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Reimagining athletic nudity: the sexualization of sport as a sign of a ‘porno-ization’ of culture

Jirásek, I., Kohe, Geoff, Hurych, E. (2013) Reimagining athletic nudity: the sexualization of sport as a sign of a ‘porno-ization’ of culture. Sport in Society, 16 (6). pp. 721-734. ISSN 1743-0437. (doi:10.1080/17430437.2012.753525) (KAR id:66758)


This paper traces some historical and contemporary instances in which sporting and other bodies naked physiques have been utilized to affect religious, social, ideological, or political agendas. We argue inherent aesthetic values of performative flesh have been lost (or minimized) in recent times which have, intentionally or otherwise, degraded, and objectified the naked body. To satisfy society's insatiable consumer needs and desires, bodies, especially sporting bodies, have been sexualized to the extreme. This overt sexualization is symptomatic of a wider porno-ization of Western (North American and European) culture and cultural products. Porno-ization (characterized by exploitative modes of production for pecuniary gain) has limited our contemporary readings, and respect for, the body and its educational, transformative, artistic, and emancipatory potential. Tentative though our theorization may be, we call readers to appreciate athletic nudity anew; to reimagine the eroticism of sporting bodies in cultural and aesthetic terms, akin to artistic appreciation, rather, than as provocative objects of sports' capitalistic desires.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17430437.2012.753525
Uncontrolled keywords: nakedness, sexualization, porno-ization, culture, sport
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Geoffery Kohe
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 12:19 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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