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Following the USA Gymnastics Scandal, Holy Cross Professor Describes Historical Pattern of Abuse Over Female Athletes

The Conversation
January 30th, 2018 by 

Anne Blaschke, professor of history.

Last week, in what was one of the biggest sexual abuse crises in American sport history, former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after being accused of sexually abusing more than 150 young female athletes over the past two decades.

In a powerful piece for The Conversation, Holy Cross visiting assistant professor of history Anne Blaschke takes a closer look at the history of women athletes in America, which reveals a pattern of sexual abuse of young female athletes by males in a position of power.

Blaschke believes that men’s access to, and control over, young female athletes as well as a lack of oversight has allowed the abuse.

“Most sport leaders have supported athletes rather than abused them, and postwar federal laws like Title IX and the Amateur Sports Act aimed to empower athletes across gender,” Blaschke writes “But since educational institutions, Olympic authorities and the federal government have not strictly enforced these laws, they’ve ironically created opportunities for abuse.”

To read more, visit TheConversation.com.

Relevant Coverage:

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30

Chicago Tribune, Jan. 30

San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 30

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History, In The News, News

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