The Perceived Experiences with Sexual Harassment of Former Elite South Korean Female Swimmers



Jung, Ae Hyun

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The main purpose of this study was to explore perceived experiences with sexual harassment of elite South Korean female swimmers from a socio-cultural context. A qualitative design was used for this study, and ten former elite South Korean female swimmers (N=10, age range 19-28 years) were interviewed in person. Interview questions were designed to explore perceived experiences with sexual harassment. Hegemonic masculinity was presented as the theoretical framework for the study. The results of the study revealed that the perceived definition of sexual harassment is different from the indoctrinated definition of sexual harassment among participants. More than one-third of participants experienced sexual harassment by male coaches, male peers or senior athletes, and female coaches during their athletic lives. Most participants reacted timidly when they faced sexual harassment situations, while two participants strongly expressed their feelings toward their sexual harassers. Lastly, male dominance and strict relationships between younger and older persons, training camp culture, and the entrance examination of the university system were three main factors in South Korean sport settings which triggered sexual harassment incidences.



Elite sports, Perceived experience, Swimmers, Sexual harassment, South Korea