Experiences of sexual harassment and abuse among Norwegian elite female athletes and nonathletes

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2003 Mar;74(1):84-97. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2003.10609067.


This paper compares the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse among 660 Norwegian elite female athletes and an age-matched control sample of nonathletes. It also explores differences in the prevalence of harassment and abuse in sport and work or school settings and compares harassment and abuse perpetrated by male authority figures and peers in these different contexts. No differences were found between the athletes and controls in overall prevalence of sexual harassment or abuse. However, the athletes experienced significantly more harassment from male authority figures than did the controls. Based on these results, the article considers whether or not sport offers women any particular immunity from sexual harassment and abuse. The implications of the findings for structural and cultural change in sport are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Norway
  • Organizational Culture
  • Sex Offenses* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Harassment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Sports* / statistics & numerical data