Sexual Violence Prevention for Athletes
An estimated 1 in 5 women on college campuses have been or will become victims of sexual assault, and some research indicates that male student-athletes are more likely to be perpetrators of such harmful behavior. Under Title IX, universities are obligated to educate all students on sexual assault prevention; but student-athletes face a unique set of cultural factors that suggests a need for more in-depth education.
Dr. Kristy McCray, former director of a rape crisis center who currently studies sexual violence prevention in college sports, has developed an athlete-centered, 10-hour program that combines curricular elements such as healthy sex education and bystander engagement. Fair Play: Sexual Violence Prevention for Athletes aims to decrease sexual violence through measurable changes in both the attitudes and behaviors of student-athletes.
Fair Play emphasizes four topics: understanding of sexual violence, consent, and rape culture in sports; healthy sex education; gender and sexuality; and bystander engagement.
The 10-hour curriculum is typically delivered in weekly 60-minute sessions during the course of 10 weeks; we are able to modify based on your needs.
Each session is discussion-based, featuring activities and other engaging learning strategies; no "homework" is required of participants.
Athletes from different teams participate in sessions together, helping to build a stronger athletic community to aid in bystander engagement.
About Fair Play:
Sexual Violence Prevention for Athletes
Fair Play's targeted education is based on the students’ academic year and the program emphasizes four topics:
(1) understanding of sexual violence, consent, and rape culture in sports;
(2) healthy sex education;
(3) gender and sexuality; and
(4) bystander engagement.
Several concurrent sessions, segregated by sex, are conducted. For example, teammates from men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse may meet together, while women’s soccer and women’s track meet together. Research suggests sexual violence prevention programs are more effective and have a greater impact if men and women attend separately, thus the program utilizes both male and female facilitators. Because student-athletes function in tightly knit, team-based “families,” all athletes should be regularly attending the sessions. The 10-hour curriculum is best delivered in 10 weekly 60-minute sessions. Fair Play achieves an intense saturation shown to be most effective with sexual violence prevention and bystander engagement techniques.
Fair Play blends research targeted at student-athletes with the best practices of a public health approach to sexual violence prevention, providing an expanded curriculum employing active learning methodologies. Because student-athletes from different teams participate in sessions together, Fair Play builds a stronger athletic community to aid in bystander intervention. The broader campus culture benefits, particularly at schools where athletes are both leaders in the community and role models on campus.
What's the most impactful or meaningful thing you've learned from participating in Fair Play?
"I learned how to stop the spread of rape culture"
I learned strategies to stop instances when/where sexual assault may happen.
It’s always OK to interfere and figure out what’s going on, and you guys have given us the right way to do so.
It opened my eyes to a problem affecting women just like me. I used to think it would never happen to me as long as I didn’t dress slutty. Now I know it could happen and how to help girls if it does.
Rape culture starts with the gender gap between men and women. Don’t be afraid to stand up and be the voice.
How hegemonic masculinity needs to change and how men should halt the marginalization of women. I fully advocate for a safe environment for all genders in all scenarios.
Kristy McCray, PhD
Creator of the Fair Play curriculum
Dr. Kristy McCray is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Sport Sciences at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH. She served as the Executive Director of the Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center of San Luis Obispo County from 2010 to 2012. Her previous work experience includes the athletic departments at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of Southern California. Dr. McCray earned her PhD in Sport Management at The Ohio State University, and her research focuses on sexual violence prevention in college sports. She has presented at conferences around the country on sexual violence prevention in athletics.
For more information on Dr. McCray's research or her presentations, you may access her CV here.
Learn more about Fair Play and Dr. McCray's sexual violence prevention work