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Abstract

Recent theorising concerning leisure has suggested that this sphere, along with the family, the educational system and the occupation system, contributes to identity formation and more especially to gender identity. However, feminist analyses suggest that leisure can be both an area for the subordination and domination of women and an area of resistance to dominant ideologies and discourses. Questions are raised within this framework as to the need in late adolescence for girls, because of a lack of opportunity within their leisure experiences, to seek identity in other ways—smoking may be a form of resistance but also adopted because of a lack of leisure opportunities suitable for them. While males have role models and a culture that provides them with individual competitive pursuits which at least give them a perception of identity, women lack such a culture and are thus deprived of the opportunity to participate in leisure activities to the same extent as males. This paper argues that adventurous leisure which provides physical, mental and emotional challenge and satisfaction can provide a sound basis to resist gender stereotypes and provide alternatives to tobacco consumption.