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Sexual Harassment on Campus - A Study of Students' Attitudes and Beliefs

NCJ Number
N J Malovich
Date Published
118 pages
This study examined attitudes and beliefs about sexual harassment in a sample of 113 female and 111 male university students.
Students responded to two depictions of sexual harassment and completed the Performance Self-Esteem Scale, the Attitudes Toward Women Scale, and an experience survey that assessed their personal experiences with sexual harassment, sexual molestation, sexual assault, and spouse abuse. Subjects blamed perpetrators of sexual harassment more than the victims and endorsed confrontive victim action. They believed harassment has significant negative educational and emotional effects. Females blamed perpetrators and favored confrontive victim responses more than did males and viewed sexual harassment as having more severe emotional and educational effects. Neither performance self-esteem nor attitudes toward women related to males' judgments of sexual harassment. Among women, high performance self-esteem and nontraditional attitudes were related to greater perpetrator blame and a lower endorsement of negative educational effects from harassment. A total of 38.1 percent of females and 12.6 percent of males reported experiencing sexual harassment in high school or college. Men who had been harassed viewed it as having fewer negative emotional effects than did men who had not been harassed. Among women, some forms of sexual victimization were associated with support for more confrontive victim responses. 13 tables, 29 references, and appended study instruments.


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