Carol Yiu EDUC 165 Sexual Harassmen Essay

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Sexual Harassment and School

Carol Yiu
EDUC 165 - TUTH 9:00-10:15 AM
November 12, 2014

Sexual harassment has always been defined improperly by the society. People assumed that in order for sexual harassment to take place, a person needs to be sexually assaulted physically; however that is incorrect. Sexual Harassment is any activities that involves the making of any unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks, this includes verbally (Hill, C., & Kearl, H., 2001). More than 2,000 women file sexual harassment charges every year. A survey from Hill and Kearl (2001) that took place in University of Michigan shows sixty-two percent of female college students reported having been sexually harassed by someone at their university; compared to forty percent of male student (Hill, C., & Kearl, H., 2001). There are many types of sexual harassment that occur on school premises, the experiences after the attack had proven to be more damaging than the original harassment and has adverse effect in the victims education, and how the academic system can be changed to help those students that were a victim. Sexual harassment in education in the United States is an unwelcome behavior from another subject that interferes with an student's ability to learn, study, or participate in school activities. Sexual harassment can also be defined as unwanted sexual behavior that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with a student’s education (Hill, C., & Kearl, H., 2001). Sexual harassment involves a range of behavior from mild annoyances to sexual assault and/or rape. The definition of sexual harassment includes harassment by both peers and individuals in a position of power relative to the person being harassed. In schools, though sexual harassment initiated by students is common, it can also be perpetrated by teachers or other school employees, and the victim can be a student, a teacher, or other school employee. Sexual harassment behavior happens on a daily basis in classrooms or campuses that go unnoticed. According to Koebler (2011), majority of female students have been targeted by at least one incident of sexual harassment during their academic (Koebler, 2011). Females are considered to be the easier target to aim for. According to Hill and Kearl (2001), verbal harassment is the most common form of sexual harassment reported by students; 46% was reported by females students, and 22% by male students. This type of harassment includes having someone make an unwelcome sexual jokes or gestures to or about you. 18% of students had been called gay or lesbian in a negative way by peers or faculties. Girls were more likely to say that they were shown sexy or sexual pictures that they did not want to see (16 percent of girls versus 10 percent of boys), this is also known as an indirect harassment. Physical sexual harassment includes being touched in an unwelcoming sexual way, 13% of girls versus 3% of boys. 9% of female students admitted that they had been physically intimidated in a sexual way, and was forced to do something sexual; compared to 2% for male students. Female and male students were equally to say that someone had flashed or exposed to them. (Hill, C., & Kearl, H., 2001). Female students experience sexually harassment more often than male students because sexual harassment is ultimately about power, it is importantly to consider how power, and not just the attractiveness that might come from status, influences the way that a harassing situation is interpreted. Researches by Dougherty (1996) has found that when a power imbalance is evident between the harasser and the victim, bystanders are more likely to label the act as harassment (Dougherty et al. 1996). Although female students experience more frequent and more severe forms of sexual harassment than males (Meyer, E.J., & Brown, L.M., 2009), the effects on both sex are the same. Harassment has negative effects on most of its victims (Koebler,