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With the increased attention on the issue of sexual harassment in our society, coaches and athletic administrators need to take a more proactive role in eliminating sexual harassment in the locker room. Although in sport, sexual harassment lawsuits have been rare, the number of reported cases of sexual harassment and misconduct among athletic coaches are on the rise. This article examines what constitutes sexual harassment in sport and what behavior of coaches may now be the bases of a lawsuit. The scope of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its relevance to charges of sexual harassment in educational institutions will also be discussed. Next, the article reviews the evolution of sexual harassment case law as demonstrated by two cases. Finally, guidelines for avoiding sexual harassment will be reviewed.
John T. Wolohan and Sharon Mathes are with the Department of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.