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Sexual violence in organized sport in Germany

  • Jeannine Ohlert
  • Corinna Seidler
  • Thea Rau
  • Bettina Rulofs
  • Marc Allroggen
Main articles

Abstract

Although the topic of sexual violence in sport has gained considerable attention in recent years, prevalence rates of sexual violence experience in German athletes are not yet available. Therefore, the current study aimed to address this by assessing prevalence rates in a comprehensive sample of German elite athletes. Overall, 1529 German elite athletes over 16 years of age from 128 different sports took part in an online survey. Mean age was 21.6 years; 56% were female. Participants were presented with seventeen different sexual violence situations (from sexist jokes to forced penetration) and asked to indicate how often they had experienced each particular situation in the sport setting. Results revealed that 37.6% of the athletes had experienced at least one sexual violence situation in organized sport; 11.2% reported a severe form of sexual violence. Female athletes were affected significantly more often than male athletes, and persons with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual more often than heterosexuals. No significant differences could be found with regard to age, level of performance, type of sports, dis-/ability or migration background of the athletes. These results indicate that sexual violence is a problem that needs to be addressed across elite sports in Germany. Prevention concepts need to be developed and applied across sports contexts.

Keywords

Sexual harassment Sexual abuse Interpersonal violence Squad athletes Female athletes 

Sexualisierte Gewalt im organisierten Sport in Deutschland

Zusammenfassung

Obwohl sexualisierte Gewalt im Sport in den letzten Jahren beträchtlich an Aufmerksamkeit gewonnen hat, sind noch keine Daten zur Prävalenz sexualisierter Gewalterfahrungen unter deutschen Sportler*innen verfügbar. Ziel der vorliegenden Studie war es daher, die Prävalenz anhand einer umfassenden Stichprobe deutscher Spitzensportler*innen zu ermitteln. Insgesamt 1529 deutsche Kadersportler*innen über 16 Jahren aus 128 verschiedenen Sportarten nahmen an einer Online-Befragung teil. Das Durchschnittsalter betrug 21,6 Jahre; 56% waren weiblich. Den Teilnehmenden wurden 17 verschiedene Situationen sexualisierter Gewalt geschildert (von sexistischen Witzen bis zur erzwungenen Penetration). Sie wurden gebeten anzugeben, wie oft sie die einzelnen Situationen im Umfeld des organisierten Sports erfahren hatten. Wie die Befragung ergab, hatten 37,6% der Sportler*innen mindestens eine Situation sexualisierter Gewalt im organisierten Sport erlebt; 11,2% gaben schwere oder länger andauernde sexualisierte Gewalt an. Sportlerinnen waren signifikant häufiger betroffen als Sportler, und Personen mit einer nicht heterosexuellen Orientierung häufiger als Heterosexuelle. Keine signifikanten Unterschiede fanden sich in Bezug auf Alter, Leistungsniveau, Sportart, Behinderungsstatus oder Migrationshintergrund der Sportler*innen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass sexualisierte Gewalt ein Problem ist, das in allen Bereichen des deutschen Spitzensports angegangen werden sollte. Präventionskonzepte müssen entwickelt und auf den verschiedene Kontexte im Sport angewendet werden.

Schlüsselwörter

Sexuelle Belästigung Sexueller Missbrauch Zwischenmenschliche Gewalt Kadersportler*innen Sportlerinnen 

Notes

Funding

This study was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Grant FKZ 01SR 1401XY).

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

J. Ohlert, C. Seidler, T. Rau, B. Rulofs and M. Allroggen declare that they have no competing interests. There are no financial or other relationships that might lead to a conflict of interest.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.The German Research Centre for Elite Sport Cologne—momentumGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany
  3. 3.Institute of PsychologyGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Sociology and Gender StudiesGerman Sport University CologneCologneGermany

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