Article: Consequences of sexual harassment in sport for female athletes

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Sexual harassment research was first undertaken in the workplace and educational settings. Research on sexual harassment in sport is scarce but has grown steadily since the mid-1980s. Even so, very little is known about the causes and/or characteristics and/or consequences of sexual harassment in sport settings. This article reports on the findings from interviews with 25 elite female athletes in Norway who indicated in a prior survey (n = 572) that they had experienced sexual harassment from someone in sport. The consequences of the incidents of sexual harassment that were reported were mostly negative, but some also reported that their experiences of sexual harassment had had no consequences for them. ‘Thinking about the incidents’, a ‘destroyed relationship with the coach’, and ‘a more negative view of men in general’ were the most often negative consequences mentioned. In addition, a surprising number had chosen to move to a different sport or to drop out of elite sport altogether because of the harassment.