Sociologist Dr. Eric Anderson, who is credited with being the first openly gay high school coach during his tenure at Huntington Breach High in the early nineties, conducted research questionnaires with a small sample of ex-high school football players who said that they have had some sexual contact with other men.
The men interviewed were aged 18-23 and all had retired from football before college. Anderson’s study suggests that “society’s increasing open-mindedness about homosexuality and decreasing stigma concerning sexual activity with other men had allowed sportsmen to speak more openly about these sexual activities.”
The article "Heterosexual athletes contesting masculinity and the one-time rule of homosexuality" which will appear in the January issue of the journal, showed that over one third of the men interviewed admitted to having contact with other men whether with women present or alone. The study also stated that most did not identify themselves as homosexual, but also did not feel shame or resentment for their relations with other males.
Anderson told Science Daily he believes that the “positive portrayal of homosexuality on television, the ease with which homosexuals could gradually ‘come out’ by using the internet, and the decline of religious fundamentalism has made homosexuality and homosexual acts considerably less controversial for university-aged men.”
Anderson has written several books on the subject of homosexuality in sports and relieves his own account of coming out in his autobiography, Trailblazing: The True Story of America's First Openly Gay Track Coach.