The experiences of sexual harassment in sport and education among European female sports science students
The study investigates whether sport is an especially risky environment for sexual harassment to occur. It explores female students' experiences of sexual harassment in organized sport and compares them with their experiences in formal education, by addressing the following research questions: (1) Are there any differences in female sport students' experiences of sexual harassment in sport and education? (2) Are there any differences in female sport students' experiences of sexual harassment from coaches and teachers? (3) Are there any differences in female sport students' experiences from peer students and peer athletes? A total of 616 female students from three different European countries, Czech Republic, Greece and Norway, answered a questionnaire. The results revealed that the students had experienced more sexual harassment in an educational setting than in a sport setting. Further analysis showed that this was primarily due to sexual harassment from peers in school. In Greece and Norway, there was no difference between occurrences from teachers and coaches, yet in Czech Republic coaches appear to harass more than teachers. The difference between sexual harassment occurring from peers in sport and in education is discussed in relation to whether the sense of belonging/camaraderie that a sport club member may experience might function as a barrier for sexual harassment to occurbecause it embarrasses or hurts a teammate. In addition, sport clubs and teams are governed by their respective sport rules and possibly by additional club/team rules, which may also establish extra inside-club/team boundaries for acceptable and nonacceptable/harassing behaviors. This article concludes that greater emphasis ought to be placed on education; not only toward shaping safer teacher/coach behaviors, but also toward the student/athlete behaviors.