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Sexual aggression and sports participation.

Smith, Dave and Stewart, Sally (2003) Sexual aggression and sports participation. Journal of sport behavior, 26 (4). pp. 384-395. ISSN 0162-7341

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Abstract

This study investigated differences in sexually aggressive attitudes and behavior among contact sport athletes, non-contact sport athletes and non-athletes. Two hundred and eighty-two male undergraduate students completed a questionnaire comprising the following: Questions requesting demographic information, the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (Gill & Deeter, 1988), the Rape-supportive Attitude Scale (Lottes, 1988), an eight-item short form of the Hostility Toward Women scale (Koss & Gaines, 1993) and the Sexual Experiences Survey (Koss & Gaines, 1993). Significant (p < .004) relationships were found among all three subscales of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire, the Hostility Toward Women scale and the Sexual Experiences Survey. A MANOVA with Tukey follow-up tests revealed that the contact and non-contact athletes scored significantly (p < .05) higher on all three subscales of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire than the non-athletes. However, there were no significant differences between contact and non-contact sport athletes on these subscales (p > .05), and there were no significant between-group differences on the Rape-supportive Attitude Scale, the Hostility Toward Women scale and the Sexual Experiences Survey (p > .05 in all cases). These results indicate that, despite suggestions to the contrary from the media and some academics, athletes do not have a greater propensity than non-athletes to commit sexual assault.

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