Sexual Violence Experienced in the Sport Context by a Representative Sample of Quebec Adolescents

J Interpers Violence. 2016 Oct;31(16):2666-86. doi: 10.1177/0886260515580366. Epub 2015 Apr 13.


This is the first study to report the prevalence of sexual violence perpetrated by a sport coach within a representative sample of the general population of adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years (N = 6,450). The questionnaire administered in high schools includes self-reported measures on a variety of dimensions relevant to the study of victimization, including sexual abuse, sexual contacts perceived as consensual, sexual harassment, and involvement in an organized sport context. Descriptive and chi-square analyses were performed. The results show that 0.5% of adolescents experienced sexual abuse involving a coach. When considering all adolescents who experienced sexual abuse in their lifetime (10.2%), it appears that 5.3% of them were victims of sexual abuse by a coach. Participants also reported experiencing sexual harassment from a coach (0.4%) and consensual sexual contacts (1.2%) with a coach in the 12 months preceding the study. Questions are raised on the overrepresentation of boys in situations of sexual victimization experiences in an organized sport context.

Keywords: athletes; prevalence; sexual abuse; sexual harassment; sexual relations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentoring*
  • Quebec
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Harassment / statistics & numerical data
  • Sports*