Julie L. Andsager
Harassment occurs in higher education in a variety of ways, from intellectual harassment—in which female professors and students must prove themselves more capable than their male colleagues (Martin, 2000)—to sexual harassment, which may evidence itself in a variety of behaviors. Sexual harassment, as defined by most universities, includes a range from subtle pressure for sexual activity to demanding sexual favors in return for grades to physical assault (Fitzgerald, 1996). Gender harassment, on the other hand, involves stereotypical, sexist assumptions made about women as a group (Franklin et al., 1981).
Intellectual harassment is more thoroughly defined as “anti-feminist intellectual harassment” (Koldony, 1996, p. 5). Largely, intellectual harassment consists of attacks on women's studies programs and curricula and devaluing courses or research that address gender issues (Martin, 2000). Thus, it is not necessarily women per se who are being criticized, but the products of their recognition that gender is an important component of societal construction.
Sexual harassment must include verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, especially sexual advances or requests for sexual favors (see summary in Serini, Toth, Wright, & Emig, 1998). Although sexual harassment may appear at first blush to be about sex, it is primarily about power (Jones, 1996)—the use of sexual inequality to maintain or reinforce power structures in the workplace or university.