Effects of Educational Strategies on College Students' Identification of Sexual Harassment

By Birdeau, Danielle R.; Somers, Cheryl L. et al. | Education, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

Effects of Educational Strategies on College Students' Identification of Sexual Harassment


Birdeau, Danielle R., Somers, Cheryl L., Lenihan, Genie O., Education


Sexual harassment in the workplace and educational institutions is a growing problem that concerns many women, men, and employers. Approximately 46 percent of the workforce is comprised of women and is projected to be 48 percent by 2008 (U.S. Dept of Labor, 2000). Several self-report surveys have suggested that approximately one in three women believe they have been the victims of sexual harassment and approximately 15% of men report having experienced sexual harassment (Charney & Russell, 1994; Fitzgerald, 1993: U.S. Merit System Protection Board, 1988).

To understand sexual harassment, an agreed upon definition of sexual harassment needs to be established and disseminated. In 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) legally defined sexual harassment, stipulating two types of harassment: Quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo harassment literally means "this for that": in most situations this type of harassment is clearly defined and recognized as sexual harassment. Frazier, Cochran, and Olson (1995) in their review of social science research on lay definitions of sexual harassment suggest that quid pro quo forms of harassment such as sexual bribery, explicit sexual propositions, and sexual touching are clearly defined by respondents as sexual harassment. However, respondents do not collectively agree that staring, flirting, and the use of coarse language constitute sexual harassment. Hostile work environment harassment is often subjectively defined: therefore, a "reasonable person" standard has been offered to determine if behavior is sufficiently severe to be considered sexual harassment. However, a "reasonable person" standard is still subject to individual interpretation.

Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem affecting all organizations, including educational institutions. Legal policies also have been developed for institutions of higher education. One such policy is the Illinois Human Rights Act, which defines sexual harassment and states under what circumstances it may occur. Although this policy offers more specific circumstances under which sexual harassment can occur, it does not describe specific behaviors that are considered as sexual harassment. Therefore, as with the EEOC guidelines, the Illinois Human Rights Act is subject to individual interpretation.

With the increasing incidence and severity of sexual harassment claims, it is clear that organizations need to clarify policies and develop more effective educational strategies that clearly specify the severity and seriousness of all forms of sexual harassment. Previous research suggests that sexual harassment is more effectively avoided when organizations make clear, consistent, and visible efforts to deal with the problem (Gruber, 1998; Pryor, LaVite, & Stoller, 1993).

The literature suggests that 30% of undergraduate women are victims of sexual harassment while only 5-10% of these women report the harassment with only the most severe instances of harassment being reported. Under reporting may be attributable to unclear policies regarding sexual harassment, a lack of education regarding sexual harassment policies, or a fear of negative consequences (Cortina, Swan, Fitzgerald, & Waldo, 1998; Dziech and Weiner, 1984; Fitzgerald, Shullman, Bailey, Richards, Swocker, Gold, Ormerod, & Weitzman, 1988; Hulin, Fitzgerald, & Drasgrow, 1996; Jones & Remland, 1992).

Students are in need of policy education to diminish the pervasiveness of sexual harassment on campus. Initiation of prevention education before a student reaches the workforce may also help to diminish the incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace. Therefore, learning how different types of education affect perceptions can lead to a model of education in the university, in the workplace, and for future research.

Several studies have examined the subjective classification of sexual harassment with conflicting results. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Effects of Educational Strategies on College Students' Identification of Sexual Harassment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.