ERIC Number: EJ1021514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Coach-Athlete Sexual Relationships: If No Means No Does Yes Mean Yes?
Sport, Education and Society, v18 n5 p678-693 2013
Coach-athlete romantic relationships and consensual sexual relations are commonly accepted among coaches and athletes, although a growing number of sport organisations discourage or prohibit such relationships. In research, coach-athlete sexual relationships are lumped together with sexual abuse, suggested to harm athletes' well-being, performance, athletic career and team dynamics, and to inherently constitute an abuse of power, trust and ethics. In addition, mistrust of coaches' motives, related to physical touch and fear of sexual misconduct, has resulted in a growing anxiety among coaches. This paper highlights and critically discusses research conceptualisations, contextual understandings and critical issues surrounding coach-athlete sexual relationships, on which there is no comprehensive research outside the sexual abuse context. Studies of authority-subordinate romantic relationships in other social settings have reported that such relationships facilitate both positive and negative characteristics and outcomes. To prevent and reduce harm and to promote well-being, functionality and safe practice in coach-athlete sexual and non-sexual relationships, I suggest that comprehensive research outside the sexual abuse context is required. In addition to the previous research focus on harmful and abusive relationships, coach-athlete sexual relationships that are experienced as consenting and mutually fulfilling by the involved parties need further examination.
Descriptors: Athletic Coaches, Athletes, Intimacy, Sexuality, Interpersonal Relationship, Well Being, Safety, Sexual Abuse, Trust (Psychology), Child Abuse, Power Structure, Foreign Countries, Children, Adolescents, Child Safety, Ethics
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A