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Sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace is the unwanted sexual attention and discrimination based on sex or gender of employees by their colleagues or superiors. Male-dominated organizations and professions have been found to possess cultures susceptible to high rates of sexual harassment and sexism. In addition, these organizations and professions become more accepting of this type of behavior the longer the culture permits it. In male-dominated industries such as sport, female employees may even come to expect and accept this type of behavior as “part of the job.” Utilizing Institutional Theory, this study explored the experiences of sexual harassment and sexism from colleagues and superiors in a group of 14 female sport management faculty members within the United States. All participants reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or sexism during their time as a graduate student or faculty member. Surprisingly, this harassment and sexism came from both men and women. The most common form of harassment or sexism was subtle sexism; however, several participants indicated aggressive harassment or sexism that resulted in needing medication, hospitalization, or therapy.
Taylor is with the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Smith is with the Center for Sport Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Welch and Hardin are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.