Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Member

Dr. Bryan Denham, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Erin Ash

Committee Member

Dr. Angela Pratt


Previous research shows that females are underrepresented in the masculine domain of sport. More specifically, the hyper-masculine domain of professional football has presented women with much resistance when trying to enter the industry. Hegemonic masculinity has some responsibility for maintaining this resistance. The current study uses the lens of hegemonic masculinity to explore the space of professional football and its progression toward equality for females. Despite the first full-time female coach being hired by the Buffalo Bills in 2016, very little research exists on the topic. This study aims to add to the existing conversation on hegemonic masculinity and females in sport in order for readers to understand perceptions of credibility of females in the arena of professional football. The researcher conducted an online survey to measure credibility perceptions, gathering responses from a total of 148 participants. Spearman correlation tests as well as ANOVA and ANCOVA procedures revealed that while gender of a coach does predict credibility, gender of respondent, political ideology of respondent, or level of competitive sport played by respondent is not significant in predicting credibility. The study offers limitations as well as directions for future research.