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SEXUAL HARASSMENT CONSEQUENCES FOR FEMALE ATHLETES AND PREVENTION IN GREEK SPORTS

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Author(s): Stiliani Chroni | Anna Kourtesopoulou | Olga Kouli

Journal: Inquiries in Sport & Physical Education
ISSN 1790-3041

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 283;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: sexual harassment | consequences | policies | female athletes | Greece

ABSTRACT
The main objective of the present paper is to thoroughly review the operational definitions of sexual harassment as those presented by the European Union and international women’s sports organizations, along with research evidence on psychological, social, and day-to-day consequences of sexual harassment experiences for female athletes. The secοndary objective is to discuss some ideas and policies for the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment occurrences. To suport the necesity for developing anti-harassment and harassment-free policies in Greece, preliminary data from a research project conducted in Greece is presented. The preliminary data from the gender relations’ study in Greece shows that sexual harassment occurrences are indeed a reality (Chroni & Fasting, 2005; Chroni, Fasting, & Knorre, 2006). Overall, 71% of female participants reported having experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives. It is apparent that a working relationship, even in the form of collaboration, as the coach-athlete relationship is often perceived, is a situation where some form of ‘functional dependency’ is present which then places the harassed person in a vulnerable position. Seeing that sexual harassment depends on the person by situation interaction, the consequences following these experiences usually influence multiple dimensions of a woman’s life inside and outside sports. The implications for prevention and elimination of sexual harassment occurrences that are discussed look upon the policies which are in effect in other countries, the European Parliament resolutions, and the global challenge to promote safe sporting experiences for girls and women.
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