Educating young athletes helps protect young women

With statistical evidence of overprevelance of sports related rape culture, neccassary steps must be taken to help keep young women and men of the next generation safe by educating teams of men.

The statistic presented by the 2014 study on Expert Testimony on Sensitive Myth Ridden Topics that men who are part of organized sports or fraternities are 300% more likely to commit sexual violence when compared to nonafffiliated peers may seem shocking.
However, when considering commonly accepted concepts, like “boys will be boys” and “locker room talk,” the statistic doesn’t seem so unbelievable.
Locker room talk is the idea that when you are surrounded with similar peers, you will feel more comfortable saying controversial things that wouldn’t be appropriate otherwise. It often referred directly to men talking in locker rooms about sexual conquests and objectifying women. The term became widely known when the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump was recorded talking about forcibly kissing and groping women; when responding to the backlash, he set a precedent by writing it off as “locker room talk.”
Locker room talk is a poor excuse for such chatter. Such speech is not an appropriate way to discuss women. Concepts like locker room talk are what contribute to rape culture.
Rape culture consists of a mix of trails of social cues and deragatory comments that result in the normalization of sexual violence. Rape culture is something that helps sexual aggressors feel safe committing assualt, creating a sea of red flags.
The large amounts of crude comments makes it difficult to judge if that person is a mere bystander to rape culture or if they are a danger to others.
Many view rape culture of an aspect of “boys will be boys.” This concept needs to be dismantled and rape culture needs to be extinguished.
Much of rape culture occurs in sports and while unfortunate that it is an issue, needs to be address. Simply ignoring the problem will not make it go away. It will not phased out of the upcoming generations unless we can extinguish it with education.
In her autobiography “Shout”, Laurie Halse Anderson writes about her experiences talking to high school students. While her book “Speak” was about sexual violence, when she was hired to speak at schools many adminstrators were not comfortable with her speaking to students about that topic, claiming rape was not an issue in their school.
To address a problem hidden in the shadows though, people in power must accept that just because they aren’t directy informed of sexual violence, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. After acknowledging the problem, addressing it in a serious, effective manner is the goal.
This begins with giving coaches the responsibility of setting a good example for their athletes as well as speaking to their athletes about what is appropriate to talk about with their peers and what is not.
In addition to more responsibility of athlete conduct being placed on the coaches, there is an abundance of resources available, such as speakers, books and videos to utilize to educate male athletes.
Speakers like Brenda Tracy are available across the nation to speak to student athletes about their experiences and why rape culture is so harmful to the lives of women. Tracy, along with many other victims, travel across the nation to speak to male athletes about how rape culture resulted in them becoming survivors of sexual violence.
Too many women have had their lives completely changed by the neglect of this education. Education fights ignorance. Education will help protect our women.