Mapping gender-based shifts in combat sports
28 May 2024
Mapping gender-based shifts in combat sports

Female representation and participation in combat sports is increasing, but amid ongoing gender-based discrimination within these environments, how can brands and organisations push towards equality? And how are women and girls engaging with physical sports for empowerment?

Justen Hamilton

Justen Hamilton is a PhD candidate at the University of California’s Department of Sociology. His areas of focus include gender, sport, ideology, neoliberalism, and postfeminism. In 2022, he wrote a research paper titled ‘Breaking Barriers? Examining Neoliberal-Postfeminist Empowerment in Women’s Mixed Martial Arts’.

Stacey Mason

Stacey Mason is a second-year PhD student at Brighton University investigating women's gendered experiences in combat sports, discussing both positive experiences and barriers to participation.

Alex Channon

Alex Channon is a principal lecturer at the School of Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton University. His areas of research encompass various thematic issues within the sociology of sport and physical education, focusing primarily on martial arts and combat sports. Specifically, he has explored how gender relations, gender identity, and sexuality impact participation in martial arts, the value of martial arts within physical education curricula, and media representations of professional fighters, among other things.

Gouri Sharma

Gouri Sharma is an internationally renowned independent journalist from London living in Berlin writing for international media sites including Al Jazeera English and Deutsche Welle. Amid a career spanning nearly two decades, including five years on the production desk for Al Jazeera's flagship media critique show The Listening Post, Gouri now writes on issues such as race, culture, migration, history, and sexual health and wellness. With each report, she aims to draw out the individual story amid the wider political or historical context; centring the human story is a priority, in particular amplifying the voices of those from marginalised communities whose stories are not as visible.