Inside Higher Ed
6.3.16 | Jake New
Driven by negative attitudes toward women and misperceptions about rape and consent, more than half of athletes surveyed for a new study say they have pressured women -- through physical and verbal threats -- into having sex with them.
And sexual coercion, which is defined as “any unwanted oral, vaginal or anal penetration as a result of verbal or physical pressure, including rape,” is not just prevalent among big-time basketball and football players. The athletes included in the study were mostly those who play recreational, not intercollegiate, sports.
“What we see in this study speaks to a larger issue than just the high-profile and sensational reports we hear about,” said Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and the study’s co-author. “There are some attitudes and beliefs prevalent among all kinds of male athletes that seem to be leading to high levels of sexually coercive behavior.”