Sexual harassment in and outside sports

Sexual harassment occurs in all sports and at all performance levels, but is reported to be more prevalent in elite athletes. The consequences of experienced sexual harassment may be serious and may affect physical, psychological and social health. There is limited knowledge regarding sexual harassment among youths in and outside sports, and the available research suffers from methodological limitations. In the light of public interest and debate about sexual harassment, there is a need for updated and precise research.


Formal title

Sexual harassment in elite sport high schools and regular high schools


The purpose of the study is to examine

  • the prevalence of sexual harassment in and outside sports
  • the association between experienced sexual harassment and psychological health
  • Knowledge and use of reporting systems and emergency plans
  • the participants suggestions to prevent sexual harassment


Students in 2nd grade at elite sport high schools in Norway and a representative sample of students from regular high schools in Oslo and Viken were invited to answer a questionnaire autumn 2019/spring 2020 and autumn 2020/spring 2021. The questionnaire consisted of questions about background information, lifestyle and training/sport, sexual harassment and psychological health. All principles/leaders at the attending schools, in addition to trainers with more than 20 % employment status at elite sport high schools, were also asked to answer a questionnaire at the first measurement point (autumn 2019/spring 2020). A sample of students who reported experiences with sexual harassment in the questionnaire, and a random sample of leaders and trainers, were also invited to an individual interview.

The project is financially funded by the Stiftelsen Dam via The Norwegian Women's Public Health Association.