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As female participation in violent sports such as boxing, hockey and martial arts grows, so do the questions. It can no longer be called a "novelty" or a "gimmick," as it has been in the past. So, why do women participate in violent sports and what does it mean? Including the author's personal experience as an athlete and the experiences and thoughts of other women in violent sports, some well-known, some not, all of them defying traditional gender roles. Through interviews and questionnaires with athletes, coaches and observers as well as trained mental health professionals interested in the phenomenon, the reasons why women participate in contact sports - and what they get out of them - are examined.