Eric Anderson (sociologist)

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Eric Anderson
Born (1968-01-18) January 18, 1968 (age 51)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of California Irvine
ThesisIn the Game: Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity (2004)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Winchester, England
Main interestsMasculinities, sexualities and sport

Eric Anderson (born January 18, 1968) is an American sociologist and sexologist specializing in adolescent men's gender and sexualities. He holds the position of Professor of Masculinities, Sexualities and Sport at the University of Winchester, in England. His research has been recognized for excellence by the British Academy of Social Sciences and he is an elected Fellow of the International Academy of Sex Research. Anderson is an advocate for the inclusion of gay men in sport and is America's first openly gay high-school coach [1] coming out at Huntington Beach High School, the same high-school that produced the nation's first openly gay, actively playing, professional team sport athlete, Robbie Rogers who currently plays for LA Galaxy.


Eric Anderson earned a B.A. from California State University Long Beach in 1990; a California State Teaching Credential in 1991; and an M.A. in Sport Psychology in 1993. From the University of California Irvine, Anderson earned an M.A in Sociology in 2002 and a Ph.D. in 2004 with a dissertation that became his book In the Game: Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity,[2] which the American Library Association recognized as Outstanding Academic Title for that year (2005). Before joining the University of Winchester in 2011, Anderson completed post-doctoral work with Michael Kimmel at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He then worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Bath from 2005 to 2010, as well as a Visiting Professor at the University of California Irvine. He was promoted to Professor in 2011 and given a chair in Masculinities, Sexualities and Sport.


Anderson is considered a leading figure in multiple academic subfields, including men's studies and men's sexualities. He has written 11 books and over 50 peer-reviewed academic journal articles [3] covering multiple aspects of sexualities and gender, frequently related to male team sport athletes.

His autobiography, Trailblazing, documents the story of his coming out as the first openly gay high school coach in the U.S.,[4] which Booklist described as, "quite possibly the best coming-out story ever told".[5] Also recognizing this book, the journal, Sociology of Sport Journal, held a symposium on its relevance to understanding decreasing homophobia in sport.[6]

His book Inclusive Masculinity: The Changing Nature of Masculinities changed the way masculinity scholars theorized the relationship between masculinity and homophobia. His theory, Inclusive Masculinity Theory, and its embedded notion of homohysteria, explains how homophobia regulates gender. In subsequent works, Anderson uses empirical evidence to show that young heterosexual men's masculinities are becoming softer and more inclusive.[7] His (2014) book 21st Century Jocks: Sporting Men and Contemporary Heterosexuality[8] documents heterosexual men cuddling in bed together,[9] kissing each other on the lips,[10] and engaging in intense emotional intimacy with other men, something known as a bromance.[11]

Anderson's scholarship [12] also examines the problems of monogamy. His (2012) book, The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love and the Reality of Cheating with Oxford University Press [13] has received a great deal of international media attention,[14] including multiple television appearances,[15] because the evidence of his 120 interviews suggests that monogamy causes difficulties in relationships, and thus cheating becomes a rational response to the unreasonable cultural mandates of sexual fidelity.[16][17][18] His work on monogamy also examines why middle-age women cheat, not because they are emotionally unfulfilled, but instead, like men, they desire sex outside of the relationship.[19]

Anderson's primary research partner is Dr Mark McCormack.[20] Together, in a Sex Roles symposium they examine and advance the notion of homohysteria.[21] Anderson and McCormack also have developed the understanding that decreasing cultural homophobia positively impacts the lives of bisexual men [22] and bisexual women.[23] They have a forthcoming book with Columbia University Press, that examines bisexual men's lives in Los Angeles, New York and London, research that has been funded by the American Institute of Bisexuality and has been featured by The New York Times.[24]

Anderson is a critical scholar of team sports, authoring a number of books examining its functions, purposes and problems.[25] Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology lists his (2010) book Sport Theory and Social Problems [25] as a top 10 book about sport theory.[26] In a co-edited volume, with Professor Jennifer Hargreaves, Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality, sport is criticized for producing a gender binary, transphobia and patriarchy. Anderson instead advocates for participation in exercise and fitness, including distance running, for which he has authored two books: Training Games Coaching and Racing Creatively (2006) [27] and The Runners Textbook (2009).[28]

In the media[edit]

Anderson [29] appears frequently in the media. Television appearances include discussing gay men in sport on ABC News [30] and being interviewed by KTLA about his experiences of coming out as an openly gay high-school coach.[31] He has also appeared on Britain's This Morning,[15] the Alan Titchmarsh show,[32] and Australia's Sunrise [33] to explain the findings of his research about monogamy and cheating. The BBC have also utilised Anderson's expertise on sports psychology [34] and marriage equality.[35]

Anderson has been on hundreds of radio shows, including: BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, NPR, KPCC AirTalk, Radio Netherlands and On Point.[36]

In print, Anderson has been featured in hundreds of old and new media sources, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, BBC News, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Guardian, The Atlantic, ESPN News,, The New Republic, Scientific American, Open Democracy, The Daily Express, NBC News and The New York Times Magazine.

