Women Don’t Know Anything About Sports: Contrapower Harassment in the Sport Management Classroom

in Sport Management Education Journal
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Contrapower harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority (e.g., faculty member) experiences incivility or sexual harassment from a subordinate (e.g., student). Sport has long been considered a male domain, and this is true in the sport management academic setting as well. This creates an environment where contrapower harassment can occur. This research examined the prevalence of contrapower harassment in the sport management classroom as well as strategies to negotiate it if it occurs. A questionnaire was completed by 179 female faculty members teaching in the sport management field. More than half of the respondents indicated they were treated differently because of their gender, and more than 80% indicated they had faced incidents of incivility in the classroom. Respondents indicated they negotiated the instances by attempting to make the incident a teaching tool and by immediately addressing the instance. Contrapower harassment is prevalent in the sport management classroom, and faculty need to address the issue so the behaviors will not carry over into the professional work environment.

Elizabeth A. Taylor is with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Allison B. Smith is with the Center for Sport Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Cheryl R. Rode is with the College of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Niagara University, Niagara County, NY.  Robin Hardin is with Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.

Address author correspondence to Robin Hardin at robh@utk.edu.
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