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Title: Participation in college sports and protection from sexual victimization
Authors: Fasting, K
Brackenridge, CH
Miller, KE
Sabo, D
Keywords: sexual victimisation, college, sport
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Some sociologists have argued that sport is a male-dominated institution and sexist culture in which female athletes experience various forms of discrimination, including sexual harassment from coaches and male athletes. Some research does indicate that female athletes suffer higher rates of sexual victimization from authority figures in sport than their nonathletic counterparts in education and the workplace. In contrast, researchers have also speculated that athletic participation can protect female athletes from sexual victimization through a variety of social-psychological mechanisms such as team membership, physical strength, and self-confidence. This paper reports on the first descriptive analysis to test the “sport protection hypothesis” among both female and male athletes, using cross-tabulation secondary analyses of data from the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, conducted in 1995 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (N=4814). USA college students of traditional undergraduate age (aged 18-24) were included in the sample (N=2903). Some limited support for the protection hypothesis was found, and student athletes were significantly less likely to report sexual victimization during their late high school and early college years than their nonathletic counterparts. A gender gap in the pattern of sexual victimization also appeared between males and females across all student age groups, with females experiencing more sexual victimization than males. However, no significant gender gap was found among athletes. The results are discussed in relation to previous studies of campus athletes and to college prevention policy.
ISSN: ISSN 1612-197X International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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