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Sexual Exploitation in Sports
Sexual exploitation in sports is not substantially different from sexual exploitation by an educator. However, because of the unique relationship between athletes and coaches, some additional issues need to be addressed.
Millions of children in the United States participate in school or community-based sports programs. Some of the many benefits to these children are learning responsibility, increased self-confidence, positive self-image, learning teamwork, and learning good sportsmanship. Although generally a positive experience, some young athletes risk being sexually abused by their coaches. Reports of coaches being charged with abuse, exploitation, and rape are becoming more and more common.
4 UNIVERSITIES AND HIGH SCHOOLS HANDBOOK
Revised March 2013
Schools and colleges that are recipients of federal funds are obligated to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and its specific obligations related to sexual harassment and gender equity. Athletics directors should consult with the institution’s Title IX coordinator and legal counsel to ensure that all adopted policies and procedures conform to these laws.
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The Olympics are fast approaching. Who doesn't love watching these glorious athletes defy the laws of gravity, overcome adversity, and battle staunch competition to soar beyond our imaginations? Who isn't swept up watching Shawn Johnson win the gold medal on balance beam, or Usain Bolt dash across the finish line, or Michael Phelps cut through the water to break every record many times over? We love our athletes. They inspire us, they make us believe the impossible is possible, and, truthfully, they ignite our belief in our own humanity. That's a tall order, but these athletes, many of them children, do this for us time and time again.