n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The forbidden acts : prevalence of sexual harassment among university female athletes

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of sexual harassment of university female athletes in Kenya. The specific aspects of sexual harassment assessed were perpetrators, frequency, location and time, forms or types, reactions of the respondents and physical complaints experienced by sexually harassed female athletes. Data were collected using questionnaires from 339 university female athletes who were participating at a university sport tournament in 2013. Results showed that 64.4% of respondents had experienced sexual harassment incidences and the major perpetuators were spectators with sexual harassment occurring mostly in the playing fields. The most common forms of sexual harassment were sexually offensive looks, comments and unwanted comments on attractiveness in public. The female athlete's reactions to sexual harassment were staying away from the perpetuators, telling them off and talking to somebody they trusted. Their physical complaints after the episodes of sexual harassment were headaches, fatigue and insomnia. Female athletes need to be advised on diverse measures to mitigate the effects of sexual harassment in universities. Universities also need to generate and implement specific sexual harassment policies which are applicable in sport settings.

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