I’ve seen a few other articles on this in recent years. But somehow, it doesn’t seem to gain traction in the public consciousness at large. Even I didn’t realize that the issue was apparently so pervasive.
How many kids are in gymnastics? 20 cases a year out of the entire US doesn’t seem very high.
That’s just the reported cases. There’s an estimate that the total number is between 3 to 5 times that.
In any case, even 1 case is too high.
I think we can say now that any situation involving adults being in proximity to children carries a significant risk of this kind of thing happening so appropriate safeguards need to be put in place.
My niece did gymnastics for most of her childhood, so this concerns me a little bit. But I only ever say women coaches at the gym in which she trained.
It must be heaven for the female child molesters out there. No one suspects them, and they tend to get lighter sentences if caught.
As for the OP, it would make sense if it’s higher than other places (though I’m not sure that’s been shown.) Pedophiles aren’t that removed from the rest of us. The gyms will have fit children and teens, and there’s often a lot of touching involved. It’s also very physical, and thus arousing in the physical sense, which would amplify any feelings.
I know that there were two departments at my old school that could have problems: the physical education department, and the drama department. Granted, these were with high schoolers, but it still happened.
(Drama teacher dated student. Coach gave edible underwear as a gift to his female students. Both sets of students mostly thought it was ridiculous either got in trouble.)
The words “we can now say that” are inaccurate IMHO.
It should be, and essentially always have been, obvious that all institutions that involve adults and others’ children always have and probably always will attract paedophiles.
Literature is completely rife with books written by people who grew up in institutions and boarding schools etc who talk about horrific abuse. Frank discussion of sexual abuse in such books is less common (due to prevailing mores) but you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Every second person can tell tales of the coach/teacher/scout leader etc who was a bit weird and did “things” that weren’t talked about.
That’s not to excuse the conduct, of course. But the breathless “OMG!” every time someone discovers this stuff I find unpalatably naïve. It fits with the inaccurate and counterproductive view of the world, in which murderers and rapists are recognisably creepy strangers, thieves where striped jumpers and carry bags marked “swag” and sexual predators are sketchy-looking, drooling mouth-breathers.
By estimate you mean guess. There is no way to do a scientific estimate.
Of course one is too many if it’s you or someone you know. But one or even twenty do not mean there is a systematic problem that requires an overhaul across the country.
There is not an equivalent problem between male and female pedophiles. Females offend at a significantly lower rate.
Prosecuted and convicted at a lower rate I’m sure, and I’d suspect a lower rate in reality, but we probably don’t know what the rate is accurately for either.
When you take any large group of people, such as gymnastics instructors,cops,priests, etc., there will always be a few under the left end of the bell curve. Unfortunately, when they screw up, it is on a massive scale and it makes everyone else in the group look bad.
Well remember in gymnastics you have these young women hardly wearing anything that are bending and stretching in front of you and sometimes coaches are only a few feet away. Just in case I ever did something wrong when my kids used to do gymnastics I made it a point to stay far away.