Eric Anderson (sociologist)

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For other people of the same name, see Eric Anderson.

Eric "Gumby" Anderson (born January 18, 1968) is an American sociologist specializing in the field of masculinities, sport and sexuality.

Career and Research[edit]

Eric Anderson's research career started as he undertook a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. After working at the University of Bath for several years, Anderson was appointed Professor of Sport Studies at the University of Winchester in 2011.

Anderson has written books on topics ranging from homophobia (Trailblazing) to gay athletes (In the Game: Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity) to the negative aspects of sport (Sport, Theory and Social Problems: A Critical Introduction). His autobiography, Trailblazing, documents the story of his coming out as the first openly gay high school coach in the U.S.[1] Recognizing this book, the journal, Sociology of Sport Journal, held a symposium on its relevance to then contemporary scholarship.[2] His book Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities is about athletes and masculinity.[3] Anderson’s research also indicates that young heterosexual men’s masculinity is becoming more inclusive. This is evident in data from his interviews with 145 college males in Britain, which revealed that 89% of the men had kissed another male.[4]

His latest book, The Monogamy Gap (2012), is published with Oxford University Press.[5] It has received media attention.[6][7][8]

In the media[edit]

Anderson has appeared on television shows, including TBS (TV Channel)’s The Real Gilligan's Island as “the Professor.” He has spoken on NPR with Billy Bean,[9] and was interviewed by CBS News about his research on gay men in sport. His research on bisexuality has also appeared in interviews with CNN,[10] Scientific American,[11] and the Los Angeles Times.[12] He appeared as “The Professor” on the 2004 season of The Real Gilligan's Island, a TBS (TV Channel) reality television series based on the 1960s classic Gilligan’s Island.[13] He is also a contributor to the blog, Psychology Today.[14]


Anderson has written eight books and numerous scientific articles, including:

  • The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love and the Reality of Cheating. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Sport, Theory and Social Problems: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2010.
  • Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities. New York: Routledge, 2009.[15]
  • The Runner's Textbook. BookSurge Publishing, 2009. This textbook describes the physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of running, and includes racing strategies for long distance runners.
  • In the Game: Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity.State University of New York Press, 2005. This book is based on interviews with 60 gay athletes from North America. Forty interviewees were openly gay while 20 were still in the closet.[16]
  • Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Books, 2000.


External links[edit]