Dr Catherine Phipps: Instagram policies and the online abuse of elite women in strength sports

9th Feb 2022, 1:00pm - 2:00pm



The Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS) invites you to join them for their first seminar of the new year 2021/22. Social media is user-generated content that can be used by athletes as a positive platform for branding, promotion, and coverage of their sport (Litchfield et al., 2016). However, it is also a space that enables hate, abuse, public shaming, and discrimination (MacPherson & Kerr, 2021). In this presentation, gendered abuse towards elite, high-profile women in strength sports (i.e., powerlifting, CrossFit, strongman, Olympic lifting and bodybuilding) is explored, utilising semi-structured interviews with a number of athletes. Findings demonstrate various types of gendered abuse experienced by women, from appearance-related comments and unsolicited advice to the more extreme forms of abuse a such as death threats and threats of sexual violence. Self-surveillance and silencing strategies were also critiqued by the participants. Although these findings demonstrate deep-rooted problems surrounding sexism and misogyny that go further than social media, it is also argued that platforms such  as Instagram have a responsibility to tackle these issues, and their policies currently do not do enough to prevent abuse towards women.

Dr Catherine Phipps is a prize-winning researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences at Solent University. Her research and teaching focuses gender, sexuality, specifically homophobia and LGBT+ inclusion in sport.


12:55   Session opens online for joining

13:00   Event start

14:00   Close

Venue: Online event (a secure link will be distributed following registration)

Book you free place here

This event is open to staff, students and  externals

This event has been organised by Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS). The Centre for Child Protection and Safeguarding in Sport (CPSS) is at the forefront of research on the prevention of abuse, exploitation and maltreatment in sport.  Learn more by visiting their website: https://sites.edgehill.ac.uk/cpss/

For more information please contact  [email protected]



CPSS Seminar sponsored by ISR