Published books[edit]

Anderson has currently authored eleven books:

  • He's Hot, She's Hot, So What? The Changing Dynamics of Bisexual Men's Lives. New York: Columbia University Press. Forthcoming.
  • 21st Century Jocks: Sporting Men and Contemporary Heterosexuality. Basingstoke: Palgrave-McMillian, 2014.
  • Routledge Handbook of Sport, Gender and Sexuality. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach. Los Angeles, CA: Alyson Books, 2000.
  • Training Games: Coaching & Racing Creatively. Mountain View, CA: Tafnews Press, 1994, 1996, 2006

Academic journal articles[edit]

For a full list of peer-reviewed academic journal articles, please visit:


  1. ^ Trailblazing: The True Story: Eric Anderson: 9781439238226: Books. ISBN 978-1439238226.
  2. ^ "In the Game". Suny Press. Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  3. ^ "Eric Anderson - Google Scholar Citations".
  4. ^ Anderson, Eric (2000). Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach: Eric Anderson: 9781555835248: Books. ISBN 978-1555835248.
  5. ^ Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach, by Eric Anderson - Booklist Online.
  6. ^ "SSJ Review Symposium".
  7. ^ Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities: Eric Anderson: 9780415540377: Books. ASIN 0415540372.
  8. ^ "System Cookie Warning".
  9. ^ Thomas, Emily (May 2014). "93 Percent Of Straight Men In This Study Said They've Cuddled With Another Guy". The Huffington Post.
  10. ^ Lucy Tobin (2011-01-04). "Straight men kissing more". the Guardian.
  11. ^ "Theorizing Masculinitis for a New Generation" (PDF). Universidad de la Laguna. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  12. ^ eric anderson. "Eric Anderson".
  13. ^ "The Monogamy Gap". Archived from the original on May 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Why Men Need To Cheat". The Huffington Post. 2012-01-04.
  15. ^ a b "Why Do Men Cheat? Eric Anderson's book, The Monogamy Gap". YouTube. March 7, 2012.
  16. ^ Anderson, Eric (February 17, 2012). "The Washington Post".
  17. ^ Larson, Vicki (January 4, 2012). "Huffington Post".
  18. ^ "London Evening Standard". 2012-03-08.
  19. ^ "The Real Reason Women Cheat".
  20. ^ "Mark McCormack, PhD".
  21. ^ McCormack, Mark (2014). "The Influence of Declining Homophobia on Men's Gender in the United States: An Argument for the Study of Homohysteria" (PDF). Sex Roles. 71 (3–4): 109–120. doi:10.1007/s11199-014-0358-8.
  22. ^ Ripley, Matthew (2011). "The Decreasing Significance of Stigma in the Lives of Bisexual Men: Keynote Address, Bisexual Research Convention, London" (PDF). Journal of Bisexuality. 11 (2–3): 195–206. doi:10.1080/15299716.2011.571985.
  23. ^ Anderson, Eric (2016). "Sixth form girls and bisexual burden" (PDF). Journal of Gender Studies. 25: 24–34. doi:10.1080/09589236.2013.877383.
  24. ^ Denizet-Lewis, Benoit (2014-03-14). "The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
  25. ^ a b "Eric Anderson - Professor of Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities".
  26. ^ Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology. Oxford University Press.
  27. ^ Training Games: Coaching & Racing Creatively, 3rd Edition: Eric Anderson, Andrew Hibbert: 9780911521733: Books. ISBN 978-0911521733.
  28. ^ The Runner's Textbook: Eric Anderson Ph. D., Tom Jewett: 9781439263525: Books. ASIN 1439263523.
  29. ^ "Eric Anderson PhD".
  30. ^ "Professor Anderson on GMA's news segment "Gay in the NBA"". YouTube. September 19, 2011.
  31. ^ "Gay Bashing of Eric Anderson's Runner at Huntington Beach 1995". YouTube. September 25, 2011.
  32. ^ "Why do Men Cheat? Titchmarsh Show". YouTube. March 9, 2013.
  33. ^ "Born to Cheat? Australia's Morning Show Sunrise 5 Jan 2012". YouTube. January 27, 2013.
  34. ^ "BBC Sports TV Olympic Dreams". YouTube. January 22, 2012.
  35. ^ "YouTube".
  36. ^ "Radio - Eric Anderson - Professor of Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities".

External links[edit]