-Athletes,” will address the current state of inclusion for LGBTQ athletes on NCAA sport teams. Current research points to positive and affirming experiences for student-athletes on NCAA sport teams. Nonetheless, many teams have not adopted guidelines for the inclusion of LGBTQ student athletes, allowing for the residual effects of homophobia to prevail. My dissertation research will help to fill the gap and understand how inclusion of LGBTQ athletes occurs in the absence of formal policies to promote inclusion.

Participants will be asked to review existing NCAA guidelines: “Champions of Respect: Inclusion of LGBTQ Student-Athletes and Staff in NCAA Programs” and comment on the extent to which policy and best practice recommendations were implemented on their sport teams. Participants will also be asked to describe the state of inclusion on their teams and what makes some student-athletes drawn to promote inclusion while others are not.

The potential risks associated with this study are dependent upon the individual participant. Gay or lesbian former student-athletes who had negative experiences while competing because of their sexual orientation may experience discomfort reliving those experiences. A heterosexual former student-athlete who holds negative beliefs or attitudes about gays and lesbians may fear being judged negatively for their beliefs. Another possible risk is accidental compromising of participants’ confidentiality. The project is expected to benefit participants by contributing to the understanding of successful inclusion of LGBTQ athletes on sport teams.

Please take the survey and share it with your network. The more detail you can provide in the open response questions, the better. Also, if you don't want to answer some of the open response questions, that's OK, but please click to the end to submit your responses.

Questions can be addressed to the researcher (contact information below). If you have any questions regarding your participation in the study or if you want to verify the authenticity of the study, please contact the University of the Rockies IRB Chair at IRB@Rockies.edu or the Dissertation Chair, Kenneth C. Sherman, at kenneth.sherman@rockies.edu.

If you are willing to participate, please complete the questionnaire at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GPKBDMR

Travis Coufal
tjcoufal@gmail.com
720-315-9489