By Kat D
Throughout many athletic organizations there is a major sexual harassment issue.
Theodore Roosevelt states that “that character counts for a great deal more than either intellect or
body in winning success in life” ( Roosevelt 1). Many coaches let sports get in the way of their
character. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka states the claim that “in the past, athletes, coaches and
officials have turned a blind eye to sexual harassment” ( Mlambo- Ngcuka 2), in performance
sports specifically. Performance sports is used to describe sports where the “games” are
performances, for example Dance, Gymnastics and Cheer. Johnathon Halbeslesben, PhD in
workplace contentment studied that 44% of female employees experiences sexual harassment.
However only 6% formally reported the behavior. Vivian Krauchek, head coach at the University
of Calgary claims that 20% identified sexual harassment, 54% had experienced, but many of
these women refused to speak out. Finally Chanel DaSilva, professional Dancer for the Harvard
Dance Project states that “countless cases of sexual misconduct survivors being ignored,
dismissed, punished for speaking up” ( Dasilva 1). So what is the best way to address sexual
harassment in performance sports? To understand the complexity of this topic it is important to
study it from the view of coaches and athletes and a socio/cultural lens. Through this exploration
it will become clear that a “zero tolerance” policy is the most effective solution because it addresses the imbalance in dominance leading to harassment, holds the perpetrator accountable and provides protection for the whole institution.
The Journal of Scholarship at WHS is a peer reviewed journal publishing academic works by emerging scholars at Weymouth Middle and High School.