Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development


Sandra Caron

Second Committee Member

Robert Milardo

Third Committee Member

Phillip Pratt


This study was intended to examine perceptions of male athletes and non-athletes attending the University of Maine, to verify if differences exist between them in their attitudes and values in regard to the place of women in our society, their attitudes toward women's and men's premarital sexual permissiveness, and their degree of masculinity. In addition to comparilig male a,thletes and non-athletes, differences between the attitudes of team and individual athletes were examined. Finally, the results from this 2005 sample were compared to those found in an earlier study completed in 1982 to examine changes in attitudes over time. Results did not support previous research findings that significant differences exist between athletes and non-athletes. There were no significant differences between the groups on measures of their attitudes toward women, attitudes toward women's premarital sexual behavior, or their degree or masculinity and femininity. The one significant difference was in the area of attitudes towards men's premarital sexual behavior, with male athletes having more traditional attitudes than the non-athletes. In terms of differences between the 2005 sample and the 1982 sample, male nonathletes in the 2005 sample were found to be more traditional in their attitudes towards women's roles and responsibilities. On the other hand, male athletes (both individual and team athletes) were found to be significantly more conservative in their attitudes toward premarital sexual behavior when compared to the 1982 sample. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.