The Sexual Abuse of Boys in Organized Male Sports

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Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is now a significant issue for organized sports. Since its “discovery” thirty years ago, research on CSA has been guided mostly by the “maleperpetrator–female victim” paradigm; hence, the perspective of the sexually abused male in the sports context has rarely been considered. This article considers organized male-sports as a social space that facilitates the sexual abuse of boys. Through promoting a sociological perspective on child abuse rather than an individualized and pathologized approach, I consider how the institutions of childhood, masculinity, and sports fit together and the contribution that sports make to the adult–child relation. I use Spiegel’s ecosystems model of the sexually abused male (SAM) and the sociology of sports literature to identify how some normative features of male sports contribute to the sexual abuse of male children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-249
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


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