n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The perceptions and occurrence of sexual harassment among male student athletes with male coaches s research - : sports research

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


This article explores the perceptions and the occurrence of sexual harassment among male student athletes with male coaches. Most research in this field of study has been conducted from a male perpetrator-female victim paradigm and has thus been biased towards the study of female student athletes with male coaches. A sample of 98 male student athletes from an inner city university in the Johannesburg area participated in the study. They were asked to indicate their perception of the seriousness and acceptability of specific coach behaviour and how often such behaviour occurred. Through factor analysis four categories of coach behaviour were identified, namely Unwanted sexual behaviour, Physical and verbal behaviour with a sexual undertone, Sexist and discriminatory behaviour, and Acceptable behaviour. The results from the factor analysis indicated that the male student athletes clearly differentiate between coach behaviour that is very serious and unacceptable, or not. One in five of the participants reported that they experienced unwanted sexual behaviour, while two out of five reported the occurrence of unacceptable physical and verbal behaviour with a sexual undertone. The results suggested that the gender bias in sexual abuse research might not be justified anymore.

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