School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thermi, 57001, Thessaloniki, Greece.
Self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985) constitutes a modern frame of studying motivation in sports domain. For the quantification of the basic principles of the theory, the Sport Motivation Scale was developed (Pelletier, Fortier, Vallerand, Tuson, Briere, and Blais, 1995). Based on the above theoretical framework the aim of the present study was the investigation of the differences in motives between female athletes that participated in three different categories of sports. The sample consisted of 435 female athletes from six different sports, which were categorized as “masculine” “feminine” and gender – “neutral”. Results indicated, that female athletes who participated in masculine sports displayed higher levels of external regulation and identification compared to those who participated in gender-neutral sports. In addition, athletes who participated in masculine sports displayed higher introjected regulation in comparison with the two other categories. As far as intrinsic motivation to experience stimulation is concerned, results revealed that athletes who took part in gender-neutral sports demonstrated higher levels than those who participated in feminine sports. Finally, analyses showed no statistically significant differences in intrinsic motivation to know, intrinsic motivation to accomplish and amotivation between athletes of the three categories. The explanation of the results is based on the theoretical frame and on psychosocial aspects that have been postulated for the effects of nature of sport on behavior and on engagement in the training process.
Keywords: Masculine; Feminine; Gender-neutral sports; Motivation; Female.