The Saint Louis Rams made history by selecting an openly gay player in the recent NFL draft, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.
Sports commentators suggest this breakthrough could lead to a surge of gay males in top sports leagues, matching the prominence of well-known lesbian athletes like tennis greats Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, and basketball star Brittney Griner.
This seems unlikely, however, given, the emphasis in athletics on fierce competitive drive—an instinct more identified with masculinity than femininity. Current thinking on sexual orientation claims profound, intrinsic differences between gays and straights. So if lesbians are less conventionally feminine than straight women, and gay males are less conventionally masculine than straight men, gay females would have advantages over their less combative straight counterparts, while gay male athletes would enjoy no comparable edge over other males on playing fields.
Time will tell.
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