The Myth of the Sexual Athlete

Don Sabo appears to feel a bit guilty about how he was forced to view women growing up. One example of this is when he says: “…and in order to prove it, I broke up with her.” Sabo used this quote to talk about the time he was accused of being wrapped around his girlfriends finger and in order to seem masculine he hurt his girlfriend as well as himself, emotionally. The point that Sabo makes by implementing this scenario is that boys just want to be accepted and our culture has taught them that “fitting in” is more important than emotional happiness. Friere touches on this issue with his idea of the banking concept. Children are being told how to act and treat others in order to be accepted by all. This concept can have a double standard though. On one hand, a child can turn out completely normal and self-respecting however; contrary to this a child might take things too far and become a “sexual pig.”

“Sexual schizophrenia” can easily be created by the banking concept. Sabo states that: “men want to love and be loved.” This can be hard to do when boys are being taught that it is more important to “get some” versus establishing an emotional connection. When Sabo makes the statement “their minds lead them toward eroticism while their heads pull them toward emotional intimacy” he shows us that young men are confused about how they are supposed to act and what they truly want and need. The essay “Beauty Re-discovers the Male Body” by Bordo, discusses the erotic changes seen in how men are now displayed. These changes only enhance the “schizophrenia” that young boys already have. Men have always been idealized and put on display but it was never acceptable for them to fantasize about the male body. Now, commercials and advertisements are using both the female and male bodies to sell their products. It is no wonder that boys no longer know what is acceptable and what is not.

Boys have always thought of themselves as “superior” to the female gender. However; this is rapidly changing with the involvement of women in more and more stereotypical masculine activities. Before women became engaged in sporting activities, men used the locker room for talk about their sexual encounters, free from any female ears. Sport was where males could talk freely about what they do to women and not have to worry about being near them or even being equal to them. Before the involvement of women in sports, men would grow up and turn into individuals “who misunderstood, felt separated from, and sometimes mistreated women” stated by Sabo. Men could get away with saying whatever they wanted in regards to degrading women without having to be ridiculed by the men. There was a clear separation between men and women and men were placed on top. Sabo also says that “too often this prevents male athletes from understanding women and their life experiences.” Sabo is indeed right here, until men were forced to become more equal with women, they were never able to understand at all how women came into themselves.

In this article, Sabo uses two main techniques to get his point across. First off he provides us with description about the overall topic and each subtopic. After doing this, Sabo tries to persuade the reader by implementing examples from various occasions. The reader is shown several vivid pictures of what happens as young boys try and grasp hold of their sexuality. By citing well-known publications such as Playboy and MTV, the reader can gain a firm grasp of the concept since the example was put into easy to understand terms. By providing a few questions, it causes the reader to stop and think about the scenario that is being presented and allows for critical think and understanding to take place. Overall, Sabo used these techniques to his advantage to get his point across and make it clear. After all, “most of us do not really know what we want from our sexual lives.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s