Boys, Bodies, Pleasure and Pain: Interrogating Contact Sports in Schools
This paper reports some of the findings of a qualitative study into the physical activity preferences of 23 Australian secondary school boys. The study was originally designed to examine the level of homogeneity amongst boys' physical activity preferences. Semi-structured interviewing techniques and video-taped footage were used to invite boys to discuss their reasons for choosing certain movement forms and rejecting others. However, in the course of the research, the themes of physical injury and pain and a desire for physical contact emerged as central to the boys' experiences and choices. In light of emerging research into the bodily sensations particularly pleasure produced by participation in sports, we decided to ask the boys to talk about their own bodies in relation to physical activity and contact sports in particular.