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Title: The grooming process in sport: Case studies of sexual harassment and abuse
Authors: Fasting, K
Brackenridge, CH
Keywords: Sexual abuse;Sexual harassment;Grooming;Coach-athlete relationships
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Sage
Citation: Auto/Biography 13(1): 33-52, Apr 2005
Abstract: Drawing on interviews with two elite female athletes from different sports, one from a study in Norway and the other from a study in England, this article explores the process of 'grooming' in the context of sport. Both athletes experienced grooming for sex by their male coaches yet were able to stop the process at a particular point. Grooming has been used to demarcate 'sexual harassment' and 'sexual abuse' as separate points on a continuum of sexually exploitative behaviours. Grooming involves slowly gaining trust before systematically breaking down interpersonal barriers. Elite athletes can become trapped into compliance because they trust and like, or even love, their abusers. The motivation behind sexual harassment and abuse is often power, whereby the harasser seeks to take control over another individual. The abusers use threats (such as being cut from the team) and rewards or privileges to secure co-operation and manipulate the victims to maintain secrecy. Our primary purpose here is to use these adapted realist tales to provide a richer and more personal illustration of these events (within-case) than is presented through extrapolated checklists of 'risk factors' (cross-case). The stories also illustrate vividly elements from the different stages in the grooming process in sport, as described in previous literature. Finally, they reinforce the need to identify protective factors as part of anti-harassment and abuse prevention programmes with both coaches and athletes.
Appears in Collections:Sport
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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